June 13, 2018 9:38 am

Sask. NDP pipeline expiry date proposal called unnecessary by government

A proposal from the Saskatchewan NDP calling for expiry dates on pipelines is being called unnecessary by the provincial government.


The Saskatchewan government said a proposal from the Opposition to have expiry dates on pipelines is not necessary.

Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili is calling for expiry dates on pipeline in the province, saying it would improve safety and create jobs.

READ MORE: Trans Mountain pipeline remains divisive topic in Saskatchewan

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“We have more than 100,000 kilometers of pipelines and flowlines in Saskatchewan, and many are old and should be replaced,” Meili said Tuesday in a statement.

“We saw with the Husky oil spill last year how costly spills can be, and it’s time for the provincial government to introduce expiry dates on pipelines to protect Saskatchewan water and land while also creating jobs.”

Energy Minister Bronwyn Eyre says such a policy is unnecessary and would cost too much.

“This really would be an unprecedented move and it would put Saskatchewan at a severe competitive disadvantage just when the industry is recovering from what has been a steep decline,” Eyre said.

She says the province already has a pipeline safety program which has performed more than 5,000 well and pipeline inspections so far this year.

Eyre added it would cost roughly $50 billion just to replace all SaskEnergy pipelines, a cost she said would be borne by ratepayers.

A Husky Energy oil pipeline breach fouled the North Saskatchewan River in 2016, causing communities downstream from the spill to shut off their water intakes for almost two months.

READ MORE: Husky Energy court case for oil spill adjourned until June

Husky is facing 10 provincial and federal environmental charges related to the pipeline leak and could face hefty fines.

The company has apologized and said it accepts full responsibility for the incident.

-With files from The Canadian Press

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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