The federal government has announced an investment of another $1.2 billion in its Ocean Protection Plan for 29 projects involving ocean safety, science and environmental safeguards.
Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra made the announcement on the waterfront in Vancouver’s Stanley Park, saying the government is building on six years of work together with Indigenous Peoples and other coastal communities.
The funding is part of an extra $2 billion allocated in this year’s federal budget to renew and expand the Oceans Protection Plan over nine years.
Among the projects are plans to set up a national system for all marine pollution incidents, which includes preparing for releases of hazardous or noxious substances from ships.
The funding will also extend coast guard search and rescue services in northern waters, increase scientific support for environmental emergencies and create a national oil spill research program.
Ten of the initiatives will fund or renew programs with Indigenous communities, such as the boat volunteer initiative and search and rescue training.
The Liberal government announced the Oceans Protection Plan in 2016 to invest in science and safety on Canada’s oceans, with a special focus on oil spills.
Alghabra says some of the $1.2 billion will go toward developing a national network of trained emergency responders.
“A strong marine safety system is one that adapts to our changing world, one that protects our environment and keeps our supply changes moving. That’s exactly what this investment will do.”