Transport Canada has released its news release today advising of the interim anchorage protocol that was implemented on February 8th for a six month trial period. As noted, the protocol includes temporary measures such as ensuring the equitable distribution of anchorages among the Southern Gulf Islands; implementing noise and lighting restrictions for anchored vessels; monitoring, and a monthly review of the South Coast anchorages, including overflights of the area by the National Aerial Surveillance Program.
The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, has made the following long-awaited appointments and reappointments:
Pacific Pilotage Authority:
Ridley Terminals Inc.:
Prince Rupert Port Authority
The Government of Canada has introduced Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts in the House of Commons. The key proposal is a assessment process that shifts away from “environmental assessments” towards “impact assessments”, which will consider socioeconomic impacts of a project in addition to environmental considerations. According to the Environment Minister, this process will also consider whether projects are consistent with Canada’s climate change commitments under the Paris Agreement. Impact assessments will be overseen by a new agency called the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.
With respect to navigable waters, the legislation includes amendments to the Navigation Protection Act, that will:
The Canadian Coast Guard, and Environment and Climate Change Canada will hold its second round of Pacific Dialogue Forums for the Government of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan on March 8 & 9 in Prince Rupert. This upcoming engagement session will seek further input of select ongoing initiatives, along with the introduction of several new initiatives. Topics of focus will include:
On behalf of the Canadian Coast Guard, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit bids for the lease of two vessels capable of towing large commercial ships in distress off the coast of British Columbia. These vessels will be leased by the Canadian Coast Guard and operated by crews trained in Canadian Coast Guard emergency response and search and rescue procedures. The RFP closes on March 20, 2018.
Transport Canada issued a news release stating that $12.6 million over three years to the Nunavut Fisheries and Marine Training Consortium to deliver a Marine Training Program in the North. he Marine Training Program will reduce barriers to marine training for underrepresented groups in the marine labour force, such as women, Northerners, Inuit and Indigenous peoples. The Nunavut Fisheries and Marine Training Consortium will establish a marine training facility in Hay River, Northwest Territories through partnership with the Government of Northwest Territories. The Consortium will also expand its existing training program in Nunavut and Nunavik. Funding will help curricula development and the purchase of new specialized marine training equipment.
The BC government is creating more uncertainty around Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain expansion project (TMEP) with a proposal to restrict any increase in diluted bitumen shipments until it conducts more spill response studies. The Province will create an independent scientific advisory panel to help address the scientific uncertainties outlined in the report, The Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel: The Behaviour and Environmental Impacts of Crude Oil Released into Aqueous Environments. The recommendations of the advisory panel will inform future regulatory development and approaches to spill response. While the advisory panel is proceeding, the Province is proposing regulatory restrictions to be placed on the increase of diluted bitumen transportation. Alberta's Premier Notley has retaliated by suspending talks with BC on the purchase of electricity, representing revenues of about $500 million to the province annually.
The Government of Canada, World Economic Forum (WEF), and other global partners are testing a new concept in border security, which will let travellers digitize their personal information and share it with airport and government authorities before traveling. The Known Traveller Digital Identity prototype, launched at this week’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, aims to exploit an array of emerging technologies including biometrics, blockchain and artificial intelligence to boost cross-border security, reduce the threat of cyber-terrorism and streamline international travel, according to the WEF. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Canadian Border Services Agency and Transport Canada are involved in discussions about implementation.
The Government of Canada has launched a new webpage where exporters can register a trade barrier. Through this new web page Canadian businesses can now register a trade barrier and then work with the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service and partner departments to address trade barriers affecting their exports or investments abroad. Barriers can be (and are not limited to) administrative procedures, quantitative restrictions (such as quotas), price controls, licensing requirements, product labelling requirements and privacy requirements.
The Canadian Coast Guard will be seeking proposals to remove all "recoverable oil" from the Manolis L shipwreck on Newfoundland's northeast coast. The environmental impact of the Liberian-flagged Manolis L that sank in 1985 has been monitored routinely and annual maintainance has helped contain leaks from the damaged hull. The government plans to award the contract by spring of 2018 with operations commencing in summer 2018 to remove most of the estimated 115,000 to 150,000 litres of oil that remains onboard.
