Friday, 15 September 2017 13:17

AGM High Risk Period ends Sept. 15th


The high risk period for Asian Gypsy Moth ends on September 15th in Canada.  During the period between September 16 to February 28th in Western Canada, a phytosanitary certificate for vessels arriving from regulated areas is not required but vessels may be subject to a random inspection. 

Friday, 15 September 2017 13:11

Government establishing shipping baseline

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The Government of Canada has announced a $50.8 million Coastal Environmental Baseline Program that will support scientists from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and community partners in collecting comprehensive baseline data in six areas of the country where there is existing or potential increasing vessel traffic: Port of Vancouver, BC; Port of Prince Rupert, BC; Lower St. Lawrence Estuary, QC; Port of Saint John, NB; and Placentia Bay, NL. The sixth area will be located in the Arctic. By studying the current state of these areas, the intention is to better detect changes in the environment and improve our understanding of the effects of human activity on the marine environment over time.  Partnerships with local Indigenous and coastal communities will have valuable insights and expertise about their local ecosystems, and are expected to assist in determining what data will be collected in each area.

Friday, 15 September 2017 13:02

Another ship fined for failing to reduce speed

Transport Canada logo

Following last week's penalty on the Seven Seas Navigator, Transport Canada has issued another $6,000 penalty this time to the vessel Petalon for an alleged non-compliance with the temporary mandatory slow down in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence, between the Quebec north shore and just north of Prince Edward Island.  While the shipping industry in general has been proactive in respecting the speed limits, the Government of Canada is determined to enforce the temporary mandatory slow down.

Transport Canada logo

Transport Canada has issued a $6,000 penalty to the Seven Seas Navigator vessel for not complying with the mandatory slow down of vessels 20 metres or more to a maximum of 10 knots.  The speed restriction was put in place on August 11, 2017 as one of the mitigation measures following the deaths of several North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in a short period of time. The speed restriction applies to vessels travelling in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence, between the Quebec north shore and just north of Prince Edward Island.  The Government of Canada is working with the maritime industry to find more permanent solutions to protect the North Atlantic right whales.

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The Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, has announced the creation of the NAFTA Advisory Council on the Environment.  A modernized North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) presents an opportunity to strengthen environmental protections.  When NAFTA came into effect in 1994, it was the first free-trade agreement to link the environment and trade through a historic side chapter on environmental cooperation between Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. In the more-than-three decades since, the close cooperation between these countries has led to positive environmental action across North America while their economies have grown and have become more integrated. During these decades, the world has come to recognize that protecting the environment, addressing climate change, and supporting economic growth go hand in hand.

The ten-member council brings together prominent Canadians from politics, law, and Indigenous groups. This expert council includes former Quebec premier, Pierre-Marc Johnson; former British Columbia premier, Gordon Campbell; former Saskatchewan cabinet minister, Janice MacKinnon; and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami President, Natan Obed. The council will advise the Minister as Canada looks to strengthen environmental protections in a modernized NAFTA.

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Transport Canada issued a news release stating that it will be investing $175 millions of dollars under the Oceans Protection Plan to protect Canada's Arctic waters. Investments will be made in safety equipment and basic marine infrastructure in northern communities, while low impact shipping corridors will be identified in coastal waters.  Investments include:

  • $94.3 million over five years to support safer, and more efficient Arctic resupply operations through the Federal Investments in Safety Equipment and Basic Marine Infrastructure in Northern Communities Initiative.
  • The Government of Canada will enhance partnerships with Indigenous communities and Arctic stakeholders to establish Low Impact Shipping Corridors. The shipping routes established through these initiatives will provide the infrastructure, navigational support and emergency response services needed for safer marine navigation, while respecting the environment and local ecology and cultures.
  • $29.9 million to build a new Arctic National Aerial Surveillance Program Complex in Iqaluit, Nunavut featuring a hangar and accommodations unit, to further improve spill prevention. This investment will enhance Transport Canada’s National Aerial Surveillance Program Arctic operations to keep a watchful eye over the growing number of ships operating in Canada’s Arctic waters.
  • $21 million over five years for Transport Canada‘s Marine Training Contribution Fund. This investment will enhance and expand marine training and opportunities to underrepresented groups, including Indigenous people, Northerners and women in Canada’s Arctic.
  • $16.89 million over five years to establish Transport Canada’s Office of Incident Management, which will modernize and standardize the department’s incident response processes. The Office will oversee implementation of the Incident Command System, a widely recognized and used response tool. This will improve the department’s response capability in emergency situations and improve seamless coordination with other response partners.
  • $13.4 million over five years to expand Transport Canada’s Community Participation Funding Program. This investment will facilitate meaningful partnerships with Indigenous groups and increase their participation and input into decisions affecting Canada’s marine transportation system.
  • The continued expansion of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary in the Arctic to bolster our collective ability to respond to maritime all-hazard incidents in the future. The Coast Guard Auxiliary is made up of trained volunteers who use their own vessels to respond to incidents in Canadian waters.

These new measures will allow Canada’s Northern territories to be better equipped, better regulated, and better prepared to protect their marine environment and coastal communities.

