Two weeks after a substantial amount of oil leaked into Prince Albert’s water supply, Saskatchewan’s premier said the province will conduct its own investigation.
Premier Brad Wall visited Prince Albert City Hall Aug. 3, the same day he toured North Battleford.
“We’re going to find out exactly what happened here,” Wall said. “There’s going to be our own investigation, there will be accountability as part of that for (Husky Energy) and for the government. Everything will be transparent.”
He said even though the first water quality evaluation has been released – which indicated nearly all of the North Saskatchewan River didn’t have enough oil to exceed Canadian drinking standards – the provincial government would verify all of the data and samples Husky looked at when creating their report.
“The government’s going to take this very seriously, not just in terms of the response which we’ve shown, but in terms of the investigation subsequent to this,” he said.
Currently P.A.’s reservoirs are being filled with water from alternate sources, an accomplishment for which Wall thanked the city and responding agencies. The premier, however, stressed residents need to err on the side of caution about water usage.
“I think if everyone turned their water on at once because they thought everything was fine again, that might exacerbate the situation,” he said.
According to city staff, P.A.’s reservoirs are filling with water and restrictions should be lifted in the coming days.
With the alternate water supply situation under control for the time being, Wall said the province now needs to focus on long-term goals.
“We need to make sure that the top priority is placed on utilizing the water intakes both cities have on the North Saskatchewan in a safe way, so that will be our priority going forward,” he said.
Wall also reconfirmed Husky Energy’s commitment to bearing the full financial brunt of the spill.
“I expect the costs will be significant and they will be borne by Husky,” he said. “We’re going to hold people accountable to their commitments.”