Environment minister says Husky oil spill investigation is ‘wrapping up’

Crews work to clean up an oil spill on the North Saskatchewan river near Maidstone, Sask., in a July 22, 2016, file photo.
Crews work to clean up an oil spill on the North Saskatchewan river near Maidstone, Sask., in a July 22, 2016, file photo. Jason Franson/The Canadian Press

A year after the Ministry of Justice began their review of the 2016 Husky o​il spill, Environment Minister Dustin Duncan still has no word on when that review will be complete.

“I know that justice is wrapping up their process if and what charges will be laid. After that, it will depend on if charges are laid, how Husky decides to respond to those charges, whether they plead to them or contest them in court,” Duncan said.

Duncan says the government remains committed to releasing the report on the record of pipeline inspections, but has been advised to hold onto the report while the Ministry of Justice does their deliberations.

Duncan said the report will be released at an appropriate time once the Ministry of Justice comes out with their findings.

READ MORE: Commissioner tells Saskatchewan to release oil pipeline inspection test results

Saskatchewan’s privacy commissioner has been calling on the report to be released since December 2016.

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“The advice that government has received is that there is an appropriate time to release the report, but while there had been an active investigation and deliberations on whether charges would be pursued, that in the course of ensuring that the process is a clean process, the report should be released, but not until it either goes to court and becomes part of a public document, or the company is charged and then pleads to those charges,” Duncan explained.

“That would be the appropriate time after that to release it.”

Global News reached out to privacy commissioner Ron Kruzeniski, but he was unable to provide comments at this time.

READ MORE: Husky oil spill cleanup continues on Sask. river one year after pipeline leak

The Opposition NDP raised in the issue in the question period on March 22, calling for the inspection report to be released.

“This is important, not just for the people of Saskatchewan and the safety of their drinking water, but also for industry so that people know what sort of concerns were highlighted in that report,” environment critic Cathy Sproule said.

“Obviously the privacy commissioner is saying fine, if it’s going to prosecutions that doesn’t preclude the release of the report.”

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