Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

February 15, 2017 18:08 ET

Enhanced environmental response under the Oceans Protection Plan

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Feb. 15, 2017) - Under the Oceans Protection Plan (OPP), the Government of Canada is increasing the Coast Guard's capacity to prevent and respond to marine emergencies and pollution incidents by providing new personnel, equipment, and training. This historic $1.5 billion investment will make Canada a world leader in marine safety and helps ensure that Canada's coasts remain healthy, clean and safe for generations to come.

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, was at the Coast Guard's Sea Island base today to discuss enhanced marine environmental response capacity in British Columbia.

New lifeboat stations, modern equipment, and emergency tow packages are among the measures that will be put in place under the OPP. The Government of Canada will also be establishing a dedicated Primary Environmental Response Team (PERT) near Port Hardy, British Columbia. Four PERTs composed of dedicated, specially trained personnel, will be established under the OPP. These teams will strengthen the Coast Guard's on-the-scene capacity to respond to marine pollution incidents.

Other measures under the OPP include: restoring and protecting marine ecosystems and habitats and a concentrated campaign to inspect tugs and barges in B.C to ensure compliance with all safety regulations. The Government of Canada will also introduce legislation by spring 2017 to formalize a moratorium for crude oil tankers on B.C.'s north coast. The moratorium is another measure to protect Canada's water and pristine coastline, and is complementary to OPP.


"The goal of the OPP is to work collaboratively with Indigenous communities and other partners to create a world-leading marine safety system, including new preventive and response measures that will better protect Canadians, our waters and our coasts. Investing in personnel, training and equipment is essential to ensure that the Coast Guard can continue and expand its vital role in keeping Canadian waterways safe and clean."

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick Facts

  • The Oceans Protection Plan will include over $1.5 billion in funding over five years, starting in 2017-18.
  • The Canadian Coast Guard's Sea Island base supports approximately 300 search and rescue marine incidents per year, saving approximately 300 lives.
  • The Oceans Protection Plan includes two new emergency towing vessels for the West Coast and emergency tow kits on 25 of the Canadian Coast Guard's large vessels across Canada.
  • The Government of Canada will be building six new search and rescue lifeboat stations, as well as installing six new radar sites under the Oceans Protection Plan.

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