I tweeted about Transport Minister Marc Garneau's speech about the 30 year vision of Transport Canada, commenting that there was little in there, especially specifics, about the Marine Sector. He promptly tweeted back saying that the Prime Minister made those announcement four days later - Protection our coast 1.9 billion $. Given the dismal response to Nathan E Stewart grounding and minor spill, and the pipeline push, the government has to do something, although its not really all that interesting for us in particular.
I would like to see more active Transport Canada staff, streamlining of personnel regulations, and a very severe crackdown on issuance of CTA waivers and Temporary Foreign Worker Program, or scrap those whole processes altogether. The good news, is that I do not see to many recommendations for that idiotic Emerson report in these announcements. But this government is still using some of the stupid naming and theatrics of the Harper Regime, so I wonder how much this is bluster, or does it pass the scratch test. Here is some details from the PM's announcement. Aside from the usual pandering to the squeaky wheels, there is some real action... promised (in bold)
Vancouver, British Columbia November 7, 2016 http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2016/11/07/can ... ts-canadas
The national Oceans Protection Plan will help Canada achieve a world-leading marine safety system for our country’s unique context that will increase the Government of Canada’s capacity to prevent and improve response to marine pollution incidents.
Working with partners and engaging Indigenous and coastal communities, the Government of Canada will develop regulations and other tools to better respond to local marine traffic issues. For example, it will:
Support enhanced sharing of marine traffic information with local communities in real-time; Make navigation safer by providing modern hydrography and charting in key areas of high traffic commercial ports and waterways, dynamic products, and new navigational aids; Improve marine traffic monitoring by opening new radar sites in key strategic locations on the West and East coasts improving marine safety in key traffic areas;
Improve availability of science-based expertise during incidents by placing additional emergency and enforcement officers on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts;
Strengthen the Polluter-Pays Principle by amending the Canadian Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund to ensure adequate industry-funded compensation is available for those affected by oil spills; and
Set tougher requirements on industry to provide quicker action for any spills from a ship.
Stronger Canadian Coast Guard
The Oceans Protection Plan will expand the Canadian Coast Guard’s (CCG) role in patrolling and monitoring Canada’s marine environment 24/7 and acting as a first responder to marine incidents. For example, it will:
Strengthen CCG’s Marine Communications and Traffic Services Centres (Canada’s ears and eyes on the water) to ensure uninterrupted communications with mariners;
Re-open the Maritime Rescue Sub-centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, to promote more effective operational coordination and response to all-hazard marine incidents; Increase towing capacity by leasing two large vessels capable of towing commercial vessels and large container ships; and
Install towing kits on CCG major vessels to improve capacity to take swift action to avoid disasters.
Better coordinated federal emergency response
With increased capacity on all three coasts, the Government of Canada will be in a better position to work closely with Indigenous and local communities to assess risks and respond quickly to marine emergencies and pollution incidents. For example, the CCG will:
Form new Indigenous Community Response Teams in British Columbia, which will offer training for search and rescue, environmental response, and incident command. This approach will enable them to play a greater role in marine safety in their community.
Expand the CCG Auxiliary’s vital role. This 4,000 + network of search and rescue volunteers will begin to engage in environmental response so first response to reports of oil spills can be faster and more efficient.
Conduct regular response exercises with communities, stakeholders and Indigenous communities to ensure response readiness.
Other future plans include: Building six new lifeboats stations in strategic West and East locations to ensure faster response times, and a new environmental response depot with modern response equipment and a dedicated Primary Environmental Response Team near Port Hardy, British Columbia.
Creating four additional Primary Environmental Response Teams composed of dedicated, specially trained personnel, to strengthen CCG on-the-scene capacity across Canada during marine pollution incidents.
Safer and cleaner Northern Canada
The Government of Canada will:
Provide funding for on-the-ground marine safety equipment and infrastructure for northern coastal communities. These investments will aim to improve environmental protection and achieve faster, safer, and more efficient Arctic resupply operations in many northern communities.
Building on a new community boat program for Indigenous communities to be launched in British Columbia in 2017, launch a new community boat program in the Arctic to further strengthen Arctic search and rescue and emergency response. The program will start in British Columbia and expand to Arctic communities, providing key critical equipment to participating communities.
Create a seasonal inshore rescue boat station in the Arctic – the very first permanent search and rescue capacity in Northern Canada.
With these measures, Canada will be better informed, better prepared and better equipped to deal with marine emergencies and pollution incidents. Canada is putting the proper safeguards in place to move natural resources to global markets, improving economic prospects for all Canadians.Here's another announcements on the same day in the same direction... http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2016/11/07/can ... ecosystems
The Government of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan aims to
preserve and restore marine ecosystems vulnerable to increased marine shipping and development
To achieve this, the plan will reduce the impact of day-to-day vessel traffic on marine mammals by using sound science and local knowledge of local waters provided by Indigenous communities and other coastal community residents.
Protecting marine mammals
To protect marine mammals from the effects of shipping, including collisions and noise pollution, researchers will locate and track marine mammals in high vessel traffic areas and provide this information to mariners. They will also identify and assess the most pressing local environmental issues impacting the state of the species and the effectiveness of existing mitigation measures.
To better respond to marine mammal incidents, Fisheries and Oceans Canada Fishery Officers will develop a national approach and capacity, in line with international best practices, to respond to marine mammal incidents such as collisions, entanglements and strandings. This new capacity will bring with it the added benefit of enhancing compliance, enforcement and surveillance of marine protected areas.
