Canada's NDP


February 15th, 2021

Harris remembers Ocean Ranger disaster and calls for action

Jack Harris, MP for St. John’s East issued this statement today to mark the thirty-ninth anniversary of the sinking of the Ocean Ranger.

We all remember today the horrific loss of the Ocean Ranger and those 84 men whose lives were lost in this great tragedy and our hearts go out to them and their families.

As we share in the memory and grief of those families affected, we reflect also on the price paid for the oil wealth we have enjoyed and our duty to ensure the utmost safety of the men and women who work offshore.

Other countries with offshore oil industries have long adopted the practice of independent offshore safety authorities as the best way to ensure the safety of workers.

In 2010 after the disaster of Cougar Flight 491 crash where 17 lost their lives, the Wells Commission offshore helicopter safety recommended the creation of a new powerful independent offshore safety authority to separate the obligation to ensure safety from regulating development. This has not happened, despite oil finds as far as 500 miles from shore.

I call on the federal and Newfoundland and Labrador governments to ensure that there is an independent offshore safety authority created. We must be prepared to provide maximum protection for our offshore workers.