Canada stiffens liability for nuclear, offshore energy sectors

Jan. 31, 2014 at 8:19 AM

OTTAWA, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- The Canadian government said it approved a security act increasing liability for offshore oil and gas accidents and stiffening penalties for nuclear mishaps.

Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said the measure is designed to ensure the country's resource-based economy puts economic prosperity on the same footing as environmental protection.

"The Energy Safety and Security Act does just that," he said in a statement Thursday. "This legislation will protect Canadians and our environment while supporting jobs and economic growth."

Oliver said the federal government coordinated with the provincial governments of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador to develop revisions to an offshore liability act.

The new legislation increases the liability for oil and natural gas companies working in the Atlantic Ocean from nearly $30 million to around $1 billion. For arctic operations, liability increases from around $40 million to $1 billion.

The legislation increases the liability limit for nuclear plant operators from nearly $75 million to $1 billion.

The federal government said the new measure builds on its strong safety record in the nuclear and offshore energy sector.

"It will ensure Canada's energy sector can continue to thrive," it said.

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