Energy Safety and Security Legislation Receives Royal Assent

Harper Government enhances offshore petroleum and nuclear laws

OTTAWA, Feb. 26, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, today announced that the Energy Safety and Security Act has received Royal Assent. 

The Act will enhance safety and security in Canada's offshore petroleum and nuclear energy industries to ensure that Canadians continue to have a world-class regime that is accountable, responsive and transparent and works to prevent incidents. The legislation enshrines the "polluter pays" principle into law by implementing an absolute liability limit of $1 billion for offshore petroleum and nuclear companies. 

The federal government manages offshore oil and gas resources jointly with the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Province of Nova Scotia in each Atlantic offshore area. Both provinces were key partners in developing the offshore petroleum elements of the new Act. The Government of Canada will coordinate the Act's entry into force with these provinces.

Quick Facts

  • The new legislation will raise the absolute liability for companies operating in the Atlantic offshore from $30 million to $1 billion and in the Arctic from $40 million to $1 billion. Liability for fault will remain unlimited.
  • The new legislation will amend the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act, the Canada-Newfoundland Atlantic Accord Implementation Act, the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act (COGOA) and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act (CPRA).   
  • In the nuclear sector, the new legislation will increase the absolute liability limit of operators from $75 million to $1 billion and permit Canada to implement the International Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage.
  • The new Act will replace the 1976 Nuclear Liability Act.


"Our government is protecting Canadians and the environment while supporting jobs and growth by raising the liability limits for the offshore and nuclear industries. The passing into law of the Energy Safety and Security Act ensures that companies, not taxpayers, are held responsible in the event of an incident."

Greg Rickford
Canada's Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

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SOURCE Natural Resources Canada

For further information: Alexandra Lemieux, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister, Natural Resources Canada, 613-996-2007; Media Relations, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, 613-992-4447; The general public may contact: Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. EST, Telephone: 613-995-0947, TTY: 613-996-4397, (teletype for the hearing-impaired), E-mail:


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