Government of Canada will invest $700 million through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) over the next five years to grow Canada’s clean technology industry, protect the environment and create jobs. The investment will enable the BDC to take on more risk to help high-potential clean tech firms expand by providing them with the capital they need to hire new staff, develop products, support sales, and scale up and compete globally.
Transport Canada has introduced new Arctic Shipping Safety and Pollution Prevention Regulations. The regulations incorporate the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (the Polar Code) into Canada’s domestic legislation.
The Polar Code addresses the unique hazards encountered by certain vessels that operate in the Arctic and Antarctic. The Polar Code and Canada’s new regulations include a variety of safety and pollution prevention measures, including those related to vessel design and equipment, vessel operations and crew training. Drawing from decades of experience as an Arctic regulator, Canada played a key leadership role in developing the Polar Code at the International Maritime Organization.
On January 11th 2018 Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced that the temporary mandatory slowdown for vessels that had been in place since August 11th 2017 in the Gulf of St. Lawrence had been lifted. There have been no sightings of the North Atlantic right whales in the area of the slow-down in recent weeks. The temporary mandatory slow-down was implemented after the unprecedented deaths of 12 right whales during the summer of 2017, some of which were determined to be as a result of ship strikes. Transport Canada issued 13 penalties to vessels for alleged non-compliance during the temporary mandatory slowdown period. The global population of the North Atlantic right whale is approximately 450.
The Canadian Coast Guard has entered into two supply arrangements (SAs) to enhance its marine services, including ice clearance, icebreaking, vessel assistance, towing, maintaining aids to navigation, responding to shipboard fires, and stablizing vessels in distress. Le Groupe Océan inc. and McKeil Marine Limited are the private sector partners selected to provide the additional support in the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes region on an as/when needed basis. These agreements are intended to facilitate commercial navigation, and also to ensure the protection of marine environments by making more resources available to the Coast Guard in the event of an environmental response. In addition to these arrangements, the Coast Guard continues to assess its options in the short and long term to increase its icebreaking capability.
Rankin Inlet, with a population of 2,800, has been selected as the site of Canada's first Arctic inshore rescue boat station. The station is set to open this summer depending on ice conditions and weather and will consist of a six-person crew operating out of an existing building and a nine-metre, enclosed rigid-hull inflatable boat. The station is just the latest among 25 student-run rescue stations in Canada. However, its first few seasons will include seasoned veterans among six Indigenous students being recruited by the Canadian Coast Guard in the North. Crew members will undergo initial training alongside their southern-station counterparts in Ontario. This initial training will include Canada's national search and rescue system, search patterns, boat handling, marine first aid, and radio communication.
Through the Oceans Protections Plan and its efforts to improve Canada's capacity to prevent and respond to marine pollution incidents, the Canadian Coast Guard is soliciting bids for new environmental response equipment to contain and remove oil and other contaminants from the water in the case of a spill. This will be the first equipment acquired under the Environmental Response Equipment Modernization initiative. The requests for proposals have been issued for equipment, including curtain booms, high-speed sweep systems, and small, portable multi-cassette skimmers.
The Government of Canada has announced that more than $80 million will go to new science funding for new partnerships, improved knowledge and new technologies that will help mitigate and prevent marine incidents such as oil spills. $45.5 million will support a new research program and leverage worldwide collaboration and best practices. A further $16.8 million will support oil spill research focussed on how oil behaves and degrades in different conditions, including cold water and the final $17.7 million will go towards enhancing ocean models of winds, waves and currents, so that emergency responders can accurately track spills and predict their path. Enhanced ocean modelling will also support safe marine navigation and help prevent spills from happening.
These investments in ocean modelling, oil spill behavior, biological effects, containment and cleaning techniques will ensure that Canada has both the capability and capacity to provide the best scientific advice and tools to prevent, and respond to, oil spills.