Two Years In, Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan Making a Difference


Phoebe Miles, Manager, Community Engagement and Partnerships, Oceans Protection Plan

Over the past two years, Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan has transformed the way Transport Canada engages Canadians on marine safety and saw the start of over 50 innovative projects.

Launched in November 2016, the Government of Canada has made sustained progress on new and improved ways of protecting our oceans. Working in partnership with Indigenous peoples and collaborating with coastal communities and marine stakeholders, the Oceans Protection Plan is making a difference in the lives of Canadians.

“With the Oceans Protection Plan, I think the biggest takeaway for me is actually seeing some of the items moving forward,” explained Kevin Obermeyer, CEO of the Pacific Pilotage Authority. He added: “So often with government it’s a long time in the process, but I am really happy to see how fast this is moving.”

To mark the second anniversary of the Plan, and everything that has been accomplished in the first 730 days, Transport Canada has released a Report to Canadians. The report highlights the many accomplishments already achieved through the Oceans Protection Plan, including:

1) Providing emergency response and waterway management training to Indigenous communities in British Columbia to support the important role they play in marine safety in their communities.

2) Funding over 40 new projects to address abandoned and derelict vessels through the Abandoned Boats Program and the Small Craft Harbours Abandoned and Wrecked Vessels Removal Program, for a total of over 100 boats so far.

3) Introducing measures to reduce the risk of vessel strikes and entanglement in fishing gear to endangered North Atlantic Right Whales in the Western Gulf of St. Lawrence.

4) Establishing a Reconciliation Framework Agreement in partnership with 14 Pacific North and Central Coast First Nations in British Columbia, to address marine planning, shipping, marine safety and oceans protection.

5) Significantly increasing aerial surveillance of our Arctic waters under the National Aerial Surveillance Program to identify marine pollution and, securing land in Iqaluit to construct a new aerial surveillance aircraft hangar.

“I have worked on the Oceans Protection Plan since May 2017, helping coordinate the national whole of government approach to engagement for this massive undertaking,” said Phoebe Miles, Manager, Community Engagement and Partnerships, Oceans Protection Plan. “The work we are doing is indeed transformational. We are doing business in a new way, and we’re making a difference,” she added.

On November 7, 2016, at a Vancouver naval base, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau launched the Oceans Protection Plan, the largest single investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts.

“Canada’s economy, environment and history are inextricably linked to our coastal regions. The $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan unveiled today will make Canada a world-leader in marine safety and takes a powerful step toward co-management of our coasts with Indigenous and coastal communities, together making sure they remain healthy, clean, and safe for generations to come.”
The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

To mark the 2nd Anniversary of the Oceans Protection Plan, Transport Canada created a highlight video that was shared on the Prime Minister’s Twitter account and reached over 5 million users.