Regional Advisory Councils

Overview

The Regional Advisory Councils (RACs), are established under Part 8, section 172.1 to section 172.7, of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (CSA 2001).

These councils are regional committees in which the parties involved in and/or impacted by marine oil spills and the oil spill response regime can meet, identify, discuss and realize opportunities.

The RACs are purely advisory bodies, with no authority to make policy, direct operations, approve plans, or resolve disputes. They may, however, make recommendations on the full range of policy issues affecting regional preparedness and response, and may request information from Transport Canada, Canadian Coast Guard or response organizations on equipment placement, plans, resources, costs, training, exercises, or reviews undertaken of response operations, in pursuit of their mandate to advise and report on the adequacy of preparedness in the region. Their mandate is significant, and through their unusual ability to report to the Minister or Standing Committee, they have the power to make their voices heard.

The primary objective of the RACs on Oil Spill Response is to share and address issues of mutual concern to the membership. The RACs serve as an advisory body to the Minister of Transport and shall advise and may make recommendations related to marine oil spill preparedness in accordance with  the sections 172.1 to 172.7 of the CSA 2001.

The role and mandate of the RACs are:

  • to advise on an adequate level of oil spill preparedness and response in each region; and
  • to promote public awareness and understanding of issues and measures with respect to preparedness.

The six RACs serve the geographical areas of:

  • Arctic,
  • Maritimes / Newfoundland,
  • Ontario,
  • Pacific, and
  • Quebec.

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