Government of Canada collaborates with Indigenous communities to address underwater vessel noise along the Trans Mountain shipping route

News release

September 8, 2020      Vancouver, British Columbia      Transport Canada

The Government of Canada values the traditional knowledge and expertise of Indigenous Peoples and coastal communities in protecting our coasts. In response to concerns raised by Indigenous communities during the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMX), the Government of Canada launched the Quiet Vessel Initiative, which addresses the impacts of underwater vessel noise on Canada’s marine environment and vulnerable marine mammals, including Southern Resident killer whales.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau announced funding of up to $2.5M over three years for 29 eligible Indigenous communities along the Trans Mountain shipping route to participate in the Quiet Vessel Initiative.

Eligible Indigenous groups have until November 25, 2020, to apply for funding to participate. Eligible Indigenous groups include:

  • Musqueam Indian Band
  • Pauquachin First Nation
  • Squamish Nation
  • Scianew (Beecher Bay) Indian Band
  • Tsawwassen First Nation*
  • Semiahmoo First Nation
  • Tsleil-Waututh Nation
  • Songhees (Lekwungen) Nation
  • Cowichan Tribes
  • Tsartlip First Nation
  • Halalt First Nation
  • Tsawout First Nation
  • Lake Cowichan First Nation
  • Tseycum First Nation
  • Lyackson First Nation
  • T’Sou-ke First Nation
  • Penelakut Tribe
  • Ditidaht First Nation
  • Snaw-naw-as (Nanoose) First Nation
  • Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h First Nations  (Maa-nulth)*
  • Snuneymuxw (Nanaimo) First Nation
  • Huu-ay-aht First Nations (Maa-nulth)*
  • Stz’uminus (Chemainus) First Nation
  • Pacheedaht First Nation
  • Esquimalt Nation
  • Toquaht Nation (Maa-nulth)*
  • Malahat Nation
  • Uchucklesaht Tribe (Maa-nulth)*
  • Ucluelet First Nation (Maa-nulth)*
    *n.b. Modern treaty holder

By participating in the initiative, Indigenous groups will help evaluate the most promising technologies, vessel designs, retrofits and operational practices to reduce underwater vessel noise. Indigenous participation will also increase local capacity and technical training in these areas.

A virtual information session with eligible Indigenous groups will take place in early September to support the application process.


“Canada’s vulnerable marine environment, including the iconic Southern Resident killer whales, deserves our ongoing commitment to preserve and protect it. That is why the Government of Canada launched the Quiet Vessel Initiative in order to address the impacts of underwater vessel noise. We are now inviting Indigenous groups to share their traditional knowledge and participate in the testing of this initiative, and we look forward to collaborating with them to protect the marine environment.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

Quick facts

  • The Trans Mountain Expansion project began construction in December 2019, and will be an important driver in Canada’s economy, which will also provide well-paying jobs, training, compensation and contracting to Indigenous peoples.

  • The Quiet Vessel Initiative is a five-year, $26 million initiative, part of the Phase III Trans Mountain Expansion project consultations, and is one of eight accommodation measures developed to address the concerns of potentially affected Indigenous groups.

Associated links


Livia Belcea
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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