Appointment sends wrong message

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The appointment of Scott Tessier (“CNLOPB leadership sealed in last-minute deal,” Feb. 13) should be viewed by all for what it is in terms of offshore safety: a blatant political appointment that is an outrage.

To have this person become the next CEO and chairman of the Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board, which is totally responsible for overseeing the safety function in the offshore, defies reason.

Why, you ask? It has to do with credibility and trust.

Here we have a person who just left, or is in the process of leaving, a position with Big Oil being put in charge of an organization that is to oversee the regulation of that same Big Oil in our offshore. It is putting the eagle in charge of the henhouse; it is allowing the wolf to mix with the lambs. We will become the laughing stock of the oilpatch worldwide.

My concern is safety. It has to do with the crying lack of a stand-alone safety function at that board which is itself a cause for deep, deep concern. It also has to do with decisions that have to be made in the not-too-distant future, such as the possible drilling off the coast of Labrador, some of the most dangerous waters in the world and, as well, the decision that is to be made on helicopter night flights. How would one expect someone so close to Big Oil to vote on these issues?

As the anniversary of the Ocean Ranger disaster (Feb. 15) passes again, I cannot help but believe we are doing much in this move to dishonour the memory of the 84 brave souls who died in that tragedy, as well as the 16 who died on Flight 491.


Wayne Norman

St. John’s

Organizations: Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board

Geographic location: Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Torey Normore
    February 18, 2013 - 09:21

    Appointment be damned; the Board needs to be abolished; it's as useless as the Senate.

  • Coco
    February 18, 2013 - 06:37

    The best candidate for the job might have been hired had it not been just a political patronage plum appointment.

  • ELSH
    February 17, 2013 - 21:32

    I would think that the agenda or directives and responsibilities of the CNLOPB be examined first to ensure that the appointment of this gentleman fits with those same ideologies... if not, then one or the other must go... Bottom line is that the province is protected as are our people who ply their trades in the often mercilous Atlantic...

  • Watcher
    February 17, 2013 - 13:34

    Hmmm... so someone with experience in both sectors (oil and government) isn't good enough. So exactly who would you choose for the position, Wayne?

  • Liz Chipp
    February 17, 2013 - 12:28

    Gee, one day someone gets appointed and we say - what do they know about that, they have never worked in the industry. The next day we complain that someone knows too much about they industry. We NLers are a strange bunch, aren't we? Never satisfied with anything! LOL

  • On the other hand
    February 17, 2013 - 11:54

    Let's look at this in another, less cynical way. Perhaps this is a just a case of someone coming home to take on a tough and important job. Someone who, in addition to knowing the business, also brings years of good government experience to the position. Someone leaving behind an undoubtedly lucrative career in oil and gas in Alberta to return to Newfoundland and Labrador in the interest of public service. On that note, if his priority is really "Big Oil", he'd probably continue to be comfortably employed by "Big Oil", don't you think?

  • Fingers Crossed
    February 16, 2013 - 15:25

    The best message that the NL people could ever get from this government is when duderdale considers her politicial future. We just can't afford to have her in this position any longer. Governmnet is crumbling down around her and us now! She always said that the NDP would bankrupt us. They may never get the chance if the likes of this bunch, with its arrogant sense of entitlement, doesn't allow someone who can step up and actually do the job as premier! Its time for the people of this province to stand up, make a few cuts of our own and get our province back before harper and dunderdale tag their grafiti on our culture of defeat for good!

  • Corporate Psycho
    February 16, 2013 - 11:26

    Well said Mr. Norman. Well said.