Stronger incident prevention and response

In the 1970s, there was a major oil spill in Canada almost every two weeks. By 2017, there have been roughly 1.7 major spills per year in Canada. This large decrease has happened even though more oil than ever is being transported by water, vessels are getting larger and are carrying more oil onboard. Canada's marine safety system has been the difference-maker.

This system must continue to evolve to be as effective at protecting the environment as Canadians expect. As part of the Oceans Protection Plan, we've further improved how Canada responds to marine emergencies. This helps us protect our coasts and Canadians at sea.

Actions being taken

Expanding liability and compensation for marine incidents 

Ensuring that the polluter pays when there is a marine spill in Canadian waters.

Renewing the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary 

Increasing funding for the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, a network of non-profit organizations that expand on-water response capacity. 


Addressing the impact of hazardous and noxious substances 

Preventing and preparing response to marine spills involving goods other than oil. 

Expanding Canada’s communication portal for integrated incident response 

Expanding engagement activities with coastal communities to enhance coordination of first responders for marine incidents on all coasts. 


Increasing scientific support to respond to environmental emergencies

Delivering timely expert scientific and technical advice and increasing enforcement capacity during environmental emergencies.  

Enhancing Canada’s Arctic Marine Response Station 

Extending Canadian Coast Guard search and rescue services in the North by purchasing purpose-built vessels and expanding the operational season to better align with community activities. 


Analyzing risk of maritime search and rescue

The Canadian Coast Guard’s Risk-Based Analysis of Maritime Search and Rescue Delivery is a review process to identify, assess, and address risks in search and rescue coverage areas.

Developing Canada’s strategy for environmental recovery from oil spills

Guiding long-term recovery efforts following ship-source oil spills.


Preparing for and responding to marine pollution

Preparing for and being ready to respond to all types of marine pollution.