Oceans Protection Plan initiatives planned for April 2021 – April 2023

You can use this page to find information on planned regulatory initiatives that Transport Canada expects to bring forward over the next two years (April 2021 – April 2023). The full versions of each plan are published in the Canada Gazette. It also lists public consultations that might interest you and departmental contact information for each planned initiative.

On this page

Initiative(s) planned for Canada Gazette, Part I

1. Regulations amending the Environmental Response Regulations (Phase II)

Enabling act

Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (S.C. 2001, c. 26)

Description

There are two phases to these regulations. Phase I is completed and Transport Canada published it in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on July 10, 2019. It replaces Part II of the existing Response Organizations and Oil Handling Facilities Regulations and repeals all of the Environmental Response Arrangements Regulations.

Phase II or the proposed regulations will repeal Part I of the Response Organizations and Oil Handling Facilities Regulations and redraft provisions specifically to response organizations.

Potential impacts on Canadians, including businesses

The proposed changes will ultimately bundle together two older regulations into one regulation addressing Oil Handling Facilities and Response Organizations through the new Environmental Response Regulations.

Transport Canada expects that it will have positive effects on these primary stakeholders, as well as:

  • Canadians in coastal communities
  • Indigenous groups
  • certified ports, and
  • the marine industry

It will also improve oil spill response mechanisms to reduce pollution, remain on par with international standards, and maintain vibrant domestic and international shipping within Canadian waters.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)

The Committee reviewed domestic and international regulations to compare the transport of hydrocarbons by transmission pipelines, marine tanker vessels, and railcars. Following the Committee's report, Transport Canada made recommendations to improve the safety elements of bulk transport of hydrocarbon products in Canada.

This report aligned with the Government of Canada's commitment to Canadians to pursue responsible economic development while protecting the environment through initiatives such as the Oceans Protection Plan. The Plan, which was published on November 7, 2016, allows an increased capacity on all three coasts. This allows the Government of Canada to be in a better position to work closely with Indigenous and local communities to assess risks and respond quickly to marine emergencies and pollution incidents.

Consultations

Transport Canada held initial regional stakeholder discussions through the Ocean Protection Plan initiative in 2018. Transport Canada has also been holding stakeholder meetings in Ottawa based on a proposed Discussion Paper and Standards document for Phase II. The national spring Canadian Marine Advisory Council in 2019 updated stakeholders on the progress of Phase I and introduced Phase II of the Environmental Response Regulations.

Transport Canada expects to hold a three to six-month consultation period starting in mid-2021.

Transport Canada plans to pre-publish the proposed changes in the Canada Gazette, Part I, in late 2022 with a 30-day comment period.

Departmental contact information

Julie Mah
Manager Oceans Protection Plan
Transport Canada
Telephone: (613) 808-1154
Email: Julie.Mah@tc.gc.ca

First included in Transport Canada's Forward Regulatory Plan: October 2018

2. Regulations amending the Small Vessel Regulations (Pleasure Craft Licensing)

Enabling act

Canada Shipping Act, 2001(S.C. 2001, c. 26)

Description

The proposed regulatory amendments to the Small Vessel Regulations are intended to improve the ability to identify the owners of pleasure craft in Canada. The proposed changes will help with search and rescue operations, and compliance and enforcement of the Regulations. Amendments will also support the enforcement of the Wrecked, Abandoned and Hazardous Vessels Act under the Oceans Protection Plan. The Wrecked, Abandoned and Hazardous Vessels Act seeks to hold vessel owners accountable for abandoning vessels in the water, which causes environmental and safety hazards.

The proposed changes would:

  • eliminate lifetime pleasure craft licences by bringing them into a five-year validity period;
  • change the validity period of ten-year pleasure craft licences to a five-year validity period;
  • increase the scope of the Small Vessel Regulations to cover pleasure craft above 6 metres, including motorized and wind-powered vessels and excluding human-powered vessels (e.g., kayaks and dragon boats), to align with requirements set out in the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and other marine safety programs, and closely align with requirements set out in the Wrecked, Abandoned and Hazardous Vessels Act;
  • reduce the timeline for owners to notify of a name or address change from 90 days to 30 days;
  • specify 30 days for the buyer to notify of a sale or transfer of a pleasure craft;
  • include the ability for the Minister to cancel a pleasure craft licence for reasons of non-compliance with licensing requirements or upon request from an owner to cancel their pleasure craft licence; and
  • introduce a new user service fee.

Potential impacts on Canadians, including businesses

These changes will impact Canadian recreational boaters.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)

Transport Canada does not expect this proposal to affect regulatory cooperation efforts.

Consultations

Transport Canada held consultations with stakeholders at bi-annual Canadian Marine Advisory Council and National Recreational Boating Advisory Council meetings between 2017 and 2020. An online consultation took place in late 2020 on Transport Canada's Let's Talk Transportation website to give stakeholders an opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed amendments. A “What We Heard” report on the consultation is being developed based on the comments received from stakeholders. The findings in this report will be considered as work on this regulatory project continues.

Transport Canada plans to pre-publish the proposed changes in the Canada Gazette, Part I, in late 2021 with a 30-day comment period.

Departmental contact information

Heidi Craswell
Manager/Senior Policy Advisor
Marine Safety and Security
Transport Canada
Telephone: 343-549-5614
Email: heidi.craswell@tc.gc.ca

3. Heritage Wreck Regulations (Parks Canada)

Enabling act

Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act (S.C. 2019, c. 1), Section 131 (1)

Description

The Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act authorizes the Minister responsible for Parks Canada and the Minister of Transport to recommend the making of regulations respecting the protection and preservation of wrecks that have heritage value, including ocean war graves. There is currently no legal protection at the federal level for heritage wrecks in Canadian waters.

