Statement by Minister Garneau on World Maritime Day


September 24, 2020         Ottawa        Transport Canada

The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, issued this statement today on World Maritime Day:

“Canada has the world’s longest coastline, covering over 243,000 kilometres, bordering three oceans and including the Great Lakes. Canadian waters include the largest fresh water system on earth. Protecting the marine environment and all users of our oceans and waterways is vital. That’s why this year’s International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) World Maritime Day theme—Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet—is of utmost importance to our country.

“This year’s COVID-19 pandemic brought many challenges to the forefront, at home and abroad. We thank our marine industry for its work on sustainable ways to contribute to the Canadian economy.  We thank the countless dedicated seafarers on the front lines who work relentlessly to sustain the safe movement of people and the essential goods our country depends on, especially during these challenging times. We appreciate that their work takes them away from their families for unprecedented amounts of time. As a maritime nation reliant on trade by sea, our country depends on the marine industry and marine workers, and their efforts are greatly appreciated.

“This year’s World Maritime Day theme reflects the current and future goals of the global maritime sector. Canada, an original member state of the IMO, contributes to international maritime planning in an effort to achieve sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet.

“Here at home, the Government of Canada is making sure our coasts are protected in innovative ways with the help of the latest technologies. I would like to highlight a few of the many activities we have implemented and continue to advance:

  • Since the Oceans Protection Plan was launched in November 2016, over 50 initiatives have been launched in the areas of marine safety, research and ecosystem protection that span coast-to-coast-to-coast. Through this plan, our marine safety system is stronger, and our coastal ecosystems more protected than ever before;
  • Canada is recognized as a global expert and leader on ballast water management, and Transport Canada has provided advice and valuable information to many IMO member states on this subject;
  • As the Minister of Transport, I am now authorized to issue interim orders to allow for immediate actions to be taken to address a pressing risk to marine safety or to the marine environment;
  • We are now enabling more proactive, rapid, and effective response to oil spills in Canada’s waters, while maintaining the polluter pays principle;
  • We support research and innovation to enhance marine safety and environmental protection;
  • We encourage women to consider a career in the marine industry; and
  • We are giving coastal communities, stakeholders, researchers, and Indigenous communities a stronger role in protecting Canada’s coasts and waterways.

“Our Government is committed to keeping our marine and coastal areas clean and safe for the benefit of current and future generations. These investments under the Oceans Protection Plan will ensure that Canada provides the best scientific advice and tools to protect our coasts while continuing to contribute globally towards sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet.” 


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

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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