Transport Canada has issued a new Ship Safety Bulletin on the IMO’s new Guidelines on Fatigue. The revised guidelines can be accessed here: http://www.imo.org/en/OurWork/HumanElement/Documents/MSC.1-Circ.1598.pdf
The Senate has voted to proceed with the oil tanker ban, against committee recommendation. Canada’s oil and gas sector has been adamantly against the legislation, believing that it will harm getting energy exports to market. Bill C-48 will now move to third reading, where Senators will be able to propose amendments. If ultimately successful, the bill will ban oil tankers carrying more than 12,500 metric tonnes of crude oil from stopping at ports or marine installations located along BC’s northern coast. Senators will still be able to propose amendments to Bill C-48 at the third reading.
The Government of Canada has released four Regulatory Roadmaps for targeted high-growth sectors, including agri-food and aquaculture, health and bio-sciences, transportation, and infrastructure. These sectors were identified for Regulatory Reviews in Budget 2018. For marine transportation the themes include the need for more flexibility in the regulatory framework, a need for more coordination among jurisdictions and collaboration with industry, and a need for clarity and certainty within the regulatory framework, and a need for greater digitization of services.
The Canadian Coast Guard has welcomed the CCGS Captain Molly Kool to its fleet in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. The vessel is the first of three that will be added to the fleet. To support future shipbuilding and attract more jobs to our communities, the Government also announced the intention to add a third Canadian shipyard, to be selected through a competitive process. The CCGS Captain Molly Kool will provide essential icebreaking services to ensure safe navigation, prevent ice jams and flooding, and maintain shipping routes. It is equipped to respond to search and rescue calls, and to provide aids to navigation and environmental responses.
The Government of Canada has announced several new measures that will help address the key threats to the SRKW, including the lack of prey, and acoustic and physical disturbance. The Government has issued an Interim Order, effective from June 1, 2019 to October 31, 2019, to protect whales from vessel disturbance. As of June 1, 2019:
Governor General has granted Royal Assent to changes to the Oceans Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act (Bill C-55). These changes allow the federal Government to put interim protections in place, stopping potentially harmful activities from taking place in at-risk marine ecosystems until the permanent designation of a Marine Protected Area is made. The freeze on new activity can be applied for up to five years in areas where there is an urgent need to provide environmental protection, giving enough time to conduct research and consultations, and determine the path forward.
The highest court in BC has ruled against the province’s efforts to restrict the transportation of diluted bitumen within its borders, as under Canada’s division of constitutional powers, the regulation of inter-provincial pipelines is within federal jurisdiction. Had the province succeeded, it could have severely impacted the proposed Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion. BC argued that the transportation of hazardous goods, and regulations for environmental protection should fall under the province’s jurisdiction. BC still has the option of appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Canadian Government plans to invest $15.7 billion to build up to 18 new Coast Guard ships. 16 multi-purpose vessels will be used for light icebreaking, environmental response and search; they will be constructed in a fleet renewal project anchored in Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyards. The two new Arctic and offshore patrol ships will perform duties further offshore; they will be modified for the Canadian Coast Guard and will be built at Irving Shipyards in Nova Scotia. In addition to the shipbuilding plan, the federal government is providing an additional $351.3 million to enhance capacity of the coast guard, strengthen management and oversight and promote a greener way of doing business.
The Canadian government has announced that it has hired Bollore Logistics Canada to return containers of household garbage and a mixture of discarded plastics, metals and paper back to Canada after they were mistakenly sent to the Philippines nearly six years ago. The containers are expected to return to Canada next month. The cost of the contract is just over $1.14-million. The container were originally shipped to the Philippines in 2013 and 2014, though the shipments were prohibited under the Philippines’ import regulations. In 2016 a Philippines court ordered the importers to ship the containers back to Canada at their own expense, but they did not comply with the court order. The Canadian company that shipped the garbage has since gone out of business.
The National Indigenous Fisheries Institute and the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard have announced the completion of a two-year review of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Indigenous programs, and the launch of the Northern Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative (NICFI). As part of this review process, the Institute engaged more than 50 Indigenous communities. The NICFI will provide funding and support to northern Indigenous groups and communities for the development of Indigenous-owned communal commercial fishing enterprises and aquaculture operations.
Canada has filed a 2,100-page submission with the Commission on the limits of the Continental Shelf at UN headquarters. The submission required more than a decade’s worth of scientific and legal work to determine the limits of Canada’s undersea landmass in the Arctic. This marks the first step in the process set out in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to obtain international recognition for the outer limits of the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean, which will confirm Canada’s rights over this area, and is a critical step to defining the map of Canada.
The controversial Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, Bill C-48, was rejected by the Senate’s Transport Committee this week after several amendments tabled by the Committee were opposed in the clause-by-clause review. The Committee’s recommendation to reject the bill will go the Senate for a vote later this month. The Senate is comprised of 65 independent, 9 Liberals and 30 Conservative senators and so far, no date has been set for the second reading and vote.
Another good news story, the U.S. is dropping its tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, almost exactly a year since the measures took effect. Global Affairs Canada said the tariffs will be removed within two days. Canada has agreed to lift tariffs that were imposed in retaliation. Tariffs of 25 per cent on imports of steel from Canada and 10 per cent on aluminum took effect on June 1, 2018. Canada’s steel and aluminum industries employed about 33,500 Canadians in 2017 and added $8.9 billion to the country’s gross domestic product, according to federal government figures.
Transport Canada has released Ship Safety Bulletin No.09/2019 to provide general information about the Regulations Amending the Navigation Safety Regulations (Automatic Identification Systems). These amendments will extend the AIS carriage requirements to vessels certified to carry more than 12 passengers or vessels that are more than 8 metres in length carrying passengers. The requirements come into force on June 15, 2019.
Parks Canada is revising its policy for national marine conservation areas (NMCAs) to ensure that it aligns with the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act (2002). The updates will reflect the experience Parks Canada has gained from more than 20 years of establishing and managing NMCAs. Changes to the NMCA policy and the development of regulations under the CNMCAA will help guide managers in their decision making, and will help to ensure that NMCAs are managed effectively. Between May 8 and June 20, 2019, feedback is requested on proposed changes to the policy framework and the development of regulations. For information on the proposed changes visit, https://www.letstalknmcas.ca/lets-talk-nmcas.
The Honourable Joyce Murray, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government has announced the launch of the External Advisory Committee on Regulatory Competitiveness. The committee seeks to bring together business leaders, academics and consumer representatives from across the country to advise the Treasury Board on regulatory competitiveness and innovation while ensuring Canadians’ health, security and safety, and protecting the environment. In addition, the committee will champion the use of regulatory pilots and identify areas of focus for the Centre for Regulatory Innovation.
Canada has joined the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 2007. It was incorporated into Canadian law through the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act, which received Royal Assent in late February. The Convention establishes a framework for hazardous wrecks resulting from marine incidents. Owners of large vessels (300 gross tonnage or larger) will now be required to prove that insurance or other financial security is in place to cover the potential costs of wreck removal.