The proposed regulations would provide legal protection for wrecks of heritage value in all Canadian waters and would:

  • define wrecks or classes of wrecks that have heritage value, including ocean war graves
  • create a framework of protections to preserve wrecks of heritage value, including ocean war graves
  • define permitting requirements for activities directed at wrecks of heritage value
  • authorize the designation of enforcement officers and specify their powers

Potential impacts on Canadians, including businesses

There may be business impacts. The "One-for-One" Rule and/or the Small Business Lens may apply.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)

The Parks Canada Agency and Transport Canada have joint regulation making authority for protecting heritage wrecks in Canadian waters. The Parks Canada Agency and Transport Canada continue to look for opportunities to work with partners like:

  • municipal governments
  • provincial and territorial governments
  • Indigenous groups
  • federal and international partners

Transport Canada is also looking for ways to incorporate best practices from other jurisdictions in these regulations.

These regulations do not fall under any specific formal regulatory work plan.

Consultations

Authorities to make regulations to protect heritage wrecks that were previously included under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. Consultations on proposed regulations were held in 2004-2005 with provinces and territories.

Parks Canada will start working again on the proposed regulations with the updated authorities under Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act. They will look for input from interested Canadians through public consultations to be held in mid-2021.

Consultations will include:

  • communications with:
    • federal departments and agencies
    • provinces and territories
    • Indigenous groups and key stakeholders
    • coastal communities
    • opportunities for the public to comment online through a Parks Canada consultation website.

Transport Canada plans to pre-publish the proposed changes in the Canada Gazette, Part I, in early 2022 with a 75-day comment period.

Departmental contact information

Mary Lou Doyle
Manager, Cultural Heritage Policies and Legislation
Parks Canada
Telephone: 819-420-9070
Email: marylou.doyle@canada.ca

Jeff Johnson
Acting Director, Clean Water Policy
Environmental Policy
Transport Canada
Telephone: 613-998-6474
Email: Jeffrey.Johnson@tc.gc.ca

First included in Transport Canada's Forward Regulatory Plan: April 2018

4. Regulations Amending the Administrative Monetary Penalties and Notices (CSA 2001) Regulations New

Enabling act

Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (S.C. 2001, c. 26)

Description

The proposed amendments to the Administrative Monetary Penalties and Notices (CSA 2001) Regulations (the Regulations) will primarily update the ranges of administrative monetary penalties under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and some regulations to reflect the new $250,000 maximum penalty amount.

The Regulations were brought into force in 2008 as an additional enforcement tool under the CSA 2001 to promote compliance with marine safety and environmental protection requirements. The administrative monetary penalties are financial penalties aimed at promoting compliance that may be issued without court proceedings and are not intended to punish the violator. In 2018, the CSA 2001 was amended to raise the maximum penalty that may be applied from $25,000 to $250,000 per infraction to provide a more effective deterrent against non-compliance.

Potential impacts on Canadians, including businesses

Transport Canada does not expect major impact to Canadians, including businesses. Regulated parties as administrative monetary penalties may only be applied if they fail to comply with applicable marine regulations.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)

Transport Canada does not expect any effects on regulatory cooperation efforts.

Consultations

Consultation with stakeholders will take place at the Canadian Marine Advisory Council (CMAC) and through other mechanisms, as appropriate.

Transport Canada plans to pre-publish the proposed changes in the Canada Gazette, Part I, in early 2022 with a 60-day comment period.

Departmental contact information

Julie Mah
Manager Oceans Protection Plan
Transport Canada
Telephone: 613- 808-1154
Email: julie.mah@tc.gc.ca

First included in Transport Canada's Forward Regulatory Plan: April 2021

Initiative(s) planned for Canada Gazette, Part II

5. Regulations amending the Marine Liability and Information Returns Regulations (Exporter)

Enabling act

Marine Liability Act (S.C. 2001, c. 6)

Description

The proposed regulatory amendments to Marine Liability and Information Return Regulations will require exporters of persistent oil and non-persistent oil to file information returns annually with Transport Canada.

Transport Canada would use these information returns to calculate a levy to replenish the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund, if that levy was reactivated. These regulations are required to bring certain changes to the Marine Liability Act into force.

Potential impacts on Canadians, including businesses

Businesses that export oil from Canada by ship will be required to report their shipments, if they are above 150,000 tonnes of persistent oil and 17,000 tonnes of non-persistent oil annually.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)

Transport Canada expects that this proposal will not affect regulatory cooperation efforts.

Consultations

Transport Canada consulted the Canadian Fuels Association, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and the Canadian Maritime Law Association through a discussion paper that Transport Canada sent in January 2018 on the modernization of the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund's levy. The comments Transport Canada received were supportive of the proposed changes.

The Canadian Fuels Association commented that export volumes are currently already being tracked and reported on a monthly basis to the Canadian Energy Regulator (formerly the National Energy Board) in accordance with the National Energy Board Export and Import Reporting Regulations. They recommended that the Canadian Energy Regulator reporting be reviewed and used to inform the proposed Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund reporting changes.

Following the adoption of the legislative amendments, Transport Canada sent a letter about developing the reporting regulations for the export of persistent and non-persistent oil to the same organizations in March 2019. The letter notified them that the regulatory development project is targeting 2020 for completion.

Transport Canada published the proposed changes in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on October 10, 2020 with a 30-day public comment period.

Transport Canada expects to publish the proposed changes, in the Canada Gazette, Part II, in 2021.

Departmental contact information

Caitlin O'Boyle
Manager/Senior Policy Advisor
Marine Policy
Transport Canada
Telephone: 343-553-3914
Email: caitlin.oboyle@tc.gc.ca

First included in Transport Canada's Forward Regulatory Plan: April 2019