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.
The Canadian Grain Commission’s grain safety certification programs are now recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). The Canadian Grain Commission programs has met internationally accepted science-based standards in food safety management putting Canada in a stronger position to help grain handling companies meet both international regulatory and market-driven food safety demands.
The Canadian International Trade Tribunal has initiated an inquiry on the dumping and subsidizing of certain cold-reduced flat-rolled sheet products of carbon steel (alloy and non-alloy), in coils or cut lengths, in thicknesses up to 0.142 inches (3.61 mm) and widths up to 73 inches (1 854 mm) inclusive, originating in or exported from the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Each person or government wishing to participate in the inquiry and at the hearing as a party must file a notice of participation with the Tribunal on or before September 7, 2018. Further details regarding this inquiry, including the schedule of key events, are contained in the documents entitled “Additional Information” and “Inquiry Schedule” appended to the notice of commencement of inquiry available on the Tribunal’s website.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has released new mandate letters for the Ministers appointed in July's cabinet shuffle, including Jim Carr, new Minister of International Trade and Diversification, Jonathan Wilkinson, new Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, François-Philippe Champagne, new Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Bill Blair, new Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction. Changes to parliamentary secretaries have also been announced, including Terry Beech, MP Burnaby North – Seymour, who moves from Fisheries and Oceans to Transport.
The Government of Canada has released a discussion paper, Strengthening Marine Environmental Protection and Response: Potential Legislative Amendments, to provide information on the overall direction of the potential changes being considered to better protect marine environments from the impacts of shipping, strengthen the spill response regime, and support research and innovation.
A new Canadian Coast Guard search and rescue station will be built in Tahsis, BC to allow for an enhanced response to marine emergencies on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island. The new station will be home to a 14.7-metre Canadian Coast Guard lifeboat, and will operate 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year. It is expected to open in early 2020. The Government of Canada worked closely and in partnership with the Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nation in selecting the location for this new station.
The Royal Canadian Navy’s fleet will benefit from two contracts awarded to acquire, upgrade, and sustain defensive systems for the Royal Canadian Navy. The two contracts are as follows:
RAMSES is an electronic attack system that protects the modernized Halifax-class frigates against radio frequency guided missiles. It employs jamming signals to track and distract anti-ship missiles from hitting the ship. MASS is an integral part of the anti-ship missile defence suite. It is a firing system used to launch decoys to project vessels against anti-ship missiles guided by radio frequency, laser and infrared seekers.
A $610-million contract has been awarded to Chantier Davie, of Lévis, Quebec for the acquisition of three icebreakers and work to prepare the first ship for service in the Canadian Coast Guard. The first vessel is expected to begin operations for the upcoming icebreaking season, beginning in December 2018. The second and third vessels will be converted, refit and available to support Coast Guard programs by the summer of 2019 and the winter of 2019-2020, respectively. This contract will help to secure up to 200 well-paying middle class jobs at Chantier Davie.
Following an open and competitive process initiated through the Oceans Protection Plan, Atlantic Towing Limited of Saint John, New Brunswick, has been awarded a three-year contract worth $67M for the lease of two emergency offshore towing vessels that will operate in the waters off the coast of British Columbia. The vessels are capable of towing large commercial ships in distress, such as tankers and container ships, before they get too close to shore. As part of the contract, Atlantic Towing Limited will also provide training in offshore emergency towing to Coast Guard personnel and partners, including Indigenous communities, involved in marine safety.