Canadian Provinces Request Offshore Drilling Inquiry

The Newfoundland and Labrador (Canada) government backs an inquiries call for an independent safety agency for the offshore oil industry and will request the federal government do the same, according to Premier Kathy Dunderdale.
"There is nothing more important than human safety in our offshore," said Dunderdale Monday in the provincial house of assembly in St. Johns. "So, this is a matter of high importance, and we will work expeditiously with our partner the federal government to ensure that this happens as quickly as possible." (WCxKit)
CBCNews reports the inquiry is looking into the safety of helicopters transporting people and goods to offshore oil platforms, recommending the creation of a "powerful" safety agency for the offshore oil industry in a report unveiled last month.
According to the inquiry, the agency should be entirely separate from the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB), which regulates the provinces offshore oil industry.
The recommendation was one of more than two dozen made by the inquiry, which was formed by the C-NLOPB weeks following a chopper transporting offshore oil industry workers crashed into the ocean east of St. John's on March 12, 2009, killing 17 people on board.
The C-NLOPB states it accepts nearly all of the recommendations made by the inquiry's commissioner, retired Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador judge Robert Wells.
But it did not back what Wells labels as his most important recommendation: the formation of an independent agency to oversee safety in the industry.
The C-NLOPB referred the recommendation to Ottawa and the province but would not go so far as to recommend that the two governments adopt legislation to create such an agency, which is what Wells wanted. (WCxKit)
Under the terms of reference of the inquiry, Wells can make suggestions to the board but not directly to the government.


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