Canada's Marine Oil Spill Preparedness And Response: An Assessment

22 June 2013


The Federal Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, has established a three member Tanker Safety Expert Panel to review Canada’s marine oil spill preparedness and response regime as it applies to ship-source oil spills.

In particular, the Panel’s review will examine and make recommendations on the adequacy of the existing regime, including preparedness, response and compensation in light of existing transportation risk. The panel will also review and make recommendations with respect to the appropriate preparedness, response and compensatory regime necessitated if an increase in marine borne oil transport—either as cargo or bunker fuel—materializes because of approval for new oil sands pipelines and other major commodity export projects such as LNG.

I have prepared a report and submitted it to the Panel in order to contribute to the review by addressing a number of issues related to risk assessment, mitigation, response and compensation with particular emphasis on two key areas:

The appropriateness and effectiveness of the public-private response model where certified Response Organizations take the lead in preparing for and responding to an oil spill, and whether this model is capable of delivering best practices, or world-class standards; The structure and function of the liability and compensation regime and whether it can effectively satisfy the market and non-market needs of the Canadian public.

Canadian Ship-Sourced Spill Preparedness and Response: An Assessment