Hi, I’m Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport Canada.
Canadian coasts and waterways are a workplace for some, a playground for others, and a source of goods, inspiration, and pride for us all.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get is: what is Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan?
So, today I’m going to answer some rapid-fire questions. Let’s see what I can tell you about it in 60 seconds or less. Here we go!
What is the Oceans Protection Plan?
The Oceans Protection Plan was launched to preserve and restore our marine ecosystems and to create one of the best marine safety and emergency preparation systems in the world.
Most importantly, we invited Indigenous communities to partner with us in this work. They, along with coastal communities, academia, and the marine industry have never played as big a role in protecting our oceans until now.
Why does it matter?
Our quality of life, and our present and future prosperity, are deeply connected to the environment in which we live. Canada is a maritime country and has the longest coastline in the world.
Our coasts support traditional Indigenous and coastal community livelihoods, attract tourism, are home to ecosystems and species like whales, and enable the export and import of our goods overseas.
What has the Oceans Protection Plan accomplished?
So far, we have protected over 60 marine ecosystems, put in new measures to protect marine mammals like endangered whales, co-developed a software with Indigenous communities to improve marine navigation and local search and rescue, funded the Marine Training Program, which has seen over 200, mostly underrepresented groups graduate and move on to careers in the marine industry, and build six new search and rescue stations across the country.
And there is much more I wish I had the time to highlight.
So? How did I do?
All that said, I’m extremely proud of the work that has been accomplished to date. But, we can’t stop now!
There is much more we need to continue to do to make a difference across the country. As we look towards renewing the Oceans Protection Plan, we will continue working collaboratively to ensure Canada’s oceans are protected for generations to come.