Clear Seas supports "Oceans Protection Plan" measures to strengthen Canadian Coast Guard and enhance marine safety systems

VANCOUVER, Nov. 7, 2016 /CNW/ - Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping (Clear Seas) responded favourably today to the federal government's $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, which outlined measures to increase marine safety systems and strengthen the Canadian Coast Guard.

The federal announcement in Vancouver by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Transport Minister Marc Garneau was echoed on Canada's east coast by Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

"Clear Seas strongly supports the expansion and strengthening of Canada's Coast Guard," said Dr. Richard Wiefelspuett, Executive Director of Clear Seas. "As Canada's eyes and ears on the water, the Coast Guard has been underfunded and under-resourced for too long. These measures will help improve communication systems, increase towing capacity for rescue operations, and create valuable information sharing with indigenous and coastal communities."

A recent poll commissioned by Clear Seas confirms that Canadians understand the importance of marine shipping for the economy, but that many are concerned about the effective enforcement of marine safety policies and procedures. "A strengthened Canadian Coast Guard is a timely response to these concerns and an important step towards safe and responsible marine shipping on our coasts," added Dr. Wiefelspuett.

Clear Seas also supports the Plan's emphasis on measures that prevent possible marine incidents from happening in the first place, including enhanced marine traffic information sharing, new navigation aids and aerial surveillance to improve marine safety.

"Our research and ongoing engagement with indigenous and coastal communities confirm the value of creating meaningful partnerships to help protect and safeguard our coastlines," said Dr. Wiefelspuett. "These partnerships will not only support response and recovery operations but also support the clean-up of abandoned and derelict vessels that pose risks to our coastal communities."

About Clear Seas

Based in Vancouver, B.C., Clear Seas is an independent, not-for-profit research centre that provides impartial and fact-based information about marine shipping in Canada, including risks, mitigation measures and best practices for safe and sustainable marine shipping.

SOURCE Clear Seas

For further information: David Hanley, Director of Communications and Engagement, 778-231-1985, david.hanley@clearseas.org


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