Friday, 17 November 2017 15:12

Canada invests in EMSA and Anchorages

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Marking the one-year anniversary of the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada has announced that $63 million of the OPP commitment will be dedicated to two initiatives, Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness (EMSA) and anchorages.  While $62.5 million will support the development of an accessible, real-time, common operating picture, $500k will go towards bringing together government, the marine industry, Indigenous groups and stakeholder communities to develop a sustainable national anchorage framework. This work will include an assessment of social and environmental impacts, development of a formal process to identify new anchorage spots, draft best practices, and propose options for management and oversight of these anchorages.  We released a statement this morning in support of the announcement. 

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Canada and the UK will lead a coalition of 20 countries planning to phase out the use of coal-fired power by 2030. Partners in the Powering Past Coal Alliance are working together to accelerate clean growth and climate protection through the rapid phase-out of traditional coal power.  The Alliance is committed to supporting clean power through their policies and investments and to restricting financing for traditional coal power without carbon capture and storage. The partners commit to making this transition in an economically inclusive way, with a just transition for workers and communities. The Powering Past Coal Alliance includes the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, the State of Washington and the City of Vancouver.  Canada is expected to move ahead with regulations that would force provinces to move away from coal-fired power.

Friday, 17 November 2017 15:00

New Arctic Policy Framework

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The Government of Canada is seeking input from Northerners and other interested Canadians on a new Arctic Policy Framework to replace Canada’s Northern Strategy (2010) and the Statement on Canada’s Arctic Foreign Policy (2009), to better align Canada’s national and international policy objectives with the priorities of Northerners. The new Framework will provide overarching direction to the Government of Canada’s priorities, activities, and investments in the Arctic, with a horizon of 2030.  To have your say visit Toward a new Arctic Policy Framework.

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The Government of Canada has contributed $849,170, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency's Innovative Community Fund to support upgrades at the Nova Scotia Community College's Nautical Institute in recognition that safety is a critical consideration for commercial shipping, the fisheries and other offshore activities. The upgrades include navigation simulator, a new voltage simulator, and new digital software that simulates ice conditions and Arctic navigation, facilitating work in the Northwest Passage.  

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The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard met with representatives from fishing organizations, marine transportation industries, cruise lines, ferry associations, Indigenous peoples, whale experts and scientists, as well as the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to discuss concrete actions which can be taken to better protect the North Atlantic Right Whale in Canadian waters. A number of measures will be looked at to address the fisheries' impacts in addition to enhancing whale sighting and detection information and timely sharing of this information.  Seasonal speed restrictions in target areas and adjustments to shipping lanes based on accurate and timely whale sightings is also on the table.  

Friday, 10 November 2017 13:19

Latest Customs Notices

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Canada Border Services Agency has issued Customs Notice 17-36 to advise that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency requires goods re-entering Canada after being refused entry by the US to proceed to a non-bonded facility for treatment prior to being exported.  

Canada Border Services Agency has issued Customs Notice 17-34 advising that the 2017 version of  the Canadian Automated Export Declaration (CAED) will expire on January 31, 2018, after which time only the 2018 version will be valid. The 2018 version will be the last update to CAED and will be valid until it is retired in January 2020.  CAED participants should upgrade to the 2018 version by downloading the software along with the release notes from the Statistics Canada website.

Friday, 10 November 2017 13:09

Coast Guard survey on AIS ASM messages

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The Canadian Coast Guard has been transmitting meteorological and hydrographic information from various stations along the Pacific coast using AIS Application Specific Messages. CCG is expanding this testbed to include 20 new meteorological stations and 16 new hydrographic stations.  In order to evaluate this service, CCG is seeking feedback from many different vessels and users to determine how useful the data is.  Please assist by completing an online survey which can be accessed using either one of the following links:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/asmwestern
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/aisasmwest

 

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A new project from the Government of Canada is giving members of coastal Indigenous communities in British Columbia additional knowledge, skills and training to help build on the role they play in marine safety in their communities.

The first training session under the Indigenous Community Response Training project wrapped up this week at the Canadian Coast Guard station in Bamfield, B.C. Nine members from seven northern First Nations in the province graduated from the Coastal Nations Search and Rescue course. The participants were on the water for four days of training, taking part in advanced search and rescue simulations and live exercises with Canadian Coast Guard vessels.

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The Government of Canada has introduced Bill C-64, the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act this week.  The Bill if passed will bring into Canadian law the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 2007. The Act will:

  • address irresponsible vessel management by prohibiting: vessel abandonment; causing a vessel to become a wreck; or leaving a dilapidated (poor condition) vessel in the same area without consent;
  • strengthen owner responsibility and liability for their vessels, including costs for clean-up and removal; and
  • empower the federal government to address problem vessels more proactively.

 

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The Government of Canada has announced that it has surpassed its commitment to increase the protection of marine and coastal areas to 5% by the end of 2017.  New marine refuges off the coast of British Columbia and in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence in Quebec together contribute an additional 1.59% of protected ocean area to Canada’s coasts. The next target is to reach 10% of coastal protection by 2020.

The marine refuge in the Pacific coast is located within the boundaries of the new large Offshore Pacific Area of Interest, and protects underwater seamounts and several hydrothermal vents by prohibiting all bottom-contact commercial and recreational fishing activities within the refuge. In addition, 11 new marine refuges in the Gulf of St. Lawrence will make a lasting contribution to marine conservation in Canada. They aim to protect cold-water coral and sponge communities and prohibit the use of bottom-contact fishing gear, whether it be for commercial, recreational, or Aboriginal subsistence fishing.  

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Premier John Horgan toured the AltaGas Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal, and stated that it is an excellent model for the Province's vision of expanding sustainable resource production, creating long-term jobs and fuelling local economic development. Scheduled for opening in early 2019, the terminal is expected to be the first on Canada’s West Coast to export cleaner-burning propane from British Columbia and Alberta to Asia and other overseas markets. The export facility will be equipped to ship up to 1.2 million tonnes of processed propane annually. 

Also on his tour was a visit to the Rio Tinto smelter in Kitimat on their one-year anniversary. The Rio Tinto BC Works smelter contributed $339 million to the British Columbia economy in its first full year of operation, including $190 million in annual salaries and pension plan benefits. “Rio Tinto is producing twice as much aluminum with one-third of the electricity and half of the emissions produced by their previous plant. This means they are now producing some of the lowest carbon aluminum in the world, giving them a competitive advantage at a time when consumers are looking for ways to reduce their impact on the climate,” said Premier Horgan.

Friday, 27 October 2017 14:41

Notable environmental fines

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Environmental and Climate Change Canada has announced fines issued this week to vessel operators under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and the Fisheries Act.  The Eyelander, a vessel owned by US company Bright Eye Fishing Corporation, has been fined $35,000 in the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador after the company pleaded guilty to violations under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994. Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers conducted an investigation and found that the grounding of the Eyelander within the Witless Bay Seabird Ecological Reserve caused the ship to deposit diesel fuel in an area frequented by migratory birds. As part of the investigation, 16 murre-chick carcasses were recovered from the oil sheen on the water.  A $100,000 fine was issued to PF Résolu Canada Inc. after pleading guilty to violating subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act, namely the deposit of a deleterious substance in waters frequented by fish.

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