Provincial Auditor General stands up for Transparency

OTTAWA - The Green Party of Nova Scotia and the Green Party
of Canada are applauding the Auditor General of Nova Scotia, Jacques Lapointe,
for refusing to engage in a vetting agreement with the oil companies as part of
an audit of the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB).
 “Mr. Lapointe is standing up for accountability in Canada, something that
we wish more of our leaders would do,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May.

The CNSOPB is responsible for regulating the
offshore oil industry and, as a joint federal-provincial agency, also has
environmental assessment responsibilities under the Canadian Environmental
Assessment Act (CEAA). 

“We have already protested that the CNSOPB is not
arms-length enough from the oil companies to properly regulate,” said John
Percy, Leader, Green Party of Nova Scotia.  “Private corporations cannot
and must not control information from federal-provincial agencies set up to
monitor their activities.”

“The same issues are happening in Newfoundland
Labrador.  Our question is why the federal government thinks it is okay to
give the oil companies control over what is released to the Auditor General’s
office and to the public.  Where is the transparency?”

The federal Auditor General has apparently agreed
to the vetting process demanded by ExxonMobil and Encana, giving the oil
companies the right to ban the publication of any documents they had filed with
the CNSOPB that they viewed as confidential.

“The Auditor General of Nova Scotia is correct in
asking for and receiving all relevant information and publishing the same in
the public interest. This is the very foundation of government. To say
otherwise is compromise responsible governance in the interests of citizens,”
said Percy.


Media Contact:

Rebecca Harrison