Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard has announced the details of a $1.5-billion national Oceans Protection Plan.
The Plan improves marine safety and responsible shipping, protects Canada’s marine environment, and creates stronger partnerships with Indigenous and coastal communities. The plan meets or exceeds international standards and is supported by commitments to Indigenous co-management, environmental protections, and science-based standards.
As part of the Oceans Protection Plan, the following initiatives were announced:
- The re-opening of the Maritime Rescue Sub-centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. This rescue centre provides regional capacity to facilitate effective operational coordination and response to all-hazard marine incidents.
- The construction of two new Canadian Coast Guard lifeboat stations in Newfoundland and Labrador areas to improve search and rescue.
- The refurbishment of the Canadian Coast Guard St. Anthony, Newfoundland and Labrador, lifeboat station.
- The building of two new radars in Atlantic Canada – one to be installed in the Strait of Belle Isle area, and the second one in Chedabucto, Nova Scotia.
- Increased domestic and international scientific collaboration on oil spill response through investments for Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s world-leading Centre for Offshore Oil, Gas and Energy Research in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
- Continued investment in response planning for the Strait of Canso, Nova Scotia, and the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, including bringing together baseline biology, ecology, social, cultural, and economic data.
- Improved timely availability of science-based expertise during incidents by placing additional emergency and enforcement officers in Atlantic Canada.
- Increased marine safety information for mariners and improving hydrography, charting, and e-navigation products, including for the Strait of Canso, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick.
- Investment in research to support new and refined oceanographic oil spill trajectory models, including for the Strait of Canso, Nova Scotia, and the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick.
- Learning how to better protect marine mammals from shipping-related threats.
- The launch of a comprehensive plan to address abandoned, derelict and wrecked vessels, including making vessel owners responsible and liable for vessel clean-up.