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The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has now released its report on the May 24 2016 collision of two tugs near Gabriola Island.  In the 6-8 seconds it took the master of the CT Titan to move from the flying bridge to the wheelhouse the tug veered to port and struck the bow of the Albern on the starboard side, causing the vessel to capsize and sink.  The investigation determined that it was the vessel’s tendency to veer to port or to starboard when the steering controls were unattended, as well as the rudders’ misalignment to port, that likely led to the CT Titan veering to port.  Following the occurrence the company sent 10 masters and 10 deckhands to attend a situational awareness and bridge resource management training course at a local training institute.



472 Strawberries


The Federal Government has announced that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will lead two projects worth $500,000 that use new DNA-based technologies to reduce the quarantine testing time, helping to boost trade and economic competitiveness in the $240 million Canadian fruit tree industry.  The first project will shorten the testing period of seeds, cuttings and bulbs imported into Canada.  Scientists will use DNA technology to test for all viruses associated with imported plants which could reduce quarantine testing time by up to two and a half years.  The second project streamlines the testing of strawberry plants. Multiple tests for viruses are required before exporting strawberry plants to foreign markets.  The project will test for multiple viruses in a single test, dramatically reducing the time and cost to get plants to market.  The Canadian strawberry plant industry is valued at 17 million.



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On August 16, Ron McKinnon, MP for Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam and Peter Xotta, Vice President, Planning and Operations at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) announced a federal contribution of $250,000 to the VFPA towards a project to assess real-time information on the supply chain performance for all rail cargo moving to and from the Port of Vancouver. The port authority launched the Supply Chain Visibility Project in 2015. The Government's contribution will fund a concept phase that will focus on measuring the performance of the grain and fertilizer sectors, while also addressing data quality issues. By analyzing railcar activity data in the Lower Mainland, the port authority's Supply Chain Visibility Project contributes to three objectives of the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Transportation Infrastructure Fund. These include improving the efficiency of the national multimodal transportation network; enhancing transportation infrastructure safety, security and quality of life; and, improving the connectivity of intermodal interfaces.



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August 11, 2017 Shédiac, New Brunswick Transport Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Today, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport and the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard issued the following statement:


“Canada takes the protection, conservation, and recovery of endangered species very seriously. The recent deaths of several North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence are extremely concerning.

“There is evidence that the North Atlantic right whales have been increasingly present in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in recent years. Our government has already taken action and will continue to ensure that measures are in place for the protection of this species and the safety of mariners using these waters.

“In our efforts to do everything possible to prevent further whale deaths, our government is today implementing a temporary mandatory slow down for vessels of 20 metres or more in length. Speed must be reduced to a maximum of 10 knots when travelling in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence from the Quebec north shore to just north of Prince Edward Island. This temporary measure is effective immediately.

“Transport Canada inspectors, with assistance from the Canadian Coast Guard’s Marine Communications and Traffic Services, will enforce this precautionary measure until the whales have migrated from the areas of concern. Failure to comply will result in an Administrative Monetary Penalty of up to $25,000.

“We continue to work with partners to better understand what may have caused the deaths of the North Atlantic right whales—to that end, several necropsies were carried on as many whales as possible.

“We have taken extensive action to ensure the protection of North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, including decisions around fisheries. To help prevent entanglements, the Snow Crab Fishing Area 12 in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence was closed, and other fixed gear fisheries such as rock and toad crab fisheries have either been restricted to fish in shallow water or have had a delayed opening. Future fisheries decisions relating to the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence will take the presence of North Atlantic right whales into account.

“In addition to the reduced speed requirements being introduced today, monitoring and enforcement will continue with Transport Canada’s National Aerial Surveillance Program and Fisheries and Oceans surveillance overflights to aid these new measures.

“Our government is already taking steps to protect Canada’s marine environment through a $1.5 billion investment in the Oceans Protection Plan. As part of the plan to protect marine mammals from the effects of shipping, including collisions and noise pollution, researchers are working to locate and track marine mammals in high vessel traffic areas and provide this information to mariners.

“We all have a responsibility to ensure that our marine resources are protected for future generations, and must take every step we can to help prevent whale deaths. As we take further concrete steps today, we continue to consider all options to help prevent future whale deaths.

“We look forward to the collaboration of all fishermen and mariners.”



Thursday, 10 August 2017 09:00

Let's Talk Whales

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On Tuesday August 8th, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for Burnaby North – Seymour, Terry Beech, on the behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced that Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is launching Let’s Talk Whales, an online public engagement that asks Canadians and stakeholders about proposed recovery measures to help three whale species in Canada: the North Atlantic Right Whale, the St. Lawrence Estuary Beluga and the Southern Resident Killer Whale.

The Let’s Talk Whales online engagement is one of many actions the Government of Canada is taking to help support the recovery of our whales.



Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), an agency established to promote the development and diversification of the economy of Western Canada will receive increased funding worth $25 million over five years.  With its two strategic priorities for 2017-18 on innovation and Indigenous economic growth, funding wil be directed towards : 

  • supporting small and medium-sized businesses that want to adopt new technologies and boost their innovation capacity;
  • nominating 50 firms across the country to participate in a federal program that will help them grow nationally and internationally;
  • investing $100 million annually across the country in clean technology; and
  • supporting a total of 250 Indigenous projects as they develop and diversify their economies.

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