Theme II - Maintaining Water Quality and Availability

Marine shipping is critical to Canada's economy and the movement of goods by sea is becoming increasingly important as trade with Asia and other international trading partners continues to grow.  A dominant feature of marine transportation is its international dimension, which shapes the policy, regulatory and competitive environment.  These conditions underpin the need for largely international governance of marine issues, in marine safety and environmental issues in particular, which is done mainly through the International Maritime Organization.

The movement of goods by sea carries with it a range of possible environmental consequences for the marine environment and water quality.  For example, accidental oil spills in the marine environment are prominent in the public eye when they occur, and have immediate and obvious negative consequences for the environment and the health of local communities.  Water-borne spills of hazardous and noxious substances can also cause serious damage to human health and the environment.

Transport Canada develops and administers policies, regulations and programs to: protect the marine environment; reduce the impact on the environment of marine pollution incidents in Canadian waters; and, promote the safety of the general public.  

Transport Canada's Commitments

In 2013, Under Theme II - Maintaining Water Quality and Availability Transport Canada committed to contribute to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy through the following implementation strategies.  

Transport Canada’s implementation strategies have been organized according to the appropriate Sub-Program in the department’s Program Alignment Architecture. This means that Transport Canada’s Theme II implementation strategies are linked to two different Sub-Programs – 2.2.1 - Clean Water Regulatory Framework and 2.2.2 - Clean Water Regulatory Oversight.

Goal 3: Water Quality and Quantity - Protect and enhance water so that it is clean, safe and secure for all Canadians and supports healthy ecosystems.

3.8.1 - Set the legal and regulatory frameworks through domestic legislation and international conventions that govern the protection of the marine environment from pollution, the introduction of invasive species and the environmental impact of pollution incidents, and advance Canadian positions on reducing and managing global marine pollution from ships. (TC)

3.8.2 - Contribute to reducing pollution from vessels by monitoring compliance of marine transportation firms with Canadian legislation such as the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 through the National Aerial Surveillance Program, inspections, audits, monitoring, and enforcement. (TC)

3.8.3 - Implementation of the World Class Tanker Safety initiatives announced in Budget 2012 and on March 18, 2013 to support Responsible Resource Development. This includes, among others, increased tanker inspection, aerial surveillance, navigational products, and a new Incident Command System. (TC)

Sub-Program 2.2.1 Clean Air Regulatory Framework and Oversight

Implementation Strategy # Contribution to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS)
3.8.1 - Set the legal and regulatory frameworks through domestic legislation and international conventions that govern the protection of the marine environment from pollution, the introduction of invasive species and the environmental impact of pollution incidents, and advance Canadian positions on reducing and managing global marine pollution from ships. (TC)

Theme II. Maintaining Water Quality and Availability

Goal 3: Water Quality and Water Quantity – Protect and enhance water so that it is clean, safe and secure for all Canadians and supports healthy ecosystems.

Target 3.8: Marine Pollution – Releases of Harmful Pollutants - Protect the marine environment by an annual 5% reduction in the number of releases of harmful pollutants in the marine environment by vessels identified during pollution patrol from 2013-16.

Description of the implementation strategy

Transport Canada protects the marine environment from pollution, the introduction of invasive species and the environmental impact of pollution incidents and advances Canadian positions on managing global marine pollution from ships.  The department accomplishes these objectives through the setting of legal and regulatory frameworks through both domestic legislation and international conventions.

This work sets a regulatory regime to prevent pollution incidents and ensures there are preparations and capacity in place to respond should one occur.  Technology plays a key role in both preventing pollution and responding to incidents.  By administering regulations and carrying out research and development Transport Canada aims to attain highest possible levels of protection for the environment.  

Relationship between this implementation strategy and the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy targets

This implementation strategy supports Target 3.8: Marine Pollution – Releases of Harmful Pollutants - Protect the marine environment by an annual 5% reduction in the number of releases of harmful pollutants in the marine environment by vessels identified during pollution patrol from 2013-16.

