The new Canadian Navigable Waters Act and the Major Works Order came into effect this week, replacing the Navigation Protection Act. The legislation restores lost protections on all navigable waters in Canada and provides new opportunities to create partnerships with Indigenous peoples to be involved in the administration of the Act.
The Haida Nation and the Government of Canada have released a Co-Management Plan to safeguard the SGaan Kinghlas–Bowie Seamount Marine Protected Area. The plan protects an underwater mountain 180 km off the coast of Haida Gwaii known as SGaan Kinghlas. The Plan identifies goals, strategic objectives, and operational objectives for the MPA and describes how they will be achieved. It identifies management tools, addresses surveillance, enforcement and user compliance, and highlights education and outreach. Four implementation priorities are identified for the MPA: cooperative governance and adaptive co-management; research to support conservation outcomes; monitoring; and education and outreach.
Canada Border Services Agency is advising that effective immediately, post-arrival amendments on primary cargos (all modes), house bills or conveyance transmissions; or, if a cargo and/or conveyance arrival message were sent in error prior to the actual arrival, warehouse operators, carriers, freight forwarders and/or their services providers will be required to present a completed Form BSF673 in duplicate to the local CBSA commercial office. The Guidelines for the Use of BSF673 – House Bill, Cargo and Conveyance Manual Correction Request Form – Post Arrival – All Modes have been updated to reflect how and where the form is to be presented.
The Government of Canada is investing more than $300,000 in two projects at the Port of Vancouver to strengthen its transportation system and better prepare for climate change and extreme weather events in the Port of Vancouver and including the Fraser River.
Canada and the US have brought into force the Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine, and Air Transport Preclearance between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America. The agreement seeks to facilitate opportunities for enhanced travel and trade between the two countries by enabling Canada and the US to expand preclearance for travellers at land, rail and marine facilities in both countries, as well as at additional airports. Cargo pre-clearance pilots have started at the land border and both countries are proceeding cautiously down this path.
The Canada Infrastructure Bank has announced that it will work with the Montreal Port Authority to advance the project development of a new container terminal in Contrecoeur, where the port plans to expand its activities. The new terminal will serve to enable importers and exporters to get products to market as quickly as possible, by increasing the port’s capacity.
Transport Canada is issuing fines to a pair of Canadian Coast Guard ships, the CCGS Cape Edensaw and CCGS Cap d'Espoir that allegedly sailed too fast through the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where speed restrictions which were in place earlier this month to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whales. The fines are 6,000 and $12,000, respectively. Since the restrictions have gone into place, a total of six vessels, including a luxury yacht and three cargo vessels, have incurred penalties.
Transport Canada has announced over $100 million in rail-related infrastructure funding in recent weeks. The projects receiving funding are part of a multi-year, billion-dollar program by the Canadian government to invest in key trade corridors. Projects include:
The Government of Canada will be bringing the new Impact Assessment Act, the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, the Canadian Navigable Waters Act, and associated regulations into force on August 28, 2019. The outlines rules for transitioning to the new system seek to protect our environment and communities while making sure good projects can get built to create jobs for the middle class.
Alberta’s government is setting aside $10-million to help Indigenous groups use the courts to support oil pipelines and other resource projects. Premier Jason Kenney has argued that a small group of well-funded First Nations, which have successfully used the courts to derail projects such as the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, have had a louder voice than those in favour because of their access to funds. The province will accept proposals from First Nations or Métis communities, as well as corporations or non-profit groups with Indigenous involvement, to file new lawsuits or intervene in existing cases. Groups applying for the money must support projects that “improve Alberta’s interests.” The Alberta government also plans to launch a Crown corporation this fall to offer loan guarantees and other help to Indigenous-led proposals to buy into the Trans Mountain pipeline or other resource projects.
As part of the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is seeing input through its Let's Talk Oceans Protection Plan website on proposals to develop a new and more collaborative approach to managing marine traffic issues in local waterways. The draft framework is available online and the comment period closes on Friday, September 27, 2019.
Federal employers finally have an in-force date for the recent amendments to the Canada Labour Code contained in Bill C-63 and Bill C-86. On September 1, 2019 workplaces subject to the Canada Labour Code need to prepare for major changes to a range of statutory provisions governing everything from work scheduling to leave entitlements to termination of employment, among many others. The changes will begin to take effect in September 2019.
Transport Canada has released Ship Safety Bulletin 11/2019 to adapt to the changing migration of North Atlantic Right Whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The previous interim measures slowing vessels down within the designated shipping lanes may have been pushing ships closer to where the endangered mammals are now gathering as vessels were altering routes to compensate for the lower speeds in the previous order. The whales have not been seen in the shipping lanes recently, and as result the interim measures have been adjusted.
The Government of Canada expects to surpass its marine conservation target of 10 percent protection of marine and coastal areas by 2020. The new Tuvaijuittuq (meaning "the place where the ice never melts") marine protected area planned off the Nunavut coast would ban new or additional human activities in the area for up to five years, but still allows Inuit to hunt and fish. There are also exceptions for emergency activities, some scientific research and "certain activities carried out by a foreign national, entity, ship or state. This new marine protected area combined with the Tallurutiup Imanga national marine conservation area in the northeastern region of Nunavut covers more than 427,000 square kilometres.
This follows an order-in-council, issued on July 28 by cabinet, that prohibits all offshore oil and gas activities in the Arctic, building off a moratorium on issuing new oil and gas licenses announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2016, alongside then-U.S. president Barack Obama. The new order-in-council is to remain in effect until Dec. 31, 2021 as the federal cabinet has the power to prohibit certain oil and gas work in Arctic offshore areas if deemed to be in the national interest, and the authority to freeze the terms of licence holders in those areas during the ongoing moratorium.
Through the Oceans Protection Plan, the Canadian Coast Guard launched the Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Pilot Program. Under this program, communities are encouraged to build up their on-water search and rescue capacity and funding is provided to support the purchase of boats, and other required equipment. This week $2.7 million in funding was announced for 14 communities and the investment is expected to add support to Coast Guard Auxiliary members in coastal regions across Canada.
The Government of Canada brought into force the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act on July 30th. The Act prohibits vessel abandonment and brings into Canadian law the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 2007. It increases owner responsibility and liability for their vessels, addresses irresponsible vessel management, and enables the Government of Canada to proactively intervene to address problem vessels that pose hazards. Not complying with the Act can result in an administrative monetary penalty of up to $50,000 for individuals and up to $250,000 for companies or corporations. Convictions of more serious offences could result in a maximum fine of $1 million for individuals and up to $6 million for companies or corporations.
Note the new insurance requirements for Wreck Removal applies to all vessels and barges in Canadian waters over 300 gross tonnage in Ship Safety Bulletin No. 08/2019.
The Government of Canada has announced that it will be procuring six new program icebreakers to replace the current aging fleet of CCG icebreakers. A new competitive process, through an Invitation to Qualify, to add a third Canadian shipyard as a strategic partner under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) is being launched. Through the Invitation to Qualify, the Government of Canada will establish a short list of pre-qualified shipyards that will be eligible to submit a formal proposal to become the third strategic partner under the NSS, joining Irving Shipbuilding Inc. and Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards. Interested suppliers have 15 days, starting today, to respond to the Invitation to Qualify.