In the wake of the 2010 BP Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, our government needs to make changes to our outdated liability regime. Currently, the Canadian taxpayer is liable for offshore oil spills in the Arctic. Under current law, an oil company is responsible for damages up to $40 million of absolute liability, regardless of fault or negligence. Beyond the $40 million, it is either Canadian taxpayers or the company paying, depending on fault. Why are we providing public insurance for oil companies? We do not provide public insurance for homeowners in the case of a fire, or car owners in the case of a motor vehicle accident.
During this past week Arctic sea ice retreated to all-time lows, shattering the previous record set in 2007 by an area roughly the size of (ironically) Alberta. This past week, the much-anticipated new and improved federal regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired electricity plants leaked out. To no one's surprise, they are significantly weakened from what we had been told to expect.
This month I visited the northernmost region in my riding, Nunavik, and met with people from all walks of life there. Trips like those give you a real reality check that some politicians go out of their way to avoid. Last week the Prime Minister had a chance to begin listening to the people of the North, but instead he stayed inside his bubble. Clearly, this is work that Conservatives cannot properly do.