Layton Says Canada Should Review Oil Sands, Offshore Drilling Regulations

Canada should review regulations on all “unconventional” oil exploration, including oil sands and offshore projects, before allowing new work to proceed, New Democratic Party Leader Jack Layton said.

The review would be broader than the current one being conducted by the federal regulator, Layton told reporters in Ottawa today. Safety questions about drilling in remote regions using newer technologies must be answered after the spill at a BP Plc well in the Gulf of Mexico.

“The BP spill has got to be a wake-up call,” said Layton, the leader of the smallest of four parties in Parliament. He also reiterated his opposition to any new oil sands projects.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has touted Canada as a secure supplier of energy to the U.S., citing the development by companies such as Syncrude Canada Ltd. of the oil sands in Alberta. Canada, home of the world’s second-largest oil reserves, is also working with the U.S. and Russia to settle claims to the arctic that could allow exploration for energy in that region.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexandre Deslongchamps in Ottawa at; Greg Quinn in Ottawa at

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