Friday, October 07, 2005

Alberta's Katrina

Report exposes flaws in Alta. disaster response

Tories asleep at the railway switch.

Nope no plan. We are a petroleum producing province, have been since 1945 that means we deal with many kinds of toxic's and hazardous wastes. We have a toxic/hazardous waste plant operating in Northern Alberta since 1984. And we don't have an emergency plan to deal with toxic spills or accidents with hazardous goods. Even though the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act has been law in Canada since the 1980's.

Nope guess thats another business the government wasn't in the business of. Hoping the private sector would take up the slack, self regulation and all that. Didn't happen. Opps sorry government is supposed to provide that service. Its called public safety.

Except in Alberta, where the Tired Old Tories were once again caught with their pants down, playing hide the sausage. When the accident happened the Minister of the Environment actually said his departments job was just to monitor the clean up. 48 hours later he recanted and remembered that he was IN CHARGE.

Its hard to run a province when you do it by letting it all slide while clipping surplus coupons.

EDMONTON -- A report into an Alberta train derailment that poisoned a popular lake has exposed flaws in the province's emergency response system, says a environment commission set up after the accident.An interim report into the Wabamun Lake spill has found officials need better training, broader definitions of harmful substances and a list of Alberta's high-risk areas - especially as a booming economy and population increase the risk of more accidents. Newell said response to the spill revealed a lack of planning and co-ordination between provincial and federal government departments.The departments of environment, transportation and fisheries in both Edmonton and Ottawa need to stage joint simulations to work out and practise who's responsible for what, he said.Response to the Wabamun spill was hampered by confusion over just what the train was carrying. The hazardous pole-treating preservative was originally referred to as lubricating oil."By the official terms of what a dangerous good was, they didn't have one," Newell said. "We will definitely be pushing the need to do a lot more work around risk assessments and risk mitigation," said Newell, who acknowledged his surprise that such a list doesn't already exist
Poor public notification and badly co-ordinated plans greatly hampered clean-up efforts at Wabamun and added millions of dollars to the cost, Goss said "No one had a plan for a fresh-water oil spill."

Premier Ralph Klein later apologized to Albertans for his government's slow response to the spill, which contaminated the lake and area wells.

Yep Ralph Klein and George Bush birds of a feather, soaked in toxic waste. Screw up and apologise after the fact. This is the most damning evidence of the inherent failure of right wing neo conservative governments to do their job, its hard to govern when you claim to oppose government.


Robert McClelland said...

It's amazing too how the right whingers spent so much time fantasizing about Ottawa's ability to deal with a disaster yet they'll no doubt fail to mention this real failure.


Yep Ralph is the fly in the ointment every complaint the right wingnut whiners have about Ottawa could apply ten times over in Alberta