Elizabeth May calls for investigation, corporate consequences for Peace River oil spill

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Canada's first elected Green Member of Parliament, Elizabeth May, today decried the devastation created by the Peace River oil spill and called for an immediate investigation and serious consequences for any corporate negligence.

"There has been a violation of the federal fisheries act, not to mention the negligence of failing to notify the public for five days," said Ms. May. "We need to ensure a full investigation and serious sanctions. Corporate negligence is not deterred without meaningful consequences."

Under the Federal Fisheries Act, it is against the law to put any substance into water systems that would be deleterious to fish. An estimated 4.5 million litres or more of oil have been spilled into the Peace River watershed since April 29, the largest spill in Alberta in at least three decades. Members of the Lubicon Cree, whose territory has been impacted by the spill, are reporting health effects in the area of Little Buffalo, approximately 30km from the spill site. Nearly a week after the spill began, the American-owned oil company - Plains Midstream - and Alberta officials have yet announced a cause for the spill.

The Green Party will press for much greater corporate accountability in the fossil fuels industry. This will include rewards for corporate leadership and penalties that create a real incentive to ensure 100 per cent compliance.

"We have 45-year-old pipelines lines like this one running through some of the most ecologically sensitive parts of our country, and the industry wants to build even more. It's time to take a step back and reassess," said Ms. May. "Accidents are too damaging to be acceptable in this industry."


Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.