Canada Border Services Agency has issued Customs Notice 18-17, an order imposing a 25% surtax on the importation of certain steel goods effective October 25, 2018. This includes, steel plate, concrete reinforcing bar, energy tubular products, hot-rolled sheet, pre-painted steel, stainless steel wire and wire rod. Absent a specific permit, the safeguard surtax will apply to all goods including those released from a Customs Bonded Warehouse or Sufferance Warehouse on or after October 25, 2018 when the Order comes into force.
BC Premier John Horgan, Washington state Governor, Jay Inslee, and Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Jonathan Wilkinson, met this week to discussion regional issues including the importance of ongoing joint efforts on protecting whale populations, specifically the at-risk Southern Resident Killer Whale population in view of the growing concerns about activity on the water and prey availability. BC and Washington State entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to act jointly to grow the region’s innovation economy, protect the environment and combat climate change, promote trade and improve transportation connectivity.
Canada Border Services Agency has issued Customs Notice 18-14, on the Arctic Shipping Electronic Commercial Clearances Program (ASECC) pilot program. The program provides a risk-based alternative approach for clearing commercial cargo and conveyances in the marine mode, for specific vessels destined to the Arctic. The program is being updated for the 2019 arctic shipping season.
The Governmet of Canada has announced that it will not appeal the Court’s August 30, 2018, decision on the Trans Mountain expansion project. It will instead, initiate Phase III consultations with all 117 Indigenous groups impacted by the project. The Government has appointed former Supreme Court of Canada Justice, the Honourable Frank Iacobucci as a Federal Representative to oversee the consultation process. He will initially provide advice on designing the process and will then oversee it to ensure that Indigenous consultations are meaningful and comply with the judgement of the Federal Court of Appeal. He will work directly with officials and other external experts, as appropriate. These measures build on the September 21, 2018, announcement in which the National Energy Board (NEB) has been instructed to reconsider its recommendation of TMX, taking into account the effects of project-related marine shipping and its adverse impacts on species at risk.
The Government of Canada is investing 184 four-season lighted navigation buoys to be deployed in the St. Lawrence River shipping channel, between Québec and Montréal. The four-season buoys are unique in the world, designed using Canadian Coast Guard expertise to withstand the severe ice and tidal conditions found in the St. Lawrence shipping channel. They will remain in the water year-round and only require maintenance every two to four years. The four-season buoys will replace the seasonal navigation buoys operated by the Coast Guard that are currently deployed each summer and winter. The reduction in servicing and maintenance required for the new buoys, will allow the Coast Guard to achieve operational efficiencies. In July 2018, the Government of Canada awarded a contract of $12,351,790 (including taxes) to Canam-Ponts from Québec, Quebec, for the procurement of 184 four-season lighted navigation buoys. The contract includes options to acquire up to 204 additional buoys.
The National Energy Board (NEB) has announced that it will hold a public hearing to carry out its reconsideration related to the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. The panel consisting of Lyne Mercier (presiding), Alison Scott, and Murray Lytle will reconsider aspects related to the application of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) and the Species at Risk Act and risks related to additional tanker traffic. The deadline for filing comments on the above, and for applying or registering to participate in the hearing, is October 3, 2018. The NEB is required to complete the reconsideration process and issue its resulting report no later than February 22, 2019.
Transport Canada has launched its consultation on hazardous and noxious substances. Input is needed to assist in the development of an approach to better prepare for and respond to releases of hazardous and noxious substances from ships into the marine environment. A discussion paper, Canada’s Preparedness and Response for Hazardous and Noxious Substances Released from Ships is now available. The deadline for comments is December 21, 2018.
Transport Canada has released an executive summary of the Literature Review done in conjunction with the national Oceans Protection Plan Cumulative Effects of Marine Shipping Initiative. Comments and responses to four introductory questions on marine activities to date are available at https://letstalktransportation.ca/cems and further input is invited.
During the G7 ministerial meetings in Halifax this week, the Government of Canada outlined its plans to address current threats to our oceans and fisheries by combatting illegal fishing, fighting marine litter and plastic pollution, and building resilient communities. $148M will go to various initiatives, including funds towards the Global Fishing Watch program, the creation of an international fund to address plastic waste in developing countries, and support small island developing states (SIDS). Details can be found at Canada.ca/Our-Oceans.
Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada has been named Honorary Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard. The Honorary Chief Commissioner’s roles and responsibilities include national ceremonial and promotional initiatives that celebrate the crucial role the Canadian Coast Guard plays in saving lives and protecting the marine environment.
Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) has launched an engagement plan to develop a regional growth strategy with Western Canadians for Western Canadians. The Government is committing $208 million over five years to promote the development and diversification of the Western Canadian economy. This strategy will grow the region’s economy, create good middle-class jobs, and lay the foundation for long-term prosperity across the four western provinces. Western Canadians are invited to share their ideas online to help shape the Western Canada Growth Strategy.
This week the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, and the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, hosted a roundtable discussion to provide grain producers, shippers, and railways an opportunity to share information, to address challenges specific to grain transportation, and support the implementation of new measures that will help advance common goals.
Topics covered included:
The Scott Islands Marine National Wildlife Area is the first to be protected under the Canada Wildlife Act and in close collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, the Province of British Columbia, and stakeholders. The protected area spans 11 546 km² around the Scott Islands and the conservation objective is to conserve migratory seabirds and species at risk as well as the habitats, ecosystems, and marine resources that support them. The Scott Islands Protected Marine Area Regulations, in conjunction with complementary measures by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Transport Canada to help mitigate fishing and shipping related concerns in the area, will provide an effective regulatory framework for the management of human activities within the boundaries of the area. An advisory committee, with technical and science advisory working groups, will also be established to provide advice and input into the development of an adaptive management plan for the Marine National Wildlife Area. A final management plan is expected in 2019.
Shell Canada concurrently announced its intent to voluntarily release almost 50 000 km2 of exploratory permits in the same region. Shell Canada’s Country Chair, Michael Crothers, announced the release of permits in the Queen Charlotte and Tofino basins, which overlap with about one third of the newly designated Scott Islands protected area.
As part of the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is developing a new, more collaborative approach to managing marine traffic issues in local waterways. Proactive Vessel Management is a new concept that involves strengthening collaboration between the Government of Canada, Indigenous peoples and coastal communities, provincial and municipal governments, the marine shipping industry and other marine stakeholders. This will be accomplished by creating forums for discussion and collaboration to develop measures that promote safe navigation and environmental protection in local waterways. A national framework will be developed to provide guidance and direction for how Proactive Vessel Management will be delivered across Canada. Transport Canada is reaching out across the country to seek your initial thoughts on this new concept. For more information and to provide feedback, visit the Let's Talk Oceans Protection Plan website.
Great video with Mario Pelletier, Canadian Coast Guard Deputy Commissioner of Operations, reporting on the arrival of new icebreakers. After travelling more than 3400 nautical miles and 14 days from Landskrona, Sweden, the three medium icebreakers arrived in Quebec and will soon join the Canadian Coast Guard fleet. The first of three icebreakers is expected to be operational this winter.