You may have heard about the quarter of a million of litres of oil that spilled into the North Saskatchewan river, putting at risk the drinking water of tens of thousands of people. What you may not have heard is that Husky, the corporation behind the spill, knew about it for 14 hours before it lifted a finger to stop it.
Part of the reason this was ever allowed to happen is that Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan government cut $2.7 million from the provincial regulator in June -- an office already so underfunded it has no idea when the last time this pipeline was inspected.
Meanwhile, Husky is getting backpats from the Premier for its “cooperation” -- - even though it’s unlikely it will ever clean up the spill and those most affected won’t see a shred of compensation.
This is 100% not cool. Tell Brad Wall to restore the funding cuts he made to the provincial regulator and increase pipeline inspection.
This oil spill is both remarkable and unremarkable. On one hand, the fact that such a relatively small spill (Enbridge’s Kalamazoo spill was roughly 20 times larger) caused such damage is shocking. On the other, Husky barely showed any evidence it cared anything had spilled at all. After all, why would it? Since 1990, there have been an astonishing 18,000 oil spills in Saskatchewan alone.
We know that more oil spills are on their way. And if any of the Tar Sand megaprojects get built -- Northern Gateway, Kinder Morgan or Energy East -- we can expect bigger, more devastating spills. That’s why we have to fight complacency and assumed social license now when the spotlight is on. This spill means tens of thousands of people can’t use their water, including the city of Prince Albert and several indigenous communities downstream. What happens when there’s a spill 40 times bigger? 100 times?
Join us as we fight back against Big Oil. Demand Saskatchewan restore funding to provincial regulators and make Husky pay for the damage it’s done.