Friday, 05 October 2018 14:30

Next steps for Trans Mountain project

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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. 

Friday, 05 October 2018 14:26

New buoys for the Seaway

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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.

Friday, 28 September 2018 14:54

NEB begins the process for reconsideration

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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.

Friday, 28 September 2018 14:53

Hazardous and Noxious Substances Consultation

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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.

Friday, 21 September 2018 15:01

Cumulative effects of marine shipping update

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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. 

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The Government of Canada has launched an engagement plan with business, industry, academia, Indigenous Peoples, and different levels of government to help develop a ‘Made-in-Western-Canada’ growth strategy. The strategy will reflect unique regional advantages of each province and help stimulate economic growth. More information on the regional landscape of Western Canada can be found in the Western Canada Growth Strategy Engagement Paper. The public is encouraged to share their ideas through an online discussion forumgroup discussions, or e-mails to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The engagement period will close on November 16, 2018.

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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.

Friday, 21 September 2018 14:24

New Honorary Chief Commissioner of CCG

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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.

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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.

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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 Transportation Modernization Act, which provides a strengthened suite of freight rail measures for all shippers, including the ability to seek reciprocal financial penalties in service agreements with railways;
  • new data provisions that will significantly improve transparency across the freight rail system and provide insight into railway service and performance;
  • the importance of sharing information, particularly in the context of forecasting and planning; and,
  • the movement of all traffic during winter weather conditions.

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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.

Friday, 14 September 2018 11:24

CTA releases Annual Report

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The Canadian Transportation Agency has released its Annual Report 2017-2018 to provide an overview of its operations and accomplishments over the past year.

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