Part Two of The Current
Environment Commissioner, Scott Vaughan on hazardous shipments
Lots of people dread driving during the holidays, but this year, a new report may have some Canadians worrying about more than just the traffic on the roads.
According to Canada's top environment watchdog, the federal government has been doing a sub-par job of enforcing the safe transport of dangerous goods, ... like oil, toxic chemicals and propane on our roads, as well as through pipelines, in the air and over the water.
The news was contained in an audit of Environment Canada, Transport Canada and the National Energy Board released last week by Environment and Sustainable Development Commissioner Scott Vaughan. It found that these departments are not following up to ensure that known safety and environmental problems are fixed or that known violators have changed their ways.
The audit also reports "long-standing problems with the regulations, inadequate training of enforcement officers and a lack of laboratory tests to verify compliance" with the Canadian Environmental act. Scott Vaughan joined us from our Ottawa studio.
We did request interviews with Transport Canada and Environment Canada. Transport Canada did not respond to our request. Environment Canada directed us to a statement on their website from Environment Minister Peter Kent. In reads, in part,:
We are proud of our record on the shipment of dangerous products, as 99.9 percent reach their destination without incident. We have already begun work to address the findings in this report, including a national risk-based inspection planning process which will create a harmonized and consistent framework throughout Canada.
Other segments from today's show: