Canada's NDP

NDP

April 30th, 2021

Harris raises concerns about federal commitment to offshore worker safety

St. John’s – Jack Harris, MP St. John’s East, will be speaking on Bill S-3 in the House of Commons today, to express his deep concern about the Liberal government’s disregard for offshore worker safety.

“I am extremely worried that the government has let the offshore occupation health and safety regulations lapse, leaving workers without protection under the law. What was put in place in 2014 is no longer enforceable and that is unconscionable,” said Harris.

“Safety should never, ever, be taken for granted, but that is just what we have seen this Liberal government do. It is shocking and disgraceful.”

The federal government was tasked with creating new offshore health and safety regulations six years ago after temporary ones were put in place following the Offshore Helicopter Inquiry into the Cougar Crash, with the original deadline for completion set for December 31, 2019. An extension was granted by legislation until December 31, 2020, which again was not met. If passed, the bill would further extend the temporary Occupational Health and Safety provisions for offshore workers until December 31, 2021, but leaves a gap since January 1st.

“The government has known for years that this date was coming, so there is just simply no excuse for allowing regulations that protect workers to expire,” added Harris. “It is critical that this legislation get through the House of Commons as quickly as possible. If an accident occurs right now, it will be difficult to hold anyone accountable.”