The Government of Canada received royal assent to Bill C-79, the act to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) today. Canada will be among the first group of CPTPP countries to bring the agreement into force, thus ensuring the country retains first-mover advantage in many thriving Asia-Pacific markets, including those with whom Canada did not previously have an agreement such as Japan and Singapore. Once the CPTPP is implemented, 99% of Canada’s current exports to CPTPP markets will enter tariff-free.
The Government of Canada has announced the creation of a stand-alone Arctic Region inclusive of the four regions of Inuit Nunangat for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the Canadian Coast Guard. The creation of the Arctic Region will be implemented in phases and has already begun with the hiring of new DFO Regional Director General, Gabriel Nirlungayuk, who will be based in Rankin Inlet, and a new Assistant Commissioner of the Coast Guard, Neil O’Rourke, who will be based in Yellowknife. They will both work with Inuit and all Indigenous peoples, as well as residents of the North to define the borders of the new Region and its activities.
The Standing Senate Committee on Banking,Trade and Commerce’s has released recommendations in a report called Canada: Still Open For Business? The report outlined a number of recommendations to the federal government to improve Canadian business competitiveness, including improving the movement of Canadian products to market.
The federal government’s $7.2 million investment in the marine satellite innovation company based in Cambridge will help exactEarth create and maintain 67 jobs and will support the Canadian company in becoming a world leader in real-time satellite Automatic Identification System (AIS) services for ship tracking. The project will allow the company to update its existing satellite network and to develop and integrate big data analytics into its services. exactEarth’s products will be used by the global shipping industry to optimize ship routing, in turn helping reduce fossil fuel consumption and the impact of shipping on the ocean environment.
Thanks in part to this investment, exactEarth will invest more in R&D, see more intellectual property developed and retained in Canada, and continue its collaboration with universities and research institutions in the Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR) group. This collaboration includes exactEarth’s support for the WHaLE project, which focuses on developing a satellite system to reduce the number of collisions between whales and ships.
Transport Canada has issued Ship Safety Bulletin #12/2018 – Legalization of cannabis in Canada and vessel operation. The bulletin reminds authorized representatives and seafarers of their responsibility to operate vessels safely, taking into account the implications of the Cannabis Act and related amendments.
The push is on for Parliament to quickly ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade agreement so that Canada can reap the benefits that come from being an early adopter of the deal. Canada's CPTPP legislation, Bill C-79, passed the House of Commons on Tuesday and it is just now starting its journey through the Senate.
The federal government has given Lockheed Martin Canada the first crack at inking a contract to design Canada’s $60-billion fleet of new warships. Lockheed’s proposed design beat out two rival submissions to design the replacements for the navy’s entire frigate and destroyer fleets. Lockheed Martin Canada Inc. must pass the due diligence process first and it is anticipated a contract award will be in place this winter, with construction beginning in the early 2020s. The Canadian Surface Combatant project is the largest, most complex procurement ever undertaken by the Government of Canada.
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.