The Oceans Protection Plan is keeping Canada’s coastline clean

News release

July 16, 2021                             Ottawa                                      Transport Canada

Whether in the Atlantic, Pacific, or Arctic oceans, the health and protection of our coastline—the longest in the world—is critical to our environment, our economy, and to all Canadians.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, marked two important milestones for Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan. First, he announced almost $1.5 million for the removal of 32 abandoned boats in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador through the Abandoned Boats Program.

The Abandoned Boats Program helps restore local ecosystems and marine environments damaged by problem vessels; provides positive economic impacts such as increased tourism and harbor users; and improves navigability of harbours and waterways.

In addition, the Minister of Transport commemorated the second anniversary of the passing of the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act, which prohibits oil tankers carrying crude and persistent oils as cargo from stopping, loading, or unloading at ports or marine installations in northern British Columbia.

Launched in November 2016, the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. This national plan is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines and clean water for generations to come. This work is being done in close collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, local stakeholders, and coastal communities.


“The Government of Canada is committed to making our marine environment safer, and our coasts and waterways better protected than ever before. Our future generations will benefit from the protection of British Columbia’s pristine coast thanks to the Oceans Protection Plan.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

“Our ports and waterways are not dumping grounds. They’re centres of community, hubs of industry, and places of gathering for so many coastal Canadians. Wrecked, abandoned, and hazardous vessels take away from that potential and pose serious risks to the environment. Under our Oceans Protection Plan, we’re taking action to remove more and more of these dangerous vessels from coast-to-coast-to-coast. With each removal, we’re protecting and restoring Canada’s beautiful coastlines and waterways for generations to come.”

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“This is a great opportunity for Canada to support indigenous participation and reconciliation. Our unique partnership aligns our Heiltsuk values with the core values of Horizon Maritime to demonstrate how First Nations and industry can embark together on a practical step toward reconciliation, and in the Heiltsuk term for reconciliation, Haíɫcístut, “turn things around and make things right again.”

Marilyn Slett, Chief Councillor, Heiltsuk Nation

Quick facts

  • Since the launch of the Oceans Protection Plan in November 2016, over 50 initiatives have been introduced/implemented in the areas of marine safety, research and ecosystem protection that span coast-to-coast-to-coast.

  • Transport Canada’s Abandoned Boats Program is investing $6.85 million for abandoned boat assessment, removal and disposal, and for research and education initiatives. Since May 31, 2017, the program has launched six calls for proposals for projects to be funded through grants and contributions.

  • With today’s announcement:

    • The Town of Port au Choix (NL) will receive $50,000 for the removal and disposal of one boat.
    • St. Anthony Port Authority (NL) will receive $92,540 for the removal and disposal of one boat.
    • Nova Scotia Lands Inc. (NS) will receive $200,000 for the removal and disposal of four boats in Nova Scotia.
    • Heiltsuk Horizon Maritime Services Ltd. (BC) will receive $259,596 for the removal and disposal of eight boats in Bella Bella, BC
    • Coastal Restoration Society (BC) will receive $837,237 for the removal and disposal of 18 boats on the west coast of Vancouver Island, BC.
  • To ensure northern communities can receive critical shipments of heating oils and other products, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act (Bill C-48) allows vessels carrying less than 12,500 metric tonnes of crude or persistent oil as cargo to stop, load and unload in the moratorium area.

  • The Oil Tanker Moratorium Act (Bill C-48) received Royal Assent in June 2019, and provides a high level of protection for the coastline and vulnerable marine ecosystems around Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound. The moratorium area extends from the Canada/United States border in the north, down to the point on British Columbia’s mainland adjacent to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, and also includes Haida Gwaii.

  • The Government of Canada has consulted extensively with Indigenous groups, industry stakeholders and communities across Canada to inform development of Bill C-48.This legislation complements the existing voluntary Tanker Exclusion Zone, which has been in place since 1985.

Associated links


Allison St-Jean
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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