Transport Minister Marc Garneau says efforts to protect Canada’s coastlines from vessel spills includes new partnerships with Indigenous communities.
Garneau was in Vancouver speaking to the Chamber of Shipping today and says a pilot project is being launched this fall under the $1.5-billion oceans protection plan to help Indigenous communities monitor vessel traffic.
The project is being launched in 10 communities including Haida and Gitga’at Nations on British Columbia’s north coast to test and develop new maritime awareness information systems.
“Our involvement in the development of the Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness initiative gives us access to the best coastal marine information today. We’ll be aware of all shipping traffic in near real-time, be able to make informed decisions if there is a crisis or accident and better plan for the future; such as keeping vessels well offshore,” says kil tlaats ‘gaa Peter Lantin
President of the Haida Nation in a news release. “By incorporating our Nation’s deep ocean knowledge into the system, all users in the future will have a better understanding of Haida Gwaii and the reasons we insist on its protection.”
Garneau says $1.2 million has also been awarded to Aqua-Guard Spill Response Inc. of North Vancouver for equipment to support the coast guard in spill clean-up.
The announcement comes days after thousands of people in B.C. protested the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which would increase tanker traffic to the Burrard Inlet.
Garneau says the pipeline expansion has already been approved by the federal government, and while it doesn’t have unanimous public support, the majority of Canadians want to see it built.