Toronto, ON — Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, announced a review of the Pilotage Act, one of five initiatives as part of the Liberal government’s Oceans Protection Plan.
The Oceans Protection Plan is a national strategy 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. The $1.5 billion strategy is delivering the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways.
In Toronto, Minister McKenna launched a review of the Pilotage Act—the legislative and regulatory framework that ensures experienced marine pilots navigate ships safely through select waters in Canada. The Review will be chaired by Mr. Marc Grégoire, who is a former Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard and former Assistant Deputy Minister of Safety and Security at Transport Canada. Under Mr. Grégoire’s leadership, the Review will focus on topics such as tariffs, service delivery, governance, and dispute resolution.
“Marine pilotage in Canada has a success rate of over 99%, providing Canadians with the assurance that ships in their waters are travelling safely to and from their destinations,” said McKenna. “Under the Ocean’s Protection Plan, this Pilotage Act Review is a commitment to ensuring Canada has the modern legislation and regulations needed to inspire this confidence.”
In Victoria, Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard announced that the Canadian Coast Guard will establish seven new lifeboat stations—an investment of $108.1 million over five years with ongoing funding of $12.2 million. The Canadian Coast Guard will also create 24/7 emergency management and response capacity within the three existing Regional Operations Centres across Canada to better plan and coordinate effective response during an incident. Minister LeBlanc also announced a five year, $75 million national Coastal Restoration Fund. This program will support marine habitat restoration priorities and address threats to marine species located on Canada’s coasts and waterways. Projects will be selected and announced in the coming weeks so restoration activities can begin as soon as this summer and early fall.
In St. John’s, Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced the launch of a national, five-year $6.85 million Abandoned Boats Program led by Transport Canada. This Program will facilitate the removal of existing smaller high-priority abandoned boats, educate boat owners about their responsibilities, and support research into improving recycling options for boats. Minister Garneau also announced a separate initiative that will soon support the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ mandate of operating a national network of safe and accessible small craft harbours for the commercial fishing industry. Over the next five years, $1.3 million will be available to provide support to Harbour Authorities and other eligible recipients in removing abandoned and wrecked vessels from federally owned commercial fishing harbours and disposing of them.