P.M. Promises to Fix Nuclear Regulations
Following a Supreme Court decision last month in which Canadian uranium mining giant Cameco was denied compensation for remediation of a 2011 yellow-cake spill on a ship transporting the material to China, the government of Canada is considering legislation to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.
Under the current Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA) companies such as Cameco must follow strict regulations regarding transport of nuclear materials and, in case of a spill, observe rigourous reporting and remediation procedures.
“Obviously those regulations are not conducive to our natural resources companies making obscene profits,” said Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
“Actually,” he chuckled awkwardly, “this is a bit of an oversight; I honestly thought we had gutted the NSCA with Bill C-45.”
The opposition was apoplectic.
“You see, even the government doesn’t know what’s in their own omnibus bills,” sputtered NDP leader Thomas Mulcair.
Cameco CEO Tim Gitzel said the promise of more lax regulations was welcome news. “That cleanup cost us nearly $10 million; that represents almost two per cent of our net profits in 2012, not to mention what it did to my own annual bonus,” he said. “It would have been much cheaper just to sink the sucker.”
The government is also considering legislation that will limit the Supreme Court from making decisions contrary to the profitability of huge corporations.
“The judiciary is out of control,” said Rob Nicholson, minister of justice and attorney general. “Those justices constantly show a lack of respect for the whims of Parliament.”
Nicholson said the government is working on a bill that will impose mandatory minimum payouts to companies involved in unfortunate accidents.
Reporting For The Lapine