Ministers announce Canada's Oceans Protection Plan in Eastern Canada

News Release

November 7, 2016 – St. John's (Newfoundland and Labrador) / Halifax (Nova Scotia) Government of Canada

Every day, Canadians across the country rely on transportation to get to work, bring their children to school, and ship their products to market. The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the country's marine environment by ensuring goods are imported and exported in a safe and responsible way.

Today, in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced a $1.5 billion national Oceans Protection Plan.

The Plan improves marine safety and responsible shipping, protects Canada's marine environment, and creates stronger partnerships with Indigenous and coastal communities. The plan meets or exceeds international standards and is supported by commitments to Indigenous co-management, environmental protections, and science-based standards.

As part of the Oceans Protection Plan, the following initiatives were announced:

  • The re-opening of the Maritime Rescue Sub-centre in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. This rescue centre provides regional capacity to facilitate effective operational coordination and response to all-hazard marine incidents.
  • The construction of two new Canadian Coast Guard lifeboat stations in Newfoundland and Labrador areas to improve search and rescue.
  • The refurbishment of the Canadian Coast Guard St. Anthony, Newfoundland and Labrador, lifeboat station.
  • The building of two new radars in Atlantic Canada – one to be installed in the Strait of Belle Isle area, and the second one in Chedabucto, Nova Scotia.
  • Increased domestic and international scientific collaboration on oil spill response through investments for Fisheries and Oceans Canada's world-leading Centre for Offshore Oil, Gas and Energy Research in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
  • Continued investment in response planning for the Strait of Canso, Nova Scotia, and the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, including bringing together baseline biology, ecology, social, cultural, and economic data.
  • Improved timely availability of science-based expertise during incidents by placing additional emergency and enforcement officers in Atlantic Canada.
  • Increased marine safety information for mariners and improving hydrography, charting, and e-navigation products, including for the Strait of Canso, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick.
  • Investment in research to support new and refined oceanographic oil spill trajectory models, including for the Strait of Canso, Nova Scotia, and the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick.
  • Learning how to better protect marine mammals from shipping-related threats.
  • The launch of a comprehensive plan to address abandoned, derelict and wrecked vessels, including making vessel owners responsible and liable for vessel clean-up.

Moving forward, Canada will be better equipped, better regulated, and better prepared to protect marine environment and coastal communities, achieving a world-leading marine safety system. These new measures will contribute to Canadians and to growing the middle-class.


"Through the Oceans Protection Plan, Canada's world-leading marine safety system will respond better, quicker and more effectively to marine spills and incidents along all of our coasts and major waterways, including in Atlantic Canada. In addition, preventative measures will help ensure marine spills and incidents do not happen in the first place. Most importantly, this work will be done in strong partnership with Indigenous and coastal communities, valuing their traditional knowledge and expertise in preserving our coasts and their pristine beauty for generations to come."
The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

"Under Canada's Oceans Protection Plan, we are taking decisive steps to address the needs and protection of Canada's three coasts such as following through on our Government's commitment to re-open the Canadian Coast Guard Maritime Rescue Sub-centre. Canada's Oceans Protection Plan will strengthen Canada's Coast Guard to better serve Atlantic Canadians, while investing in better science to inform our decision making and getting the right regulations in place to protect our precious coastlines and waterways for future generations."
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

"Today's announcement demonstrates that the Government of Canada is taking action to ensure a clean environment and a strong economy go hand-in-hand. The Oceans Protection Plan will support good jobs for middle-class Atlantic Canadians, help us better fulfil our environmental protection responsibilities to Canadians, advance our science, and keep our waters and wildlife safe for generations to come."
The Honourable Catherine McKenna
Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Delphine Denis
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

Twitter: @transport_gc
Facebook: @TransportandInfrastructureinCanada

Sébastien Belliveau
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Twitter: @DFO_MPO

Caitlin Workman
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll free)

Twitter: @environmentca
Facebook: @EnvironmentandNaturalResourcesinCanada

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