Government of Canada Announces Additional Measures to Protect Their Coasts

Today’s investments are part of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan

Vancouver, British Columbia – Protecting the marine environment and the safety of mariners, fishers, recreational boaters and all users of Canada’s oceans and waterways is of paramount importance to the Government of Canada.

Last November, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau launched the $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan. This national strategy is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines and clean waters for generations to come.

Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transportannounced measures that the Government of Canada is taking under Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan to deliver on its commitments.

The Oceans Protection Plan provides the Canadian Coast Guard with the equipment required to effectively respond to marine emergency and safety incidents. Today Ministers LeBlanc and Garneau introduced the new Coast Guard Emergency Response Vessel that will be stationed at the Coast Guard Base Kitsilano in Vancouver. The vessel’s primary functions will be search and rescue and environmental response but will also be used in exercises and training for Coast Guard personnel, First Nations, and local stakeholders. The Coast Guard is renovating the Kitsilano Base to further improve the services to mariners in the Greater Vancouver area, as announced in Budget 2016. Renovations will include improvements to the marine infrastructure as well as significant renovations to the outside of the building.

In addition to these investments in the Coast Guard, Ministers also announced additional projects funded through Canada’s Ocean Protection Plan, including:

  • A $1.3-million investment over the next five years for a new Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) program to remove abandoned and wrecked vessels from small craft harbours. These vessels are a growing problem for coastal communities across Canada, as they create significant environmental, economic and safety concerns.
  • The start of an online engagement with Canadians so they may share ideas and provide input into the Oceans Protection Plan. The new web portal called Let’s Talk – Oceans Protection Plan is a way for Canadians to join the conversation as the Government of Canada delivers more than 50 initiatives to protect our coasts and waterways while growing our economy.
  • Steps to support the recovery of the Southern Resident Killer Whale including studying the impact of contaminants that threaten the recovery of resident killer whale populations, improving their access to an adequate and accessible food supply, and reducing underwater noise levels within their habitat.
  • An upcoming Southern Resident Killer Whale symposium on October 11 and 12, 2017, which will bring together experts and other interested parties to build on these studies and contribute to greater understanding of the complex issues and shared responsibilities associated with protecting and recovering the Southern Resident Killer Whale.

Canada

 

Quotes

“Our government’s historic, $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan will protect Canada’s precious marine environments and ensure the safety of those who use our waters. Today, I am proud to stand with my colleague to announce concrete initiatives that represent our commitment to growing and strengthening the Coast Guard’s fleet, supporting the commercial fishing industry and protecting all Canadians who depend upon and enjoy our oceans.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“The West Coast is home to some of the busiest shipping routes in the country. The Government of Canada, through the Oceans Protection Plan, will continue to support the development of the region’s strong marine commitment to transportation safety and a clean environment, including through the meaningful engagement it is building with its communities.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport

Quick Facts

  • Sound travels over great distances in water. As a result, whales use hearing in much the same way that terrestrial mammals use vision to find food, navigate, orient, and communicate with social group members. To better support the recovery of this species, the Government of Canada is working to improve the acoustic quality of the whales’ critical habitat.
  • Let’s Talk – Oceans Protection Plan will feature online surveys and discussion forums on a range of topics from preventing and responding to marine pollution to protecting Canada’s coastal ecosystems.
  • Since re-opening in April 2016, Kitsilano Base has dealt with more than 470 Search and Rescue (SAR) calls and more than 150 environmental response tasks.
  • During the renovations to the Kitsilano Base, Coast Guard vessels and staff are temporarily located at HMCS Discovery in Stanley Park. The planned construction will not impact emergency response provided by the Kitsilano Coast Guard crews.