Nova Scotia

No plans for offshore safety agency in N.S.

Nova Scotia has no plans to create an agency to enforce safety rules for offshore workers, something that has been recommended for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Nova Scotia has no plans to create an agency to enforce safety rules for offshore workers, something that has been recommended for Newfoundland and Labrador.

"I wouldn't say it's under active review," Energy Minister Charlie Parker said Tuesday.

"But again," he added, "we are always open to new suggestions and ideas."

Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador each have a board that promotes offshore oil and gas development. In both provinces, workers regularly fly to offshore platforms.

In Newfoundland, the recommendation for an independent agency to regulate offshore safety follows an inquiry into a fatal helicopter crash two years ago.

A Cougar helicopter went down in the ocean east of St. John's on March 12, 2009. All but one of the 18 people on board died.

In Nova Scotia, the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board is responsible for both offshore drilling and the safety of workers.

"Our local [board] has done good work, but if there is a way to actually increase safety or look at more stringent rules, we would certainly be open to that suggestion," said Parker.

The CNSOPB does not comment on regulatory issues.

Earlier this month, the board issued a written statement saying it has set up a three-person committee to offer guidance to the chief safety officer.

now