Report Focuses on Building Trust with Canadians

Who offers a safer workplace – a pipeline company or a bank? The answer might surprise you.
Dec 10, 2015 7:40 AM ET

Who offers a safer workplace – a pipeline company or a bank? The answer might surprise you.

This is just one of the many interesting facts you’ll find in the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association’s (CEPA) inaugural safety report, focused on our industry’s recent performance and efforts we are making to provide the safety and reliability Canadians expect and deserve.

Launched on Nov. 3, Committed to Safety. Committed to Canadians represents an opportunity to take the dialogue beyond individual pipeline projects, and show how TransCanada and the rest of our industry is focused on continuous improvement and building strong relationships with Canadians.

“The general public is increasingly concerned about safety and environmental impacts of pipeline operations and those concerns need to be addressed,” says Bryce Lord, vice-president, Canadian Gas Operations.

Lord has been involved with the development of the report, representing TransCanada on CEPA’s Executive Operations Standing Committee – a group that informs the CEPA Integrity First program and provides input and data for collaborative member efforts, such as this one.

“If we don’t respond to public concerns, Canadians will continue to question pipeline safety, which will result in more stalled projects and increased regulation. We’ve already seen the impacts that both can have on our business.”

A closer look at the facts

While the report provides statistics in areas like safety, incidents and environmental protection, it also shares some background and insights into what those statistics mean.

For instance, the report discusses how our recent innovations in leak detection account for the increase in the number of spills our industry has been reporting, and how our worker safety statistics are actually better than the banking industry. (Spoiler alert: In 2014, the pipeline industry injury rate was 0.64 – in 2012 the banking industry injury rate was 0.81).

The report also provides a transparent view of incidents that occurred in 2014, two of which were attributed to TransCanada operations. A deeper dive on the Canadian Mainline fire near Otterburne, Manitoba in January explains to readers how we responded and what we learned from the experience, focusing on our collaboration with the community and local emergency response agencies.

Though the report touts our 99.999 per cent safe delivery record, incidents like Otterburne are still a reality of our industry and it is important that we are transparent and upfront about them. Along with our fellow member companies, we are committed to a shared goal of zero incidents and that means no stone unturned when it comes to safety.

Vern Meier, vice-president, Pipeline Safety & Compliance, says that kind of information will help enable TransCanada and our industry partners to start a new conversation with Canadians.

“We are proud to be a part of this report and to help provide answers to the questions Canadians have been asking,” Meier says. “We want them to get to know us because if they don’t know us, they won’t trust us.”

“As an industry, we’ve finally started talking more openly about our practices and operations, and that’s critically important,” Meier adds. “What research tells us is that context matters – data and facts aren’t enough. So it’s important for Canadians to be informed so that they can play a role in that dialogue.”

CEPA president and CEO, Brenda Kenny agrees with that assessment. “Providing context and reinforcing the big picture of how our industry works creates a new level of awareness and familiarity for Canadians,” she says. This report is key in educating the public about what we do, how we do it, and how we are getting better,” she says.

“It will go a long way towards building trust and rebuilding our industry’s reputation.”

You can learn more about the report and download a copy on the CEPA website.

More information about TransCanada’s individual performance and efforts to improve our safety and environmental sustainability can be found in our 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility report.