The health of our marine environment is paramount. We have worked together to make sure that the federal government understands our commitment to protecting coastal waters, and to providing for adequate resources following a decade of significant cuts.
DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES AND OCEANS: Last week, Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard announced a brand new $75 million national Coastal Restoration Fund to support marine habitat restoration priorities and address threats to marine species on coasts and waterways. Apply for funding here: http://dfo-mpo.gc.ca/oceans/crf-frc/page01-eng.html.
As well, the Canadian Coast Guard will establish seven new lifeboat stations. Four of these stations will be located in British Columbia – in Victoria, Port Renfrew, Nootka and Hartley Bay. This is a $108.1 million investment over five years, with ongoing funding of $12.2 million. The Coast Guard will also create 24/7 emergency management and response capacity within existing Regional Operations Centers.
TRANSPORT CANADA: Minister Garneau launched the Abandoned Boats Program to facilitate the removal of existing, small, high-priority abandoned boats and to educate boat owners about their responsibilities and will support research on boat recycling. Learn more here: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/abandoned-boats-program.html.
Our communities on the Sunshine Coast, Bowen Island and Squamish will benefit significantly from the initial $6.85 million invested in the removal of abandoned vessels, announced last week. Our Government will be working with municipalities and local groups to support and address this long standing issue. Of the $6.85 million, $5.6 million has been earmarked for Assessment and Removal Projects, with $1.25 million going towards Education, Awareness and Research Projects.
ENVIRONMENT: Minister McKenna launched a review of the Pilotage Act, a legislative and regulatory framework that ensures experienced marine pilots navigate ships safely through Canadian waters. The review will focus on tariffs, service delivery, governance and dispute resolution, among other issues.
Thank you to the many volunteers in our community who work to preserve and maintain the coast. Please feel welcome to contact us anytime.
As always, I welcome your comments and feedback on our government’s work. You can email me at email@example.com, connect with us on Facebook (Pamela Goldsmith-Jones), or stop by our community office in Horseshoe Bay (6367 Bruce Street, 604-913-2660).