Transport Canada introduces new Arctic Shipping Safety and Pollution Prevention Regulations

News Release

January 10, 2018        Ottawa, Ontario         Transport Canada

Canada’s Arctic is a vast and diverse region that is an integral part of this country. Marine transportation in the Arctic connects Canada to other countries and provides an essential lifeline for northern communities.

To uphold the Government of Canada’s high standards for marine shipping in the north, Transport Canada has introduced new Arctic Shipping Safety and Pollution Prevention Regulations. The regulations incorporate the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (the Polar Code) into Canada’s domestic legislation.

The Polar Code addresses the unique hazards encountered by certain vessels that operate in the Arctic and Antarctic. The Polar Code and Canada’s new regulations include a variety of safety and pollution prevention measures, including those related to vessel design and equipment, vessel operations and crew training. Drawing from decades of experience as an Arctic regulator, Canada played a key leadership role in developing the Polar Code at the International Maritime Organization.

In addition, Transport Canada is taking action to protect our coasts and support safe and responsible shipping in Arctic waters through the Oceans Protection Plan. The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced in August 2017 more than $175 million in funding to help protect Arctic waters.

As part of the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government committed to reviewing the Pilotage Act to support the delivery of safe, efficient and environmentally responsible pilotage services. The ongoing review addresses a wide range of topics including governance, safety, labour models, tariffs, economic considerations and emerging issues, including pilotage in the North.

The $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. Through this plan, the Government of Canada is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coasts and waterways for generations to come. This work is being done in close collaboration with Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities. 


“These new regulations demonstrate Canada’s leadership on the international stage when it comes to shipping safety and pollution prevention in the Arctic. Under the Oceans Protection Plan, we will continue to protect the safety of those who travel on Canada’s waters and safeguard our coasts for future generations as we continue to support the economy.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau   
Minister of Transport

Associated Links


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

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

Search for related information by keyword: Transport | Transport Canada | Canada | Transport and infrastructure | general public | news releases

Page details

Date modified: