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Canada Digs Deep To Fund Protection From Oil Spills

Canada’s Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Sean Casey, will make an important announcement on March 18th concerning funding provided to international organizations to protect Canadian waters from oil spills, the Canadian federal government said on Friday.

The announcement will take place in Boston, Massachusetts, where Casey will be accompanied by the Consul General of Canada in Boston, David Alward, and Dr. Collin Ward, Assistant Scientist, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the government said in a media advisory.

Canada has a so-called Marine Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Regime, which has been in place since 1995 and relies on partnership between the government and industry. Transport Canada is the lead federal regulatory agency responsible for the regime and sets the guidelines and regulatory structure for the preparedness and response to marine oil spills.

The regime’s guiding principles include effective and responsive legislation; potential polluters pay for preparedness; polluter pays for reasonable response costs; based on partnership with industry; comprehensive contingency plans; and mutual agreements with neighbors.

Under Canada’s US$1.1 billion (C$1.5 billion) Oceans Protection Plan, more than US$34 million (C$45 million) is invested in collaborative research initiatives expected to lead to collaboration among oil spill researchers across Canada and around the world.

When British Columbia launched its improved oil spill response program as part of its efforts to safeguard its environment against accidents from the expanded Trans Mountain pipeline, the government officials in charge must have missed a little detail: the program was to be funded by toll payments from the pipeline.

The program’s future is uncertain, after Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal suspended the project last year, citing numerous flaws in the National Energy Board’s review of the expansion that the federal government should not have used as basis for its approval of Trans Mountain.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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