The following is the text of a news release from the Government of Canada:
(OTTAWA) (July 7) — The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, today announced the launch of the Area Response Planning pilot project and related Community Participation Funding Program in a speech to the Vancouver Board of Trade on the role of transportation and the environment in Canada’s economic future.
Area Response Planning is one of the Government of Canada’s measures under the world-class tanker safety system that aims to further strengthen Canada’s robust marine safety system. It supports ship-source spill preparedness and response, tailored to a particular geographic area, in collaboration with local communities, Aboriginal groups, industry and all levels of government.
The pilot areas include:
• The southern portion of British Columbia, including Vancouver Harbour
• Saint John and the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick
• Port Hawkesbury and the Strait of Canso, Nova Scotia
• St. Lawrence River (Montreal to Anticosti Island), Quebec
Collaboration is integral to the Area Response Planning pilot. In concert with this initiative, Transport Canada’s Community Participation Funding Program will support the participation of local communities and Aboriginal groups in the pilot project. The program will provide up to $2.1 million starting in fall 2015 and ending in 2017 to eligible recipients. For more information, go to www.tc.gc.ca/tankersafety.
During her speech and the preceding roundtable discussion with guests, Raitt also stressed the importance of a safe, secure, efficient and environmentally responsible transportation system highlighting Canada’s efforts to ensure the safe development and transport of energy exports by rail, by pipeline, or by ship under the world-class tanker safety system.
“Our government’s goal with world-class tanker safety is to prevent ship-source oil spills, clean them up quickly if they do happen and ensure that polluters pay," Raitt said. "As a part of our tanker safety measures, the Area Response Planning process will help ensure procedures are in place and equipment is readily available to plan for any scenario in specific areas.”
The minister also highlighted the Government of Canada’s $3.7 million investment to help establish the Clear Seas: Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping, which will support research and provide independent information on best practices for the safe and environmentally responsible marine shipping of Canada’s oil and LNG resources to overseas markets.
• Canada has one of the strongest marine safety regimes in the world, and has a marine safety track record that meets and exceeds international standards.
• Transport Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Environment Canada are working together on the Area Response Planning initiative.
• Eligible applicants to Transport Canada’s Community Participation Funding Program are Aboriginal groups, local groups and organizations, municipalities with a population of less than 10,000, and nonprofit organizations.