Oceans Protection Priorities: What We Heard (2020)

Consultation open: October 12, 2018

Report date: December 1, 2020

  • Many respondents expressed low confidence in Canada's marine safety system.
  • The main themes identified for things that would make Canadians more confident are:
    • Changes to marine safety regulations
    • Better use of safety materials and equipment
    • Restrict/reduce traffic
    • Better enforcement and execution
  • When asked about the impact of marine and shipping on the environment, the number one concern among respondents was the effect on wildlife and fisheries.
  • Respondents want the Government to listen to Indigenous peoples and coastal communities on marine safety; while an equal number believe that the partnerships between Indigenous and coastal communities only benefit large corporations.
  • Most believe the Government should consult the scientific community more on the effects of marine shipping on the environment.
  • Several comments also relate to abandoning fossil fuel altogether and moving to renewable energy or clean energy alternatives.

Key themes

  • When asked if Canadians are confident in the marine safety system, 21 comments were negative and three were positive. Among the comments, people mentioned that:
    • the tanker traffic is too great along the coast of Vancouver;
    • there is a need for better regulation of marine traffic to avoid any incidents; and
    • traffic should be restricted during storms or instances of choppy water.
  • There are concerns for the wildlife and natural habitats. There were many comments about the danger that marine shipping poses to whales. There are also concerns about herring farms and ocean salmon farms being threatened.
  • Many property owners who responded said the noise and pollution from tanker traffic bothered them.
  • When asked about strengthening the partnerships and working together with Indigenous peoples and coastal communities, most agreed that the Government of Canada should listen and learn from their Traditional Knowledge. Respondents also indicated the Government of Canada should have consent from Indigenous peoples before beginning any projects that may have an impact on their land.
  • Respondents said the Government could partner with the scientific community to improve marine safety and preserve and restore marine ecosystems and should listen to scientists regarding this issue.

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