National Observer forces National Energy Board to release secret Enbridge docs
National Observer is celebrating an important legal victory this week.
We triggered a federal investigation earlier this year that forced Canada’s pipeline safety agency to cough up information that it was trying to keep secret about internal Enbridge Inc. documents.
We learned on Tuesday that the agency, Canada’s National Energy Board, was releasing some of this information as a result of the investigation that was being led by the office of Parliament’s information commissioner.
So we learned that Enbridge, one of North America’s largest energy companies, was having problems protecting the environment in more than one region, even after it took measures to improve its oversight in the wake of a massive oil spill disaster in 2010. The timing of these revelations was also important since it coincided with a record multimillion dollar settlement between Enbridge and the U.S. government over its accidents in 2010.
Enbridge tells us it has learned from its mistakes and is becoming a better company.
While we can take the company at its word that it's improving, we need our governments to be transparent so that we can test public statements and evaluate all of the facts.
This is why we believe putting more information into your hands is so important. It's how we can all improve and hold governments and industry to account.
We believe it’s unfortunate that we were forced to chase down secret details with access to information requests and the subsequent investigation.
But we are quite pleased that the federal information commissioner acted swiftly to settle this issue and help us bring the matters to light.
There aren't many journalists left in Canada that have the expertise to investigate these types of issues, but we are determined to continue this work with your support.
We’re the only media outlet in Canada that you can count on to shine a light on the powerful interests in government and industry that shape our lives.
Mike De Souza
Managing Editor, National Observer