OTTAWA, April 27, 2019 /CNW/ - The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, today released the following statement concerning navigational restrictions in areas affected by spring flooding:
"The safety and security of Canada's transportation system are my priorities. The Government of Canada and my departmental officials are closely monitoring the flooding situation in affected provinces around the clock.
"This year's spring flooding conditions are impacting thousands of Canadians in New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba. My thoughts are with all those affected. It was heartwarming, as I toured the area of L'ile Bizard, to see the solidarity demonstrated by the volunteers out helping to keep their communities safe.
"To address an urgent situation, today I issued an Order to prohibit navigation in specific areas of flooding in order to protect the safety of residents and help first responders to do their jobs.
"The Order prohibits navigation by non-emergency vessels in the Ottawa River between Ottawa-Gatineau and the Carillon generating station, as well as on Lac des Deux-Montagnes, Rivière des Mille-Îles, and Rivière-des-Prairies.
"The Order gives the authority to enforcement officers, including members of the RCMP and all provincial and municipal police, to direct any vessel to stop or move out of the affected area. In case of non-compliance a fine up to a maximum of $5,000 could be issued.
"It remains in effect until it is amended or rescinded.
"Transport Canada has taken other initiatives to assist the flood mitigation effort as well. To date, we have restricted the operation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (drones) within a radius of 9 km of all flooded areas within the Province of Quebec. And we have deployed an aircraft with the National Aerial Surveillance Program to help with aerial surveillance requirements in New Brunswick.
"We are prepared to take additional measures if required, such as:
- Introducing, in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, further Notices to Shippers and Notices to Mariners, and implementing other temporary restrictions to ensure vessel movements do not pose a risk to safety or cause damage to communities affected by the flooding;
- Further restricting airspace for:
- Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (drones) or general aviation aircraft during a flood response;
- Assisting law enforcement in support of a response operation on the ground; and
- Assisting the military in support of an ongoing evacuation by air.
"I would like to remind Canadians not to fly drones in areas where first responder activities are taking place. As well, a reminder for boaters operating in non-restricted areas to take extra care in navigating changing waters, and to let the first responders do their work.
"The Government of Canada will not hesitate to take further action to ensure the safety of Canadians."
Interim Order Respecting Flooded areas
This statement may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.
SOURCE Transport Canada
For further information: Delphine Denis, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, Ottawa, 613-991-0700, [email protected]; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, 613-993-0055, [email protected]