The Government of Canada has submitted its response to the Government of British Columbia’s consultation process on oil spill response, including an updated science report on diluted bitumen, and an open letter to B.C. Minister of Environment, George Heyman.
To support this submission, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard issued the following statement:
“Canada’s actions have demonstrated our commitment to the highest environmental standards and strong Indigenous partnerships, while ensuring vital infrastructure for the Canadian economy moves ahead.
Our submission outlines the comprehensive scope of federal spill prevention and response activities to protect our oceans and coastlines. We are proud of our historic, $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan that will make Canada’s oceans safer, cleaner, and healthier for future generations.
Building on the existing safeguards, we are developing a marine safety system that rivals any in the world. The system draws on over thirty years of scientific research in spill prevention and response – including specific measures to ensure the safe transport of diluted bitumen.
Canadians can be assured that our coastline will benefit from a world-class marine safety system thanks to the implementation of the Oceans Protection Plan. This work is being done with scientists, Indigenous and coastal communities, experts and industry. Our Government has enhanced marine safety and reduced the risk of spills to address gaps that have existed for far too long.
Since before the launch of the Oceans Protection Plan, we have been working with the Government of B.C. to engage them in these efforts to protect our oceans and coastlines. We were disappointed that the B.C. government’s online consultation paper did not acknowledge Canada’s extensive programs, scientific research, investments and policies to protect our coasts. It is important that the people of British Columbia and all Canadians be provided with a full picture of the protections in place and being further enhanced.”
Government of Canada response to British Columbia’s Policy Intentions Paper for Engagement: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/mediaroom/our-response-bc-policy-intentions-paper-activities-spill-management.html
Status Report on the Knowledge of the Fate and Behaviour of Diluted Bitumen in the Aquatic Ecosystems: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csas-sccs/Publications/ScR-RS/2018/2018_018-eng.html
Letter to B.C. Minister George Heyman: https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/news/2018/04/dear-minister-george-heyman.html
Government of Canada’s activities related to spill management: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/mediaroom/orders-directives-directions-letters-7497.html
Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan: https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/canada-oceans-protection-plan.html