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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
A new advisory council as been created by the British Columbia's Environment and Climate Change Strategy Ministry. The new Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council’s work will provide strategic advice to government on areas of focus for climate action that go hand in hand with economic growth. This includes working with industry and the federal government to address the competitiveness of emissions-intensive trade-exposed sectors, to help them reduce their emissions and continue to thrive economically.
The Gulf Islands were the site of a simulated ferry evacuation this week, with the Joint Task Force (Pacific) (JTFP) of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) coordinating search and rescue operations in a large-scale, on-water exercise. The exercise is jointly managed by the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Coast Guard with coordination through the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) involving both air coordination by the CAF and marine rescue coordination by the Canadian Coast Guard.
Following the evacuation of the MV Coastal Renaissance, command was handed to the Canadian Coast Guard for environmental response operations. It was all part of day one of Exercise Salish Sea 2017 – a multi-agency maritime disaster training exercise happening on Oct. 25 and 26th. Partners participating in Exercise Salish Sea include: Canadian Armed Forces, Canadian Coast Guard, BC Ferries, BC Emergency Health Services, Emergency Management BC, BC Ministry of Environment, Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue and Public Safety Canada, among a great many others. Coastal First Nations including Nisga’a, Metlakatla, Gitxaala, Nuxalk, Heiltsuk, Haisla, and Gitga’at observed the exercise to assist in developing localized search and rescue programs.
Transport Canada has issued Ship Safety Bulletin 07/2017 to remind all foreign and Canadian vessels owners and operators of the deck watch requirements which are to be observed on their vessels, as stipulated by the Marine Personnel Regulations (MPR). Subject to Section 216 (2) (b) of the MPR, on a vessel of at least 5 gross tonnage, the deck watch shall consist of an additional person assisting the person in charge of the deck watch. This aspect is further substantiated by Chapter VIII Part 4-1 (16) of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW Convention) in which the officer in charge of the navigational watch may be the sole lookout only in daylight under certain conditions.
Regulations Amending the Administrative Monetary Penalties and Notices (CSA 2001) Regulations are published in Part I of the Canada Gazette dated October 14, 2017. The proposed Regulations are intended to enhance the department’s ability to use administrative penalties as an enforcement tool to encourage regulatory compliance. The implementation of the new proposed violations are expected to be seamless for the Canadian public, as the new requirements will be integrated into the existing Transport Canada Marine Safety administrative penalty scheme. A 30-day comment period is in effect.
The Government of Canada is reviewing the Pilotage Act to support the delivery of safe, efficient and environmentally responsible pilotage services into the future. The Pilotage Act Review will include internal and external analysis, as well as discussions with key stakeholders. On October 4, 2017, Transport Canada launched its site for public and stakeholder input at https://letstalktransportation.ca/pilotage-act-review. The forum will be open until December 29, 2017.