Like HSBC or JP Morgan, Canada’s oil and gas companies are too big to prosecute

Mike de Souza:

The federal government has given warning letters to several oil, gas and pipeline companies across the country instead of trying to prosecute them for alleged transgressions that include polluting air and water, inadequate emergency planning and sloppy record-keeping. […]

The violations are punishable by fines of up to $1 million or imprisonment of up to three years, said the warning letters.

A manager from Environment Canada’s enforcement branch made this astonishing excuse: “Our goal isn’t to prosecute for the sake of prosecuting (or) make the numbers look good in that sense… Our goal is to bring people into compliance as quickly as possible.”

That’s bullshit. Wouldn’t actually prosecuting companies and employees for violating Canada’s environmental laws more quickly bring people into compliance?

Compare this to other recent “too big to prosecute” stories in the financial sector.