Thank you very much.
In going through the legislation and the amendments, I am concerned with the approach that is taken in both the legislation and the policy of the board. Despite the extensive powers granted to the National Energy Board to monitor, inspect, and enforce, the decision has been made to assign the duty to the companies themselves, or to their chosen agents, to develop and implement surveillance and monitoring programs. Apparently, self-inspections are only required every three years, so it doesn't give a lot of confidence to the communities that are experiencing pipeline breaks.
Let me give you two examples. I've personally had the opportunity of being with two communities that have experienced major NEB-regulated pipeline breaks in the last while.
One was the Wrigley case in the Northwest Territories, an Enbridge line. The NEB had not contacted the community until there was a meeting of the Dene Nation council. The chief from Wrigley went to that meeting and the NEB was there.
The chief told the story of how he was out hunting, sitting by a marsh, and for some reason a bear kept coming at him and wouldn't go away. He tried to scare the bear away, but would doze off, and the bear would come back. Finally, he decided to investigate, because of the peculiar activity of the bear. What he discovered was that there had been a spill on this Enbridge line. Initially, Enbridge said it was only about 4 barrels, but in fact it was about 1,500. The NEB did not come forward to assist this community until this man had to come to the meeting and was able to meet with them there.
That was one example. Another one is that of the Lubicon people at Little Buffalo. That was the Plains All American pipeline, where there was a spill of 28,000 barrels. I had the opportunity to go up there with the company that was doing the cleanup. It was devastating. It was the devastation of a traditional hunting and trapping area for those first nations.
My understanding is that in both cases there were defective repairs. It doesn't really give us confidence that in fact this self-inspection and self-enforcement system is working, nor does it give us confidence that the number of inspections you say are being carried out are actually capturing these incidents before disaster occurs.
I wonder if you could explain to us the relationship between your self-regulation and self-enforcement system and the actual role of the NEB in enforcing these statutes.