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Canada announces Health of Oceans initiative


MONT-JOLI, QC– The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced a five-year commitment by Canada’s New Government to the Health of the Oceans Initiative.
“Canada’s New Government is committed to protecting Canada’s marine environment,” said Minister Cannon. “Over the next five years, our government will invest more than $60 million in initiatives which will bring tangible improvements to the health of our oceans and the economic health of our coastal communities. Transport Canada will invest $23.85 million under this initiative. Canada’s New Government is adding $42.5 million to the $19.0 million announced in Budget 2007 for Canada’s National Water Strategy.”

With its allocated funds, our Government protects Canada’s waterways from ship-source pollution by:

1. Enforcing ballast water regulations to protect Canada’s marine ecosystems from the risk posed by invasive aquatic species ($4.5 million over five years).
2. Increasing the capacity of the National Aerial Surveillance Program to detect oil spills, gather evidence to prosecute polluters and act as a deterrent to potential polluters ($13 million over five years).

3. Outfitting Transport Canada’s Dash 7 Surveillance Aircraft with a Maritime Surveillance System for use in Canada’s Arctic in order to track and identify polluters and gather prosecution information in all weather and during hours of darkness, when many illegal discharges occur ($5 million over three years).
4. Co-leading an international Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment to assess and predict marine shipping uses and activities, and the impacts of changing marine traffic.

Researching implementation of a Ship Waste Reduction Strategy ($800,000 over five years) to further prevent marine pollution from ships.


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