Canada to improve tanker safety

March 19, 2013 at 7:27 AM

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 19 (UPI) -- Improving tanker safety measures will ensure Canada maintains its role as a world energy leader, Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver said.

Oliver announced the government would implement tanker safety measures to improve the country's trade reputation.

"As a trading nation, Canada depends on marine shipping for economic growth, jobs and long-term prosperity," he said in a statement. "There will be no pipeline development without rigorous environmental protection measures and the tanker safety initiatives we are announcing today are an important aspect of our plan for responsible resource development."

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has courted Asian economies to diversify an economy that relies almost exclusively on the United States for oil export revenue.

The proposed tanker amendments will outline steps needed to prevent pollution, respond to oil spills and clear up some of the red tape tied to cleanup operations.

"While our current tanker safety system has served us well for many years, it is essential that we strengthen it to meet future needs, as the transportation of Canadian exports is expected to grow and create many high-quality jobs in Canada," Transportation Minister Denis Lebel said.

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