Seaspan Shipyards is celebrating the official handover of the CCGS Sir John Franklin, the first Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel, to the Canadian Coast Guard. As the first large vessel to be built and delivered to the Government of Canada under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, the delivery of the vessel marks a significant milestone in the revitalization of the Canadian marine industrial sector.
The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, has announced the reappointment of Lorraine Cunningham as the Chairperson of the Pacific Pilotage Authority for a term of eight months, commencing on October 4, 2019. Cunningham has been Chairperson of the PPA since 2012 and prior to that she served as a director between 1999 and 2012.
The Canadian Government has approved by Order in Council for the second time the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, with construction on the $7.4 billion pipeline set to begin as early as fall 2019. The decision follows the National Energy Board’s reconsideration process focused on marine shipping impacts and engagement with Indigenous communities and groups. Supporting the decision are accommodations measures which include Co-Developing Community Response, the Salish Sea Initiative, the Terrestrial Cumulative Effects Initiative and the Quiet Vessel Initiative. The government has committed to directing every dollar the federal government earns from the pipeline to investments in clean energy projects, with proceeds from the eventual sale directed towards helping transition the country away from fossil fuels and towards cleaner sources of energy. When complete, the 1,150-kilometre expansion project would nearly triple the existing pipeline's capacity to 890,000 barrels a day.
The Senate has voted to pass Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act. The draft legislation passed by a margin of 3 votes after the House of Commons quashed a recommended amendment for a mandatory review of the legislation within 5 years. Alberta has vowed to launch a legal challenge to this bill, claiming that it is discriminatory to Alberta’s ability to access global markets. This legislation does not provide any additional marine safety measures for the BC North Coast and it does not stop a tanker from transiting the area, but it does stop tankers from stopping at ports on the coast of northern BC.
The Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility is now officially open on Tsawwassen First Nations industrial lands in Roberts Bank. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s new $33M facility provides additional space for Canada Border Services Agency to examine and process marine containers more efficiently. The TCEF is the second facility for the Lower Mainland and will be focussed on servicing containers from Deltaport and Fraser Surrey Docks. VFPA selected Tidewater Container Services Inc. (Tidewater), a subsidiary of Harbour Link Container Services Inc. (Harbour Link), to be the operator and drayage provider for the new facility. A blockchain pilot is underway to help measure performance and turnaround times for containers examined at the TCEF. The new fixed large-scale imaging device is still in the works and expected to be installed and operational on the new site in 2020.
The Canadian Space Agency has successful launched the RADARSAT Constellation Mission satellites from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This new generation of earth observation satellites will provide satellite data for safe navigation and help inform decisions around key challenges facing our oceans. The satellites will also help surveillance of activities in Canada’s Marine Protected Areas to ensure that prohibited activities that compromise an area’s conservation objective are not occurring, and will also assist in pollution events by predicting the path of pollution as it drifts along ocean current by using a map of marine wind directions derived from radar images.
The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport has announced the appointment of Rita Carla Andreone as director for a term of 3 years, and Kenneth Bruce Clayton as director for a term of 3 years to the Prince Rupert Port Authority. The appointees come from diverse backgrounds, with experience in a number of fields, and are active members of their communities. They bring a wide array of knowledge and senior executive and corporate governance expertise to their transportation positions.
Transport Canada has issued a new Ship Safety Bulletin on the IMO’s new Guidelines on Fatigue. The revised guidelines can be accessed here: http://www.imo.org/en/OurWork/HumanElement/Documents/MSC.1-Circ.1598.pdf
The Senate has voted to proceed with the oil tanker ban, against committee recommendation. Canada’s oil and gas sector has been adamantly against the legislation, believing that it will harm getting energy exports to market. Bill C-48 will now move to third reading, where Senators will be able to propose amendments. If ultimately successful, the bill will ban oil tankers carrying more than 12,500 metric tonnes of crude oil from stopping at ports or marine installations located along BC’s northern coast. Senators will still be able to propose amendments to Bill C-48 at the third reading.
The Government of Canada has released four Regulatory Roadmaps for targeted high-growth sectors, including agri-food and aquaculture, health and bio-sciences, transportation, and infrastructure. These sectors were identified for Regulatory Reviews in Budget 2018. For marine transportation the themes include the need for more flexibility in the regulatory framework, a need for more coordination among jurisdictions and collaboration with industry, and a need for clarity and certainty within the regulatory framework, and a need for greater digitization of services.
The Canadian Coast Guard has welcomed the CCGS Captain Molly Kool to its fleet in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. The vessel is the first of three that will be added to the fleet. To support future shipbuilding and attract more jobs to our communities, the Government also announced the intention to add a third Canadian shipyard, to be selected through a competitive process. The CCGS Captain Molly Kool will provide essential icebreaking services to ensure safe navigation, prevent ice jams and flooding, and maintain shipping routes. It is equipped to respond to search and rescue calls, and to provide aids to navigation and environmental responses.
The Government of Canada has announced several new measures that will help address the key threats to the SRKW, including the lack of prey, and acoustic and physical disturbance. The Government has issued an Interim Order, effective from June 1, 2019 to October 31, 2019, to protect whales from vessel disturbance. As of June 1, 2019:
Governor General has granted Royal Assent to changes to the Oceans Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act (Bill C-55). These changes allow the federal Government to put interim protections in place, stopping potentially harmful activities from taking place in at-risk marine ecosystems until the permanent designation of a Marine Protected Area is made. The freeze on new activity can be applied for up to five years in areas where there is an urgent need to provide environmental protection, giving enough time to conduct research and consultations, and determine the path forward.
The highest court in BC has ruled against the province’s efforts to restrict the transportation of diluted bitumen within its borders, as under Canada’s division of constitutional powers, the regulation of inter-provincial pipelines is within federal jurisdiction. Had the province succeeded, it could have severely impacted the proposed Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion. BC argued that the transportation of hazardous goods, and regulations for environmental protection should fall under the province’s jurisdiction. BC still has the option of appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Canadian Government plans to invest $15.7 billion to build up to 18 new Coast Guard ships. 16 multi-purpose vessels will be used for light icebreaking, environmental response and search; they will be constructed in a fleet renewal project anchored in Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyards. The two new Arctic and offshore patrol ships will perform duties further offshore; they will be modified for the Canadian Coast Guard and will be built at Irving Shipyards in Nova Scotia. In addition to the shipbuilding plan, the federal government is providing an additional $351.3 million to enhance capacity of the coast guard, strengthen management and oversight and promote a greener way of doing business.
The Canadian government has announced that it has hired Bollore Logistics Canada to return containers of household garbage and a mixture of discarded plastics, metals and paper back to Canada after they were mistakenly sent to the Philippines nearly six years ago. The containers are expected to return to Canada next month. The cost of the contract is just over $1.14-million. The container were originally shipped to the Philippines in 2013 and 2014, though the shipments were prohibited under the Philippines’ import regulations. In 2016 a Philippines court ordered the importers to ship the containers back to Canada at their own expense, but they did not comply with the court order. The Canadian company that shipped the garbage has since gone out of business.
The National Indigenous Fisheries Institute and the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard have announced the completion of a two-year review of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Indigenous programs, and the launch of the Northern Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative (NICFI). As part of this review process, the Institute engaged more than 50 Indigenous communities. The NICFI will provide funding and support to northern Indigenous groups and communities for the development of Indigenous-owned communal commercial fishing enterprises and aquaculture operations.