The federal government has announced a $1.5 billion ocean-protection plan that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says will make Canada a world leader in protecting the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans.
Trudeau announced the funding over five years, which includes creating a marine safety system, restoring marine ecosystems, and spending on oil spill cleanup research and methods.
Trudeau told a group in Vancouver that the funding will strengthen the Canadian Coast Guard, get tough on pollution from industry, fund coastal habitat restoration and create new legislation to increase responsibility for vessel owners.
The prime minister says because Canada has the longest coastline in the world, it’s vital to have a plan to ensure protection in modern and advanced ways.
The announcement comes a day after a barge flipped and sank not far from the site near Bella Bella where a tug ran aground last month, spilling more than 100,000 litres of diesel fuel from its tanks.
The announcement did not include a ban on tanker traffic along the North Coast, something that is really wanted by a number of First Nations and many residents living along the coast.
Prime Minister Trudeau didn’t rule out an announcement on banning tanker traffic at a later date.