Preventing and responding to marine pollution incidents
New investments will fund research to help improve emergency response to marine pollution incidents on the water drawing on the expertise and experience of the science community both in Canada and abroad.
New international partnerships will give Canadians access to the best technology available for spill clean-up
. A program will build on the work of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s world-leading Centre for Offshore Oil, Gas and Energy Research and will encourage collaboration on scientific research with Indigenous and local communities, international research facilities and industry.
In addition to this program, Government of Canada scientists will conduct research to better understand how different petroleum products behave in Canada’s waters and specific environmental conditions. This includes in cold weather, in freshwater and in ocean conditions.
Over the next five years, researchers will run a pilot project in six priority areas to build and refine ocean models using information such as currents, winds and waves to better inform responders. This system will allow them to accurately track spills and predict their path.
These initiatives will give Canada better information and technology to avoid and respond to a spill.
Restoring coastal ecosystems
Working closely with Indigenous and coastal communities, the Government of Canada will: create a pilot baseline monitoring program to better understand the cumulative effects of shipping on coastal ecosystems; develop appropriate mitigation measures; and better monitor clean-up in the event of a spill.
In addition to this program, investments will be made in the preservation and restoration of vulnerable coastal marine ecosystems. Funding will support the establishment of coastal zone plans and identify restoration priorities on all three coasts. Habitat restoration projects will engage Indigenous communities, resource users and local groups and communities.
Addressing abandoned, derelict and wrecked vessels
While most vessel owners properly dispose of their property, the Government of Canada recognizes the risks that abandoned, derelict and wrecked vessels pose to safe navigation, the marine environment, public health and local economies. This is why it has developed a comprehensive plan that focuses on prevention and removal, including a robust, polluter-pay approach for future vessel clean-up.
This new plan will: Prohibit owners from abandoning their vessels; Make vessel owners responsible and liable for the cost of any vessel clean-up as a result of abandonment, maritime casualty, or irresponsible vessel management;
Empower the Government of Canada to take more proactive action on vessels causing hazards before they become costly to address;
Improve the accuracy of vessel owner identification to help ensure they can be held responsible;
Create a list of problem vessels to understand the scope, scale and risks associated with this issue;
Work with provincial, territorial and local governments and Indigenous communities to support the clean-up of smaller high-priority vessels posing risks to coastal communities, and develop plans to address large commercial problem vessels, according to the risks they pose; and,
Promote education and outreach activities to inform owners of their responsibilities for proper vessel disposal. Here is the overall speech presenting the federal government's strategy.
Vancouver, British Columbia, November 7, 2016 http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2016/11/07/pri ... ction-plan
Whether facing the Atlantic, Pacific or Arctic oceans, the health and protection of our coasts are critical to our environment, our economy, and to all Canadians. Today, Canada is announcing a marine safety plan that meets – or exceeds – international standards and is supported by commitments to Indigenous co-management, environmental protections, and science-based standards.
Canada has the longest coastline in the world. Our coasts support traditional Indigenous and coastal community livelihoods, enable the export and import of our goods overseas, are home to abundant Canadian fisheries, attract tourism, and play a key role in strengthening the economy and growing our middle class.
It is therefore vital for Canada to have a plan to ensure that our coasts are protected in a modern and advanced way that ensures environmental sustainability, safe and responsible commercial use, and collaboration with coastal and Indigenous communities.
In order to meet these objectives, the Prime Minister today announced a $1.5 billion national Oceans Protection Plan.
The Oceans Protection Plan has four main priority areas:
creating a world-leading marine safety system that improves responsible shipping and protects Canada’s waters, including new preventive and response measures;
restoring and protecting the marine ecosystems and habitats, using new tools and research, as well as taking measures to address abandoned boats and wrecks;
strengthening partnerships and launching co-management practices with Indigenous communities, including building local emergency response capacity; and,
investing in oil spill cleanup research and methods to ensure that decisions taken in emergencies are evidence based.
The Oceans Protection Plan was developed based on work done over the past two years between Indigenous and coastal communities and various government programs, and will be implemented next year.
“Canada’s economy, environment and history are inextricably linked to our coastal regions. The $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan unveiled today will make Canada a world-leader in marine safety and takes a powerful step toward co-management of our coasts with Indigenous and coastal communities, together making sure they remain healthy, clean, and safe for generations to come.”
—The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
“As a government, everything we do, and every action we take, is done with one goal in mind: we want to leave our kids and grandkids with a better place to live – whether we’re creating good, well-paying jobs for the middle class; ensuring our communities are safe and protected; or taking the necessary action to safeguard our environment. And by working together with our partners along the coasts and across the country, I know we can preserve our coastlines for generations to come.”
—The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
A significant volume of Canada’s commodities and processed goods are exported via marine transportation.
Marine trade employs approximately 250,000 Canadians and injects more than $25 billion to Canada’s economy.
The Oceans Protection Plan will include over $1.5 billion in funding over five years, starting in 2017-18.
As soon as 2017, Canadians will begin to see concrete improvements, such as a Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre in St. John’s and legislation introduced to prohibit vessel abandonment in Canadian waterways.
As part of the new marine safety system, improved marine traffic and navigation information – including hydrography and charting – will be provided to mariners, Indigenous peoples, and coastal communities.
Enhanced resources will be provided to the Canadian Coast Guard, including new rescue stations, new towing capacity, and new communications equipment.
New research into the impacts of increased shipping on marine ecosystems will be funded.
New oil spill response methods will also be funded.