Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd provided the following statement to the news media after visiting the Nexen spill site:
“I would like to thank the Fort McMurray First Nation for the invitation extended to me and my colleague, Minister of Environment and Parks.
“Our government came together today with the Fort McMurray First Nation to meet with the Alberta Energy Regulator and Nexen because we share a deep concern over the spill that happened here.
“Spills like this are unacceptable. As Minister of Energy, I’m concerned. As an Albertan, I’m concerned. We all want to know that when an incident like this happens, not only is it contained and cleaned up, but every possible effort is made to find out what went wrong and fix it; prevent it from happening again here or anywhere else in Alberta.
“Albertans have been clear with us. The development of our resources has to be done in a way that is responsible and sustainable.
“We also agree that First Nations need to be involved as partners in emergencies like this. A key focus of the discussions we are having today concern where gaps in communication with the Fort McMurray First Nation may have occurred and how we can better work together to close those gaps.
“These are not ideal circumstances for a first meeting. But we agree it’s important for us all to come together to share knowledge and information about how best to move forward.
“Since the discovery of the spill, we have been in close contact with the company through the Regulator, and we have confidence that the Regulator is doing its job to conduct a timely and thorough investigation.
“Our tour and briefing today underlined to me the professionalism and commitment of the team of people working very hard to clean up the site and to investigate the event.
“Results of the investigation will be made public once it is complete.
“Thank you to Fort McMurray First Nation 468 for hosting us on your traditional lands, and for spending the day with us.
“Thank you also to the hard working people cleaning up this spill, protecting wildlife, and finding out how things went wrong. We stand with you as we work together to protect and develop our resources.”