Trudeau Unveils Oceans Protection Plan
Vancouver, B.C.- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a $1.5 billion five year plan to protect Canada’s ocean coast lines.
The announcement comes one day after Minister of Transport Marc Garneau visited Bella Bella, where efforts to control a diesel spill have been underway since a tug ran aground last month.
The plan, has four main priority areas:
- creating a world-leading marine safety system that improves responsible shipping and protects Canada’s waters, including new preventive and response measures;
- restoring and protecting the marine ecosystems and habitats, using new tools and research, as well as taking measures to address abandoned boats and wrecks;
- strengthening partnerships and launching co-management practices with Indigenous communities, including building local emergency response capacity; and,
- investing in oil spill cleanup research and methods to ensure that decisions taken in emergencies are evidence based.
The funding will start to be rolled out next year and will include
- Enhanced resources for the Canadian Coast Guard, including new rescue stations, new towing capacity, and new communications equipment.
- New research into the impacts of increased shipping on marine ecosystems will be funded and
- funding for new oil spill response methods.
The Federal Government is expected to release its final decision in the Kinder Morgan pipeline project by December 19th.
The Wilderness Committee is rejecting today’s Ocean’s Protection plan saying it will not be effective in dealing with a spill from a tanker carrying diluted bitumen. “Seven times the number of tar sands tankers in Vancouver’s harbour makes a spill an inevitability,” said Wilderness Committee Climate Campaigner Peter McCartney. “Today’s announcement doesn’t make west coast residents feel any less afraid of Kinder Morgan’s proposed risky pipeline project. ”
A world class spill response regime is one of five conditions Premier Christy Clark has set before her government will approve either the Kinder Morgan, or Enbridge pipeline projects. It is not yet known if the just announced Oceans Protection Plan will meet the standards for B.C.’s approval