Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, Fisheries and Oceans Minister Joyce Murray, Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, and Public Services and Procurement Minister Filomena Tassi issued the following statement on the fifth anniversary of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan:

“The health and protection of Canada’s coasts are critical to our environment, to our economy, and to all Canadians. Today, we mark the milestones achieved from the significant investments made towards Canada’s Ocean Protection Plan, first created five years ago. Through these investments, we’ve built a system for marine protection and emergency preparedness that has exceeded international standards and preserved our coasts and waterways for generations to come. Today, marine shipping in Canada is safer, and our coastal ecosystems better protected than ever before.

Canadians can be proud of the progress made to date, including over 50 initiatives that have been launched and are delivering results since 2016, such as:

  • Training hundreds of people to work in the marine industry with a focus on underrepresented groups, such as Indigenous Peoples and women.
  • Opening 6 new and 1 previously closed Canadian Coast Guard stations and updating infrastructure at over 130 marine communications and traffic services sites in remote areas across Canada.
  • Removing almost 600 abandoned vessels from our waters to reduce hazards to navigation and to the environment.

“These results have been achieved in partnership with Indigenous Peoples and are an important step towards the co-management of our coasts and oceans in Canada.

“From coast-to-coast-to-coast, marine shipping is a cornerstone of Canada’s economy, providing Canadians with the goods they use every day, while creating thousands of well-paying middle class jobs. Safer marine shipping and other Oceans Protection Plan priorities will enable us to continue building back better in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Canada continues to remain steadfast in its commitment to safeguard our environment as we take actions to protect our coastlines, conserve and regenerate marine ecosystems and wildlife, improve Canada’s ability to prevent and respond to marine incidents, and to grow meaningful partnerships with Indigenous Peoples and coastal communities.

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“In 2015, less than 1 per cent of our oceans were protected. But today, 14 per cent is now protected with an aim to protect 25 per cent by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030. These efforts complement the work carried out under the Oceans Protection Plan and will help ensure not only the conservation, but the regeneration, of our marine life and ecosystems. 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.”

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