The appointment of Scott Tessier 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.