Program's Expected Achievements for 2014-2015

In 2014-2015, the program's expected achievements include:

  • Aligning regulations with domestic legislation and adopted international standards.
  • Monitoring compliance of vessels with regulations to prevent pollution and control invasive species through inspections.
2014-2015
Performance Indicators Targets Results Achieved
Percentage of instruments that are aligned with domestic legislation and/or adopted international standards 95% by March 31, 2017  
Compliance with regulations 100% by March 31, 2017  
Proposal of an update to the Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations to fully implement the ballast water convention Publication of proposed regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part I by
March 31, 2015.
 
Proposal of an update to the Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals  Regulations to reflect new international standards Release of discussion paper by
March 31, 2015.
 

Sub-Program 2.2.2 Clean Water Regulatory Oversight

Implementation Strategy # Contribution to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS)
3.8.2 - Contribute to reducing pollution from vessels by monitoring compliance of marine transportation firms with Canadian legislation such as the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 through the National Aerial Surveillance Program, inspections, audits, monitoring, and enforcement. (TC)

Theme II. Maintaining Water Quality and Availability

Goal 3: Water Quality and Water Quantity – Protect and enhance water so that it is clean, safe and secure for all Canadians and supports healthy ecosystems.

Target 3.8: Marine Pollution – Releases of Harmful Pollutants - Protect the marine environment by an annual 5% reduction in the number of releases of harmful pollutants in the marine environment by vessels identified during pollution patrol from 2013-16.

Description of the implementation strategy

Transport Canada contributes to the reduction of pollution from vessels by monitoring compliance of marine transportation firms with Canadian legislation (i.e., Canada Shipping Act, 2001).  The department monitors compliance through a number of mechanisms including for example, the National Aerial Surveillance Program, inspections, audits, monitoring and enforcement actions.

Relationship between this implementation strategy and the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy targets

This implementation strategy supports Target 3.8: Marine Pollution – Releases of Harmful Pollutants - Protect the marine environment by an annual 5% reduction in the number of releases of harmful pollutants in the marine environment by vessels identified during pollution patrol from 2013-16.

Program's Expected Achievements for 2014-2015

In 2014-2015, the program's expected achievements include:

  • Monitoring vessels for compliance with the regulatory frameworks to prevent marine pollution and to control invasive species from ballast water.
2014-2015
Performance Indicators Targets Results Achieved
Percentage vessels in compliance with regulatory framework for environmental response regime 95% by March 31, 2017  
Percentage of vessels in compliance with Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations reporting rules 95% by March 31, 2017  
Implementation Strategy # Contribution to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS)
3.8.3. Implementation of the World Class Tanker Safety initiatives announced in Budget 2012 and on March 18, 2013 to support Responsible Resource Development. This includes, among others, increased tanker inspection, aerial surveillance, navigational products, and a new Incident Command System. (TC)

Theme II. Maintaining Water Quality and Availability

Goal 3: Water Quality and Water Quantity – Protect and enhance water so that it is clean, safe and secure for all Canadians and supports healthy ecosystems.

Target 3.8: Marine Pollution – Releases of Harmful Pollutants - Protect the marine environment by an annual 5% reduction in the number of releases of harmful pollutants in the marine environment by vessels identified during pollution patrol from 2013-16.

Description of the implementation strategy

Transport Canada is leading, in collaboration with Environment Canada, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canadian Coast Guard and Natural Resources Canada, the development, implementation and communication of measures to enhance marine safety and oil spill response.  Measures include: review of Canada’s marine oil spill preparedness and response regime; development of a national risk assessment; increased foreign tanker inspection; and, enhanced aerial surveillance.  Through implementation of these measures, Transport Canada aims to strengthen Canada’s tanker safety system to protect both the safety of Canadians and our environment. 

Relationship between this implementation strategy and the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy targets

This implementation strategy supports Target 3.8: Marine Pollution – Releases of Harmful Pollutants - Protect the marine environment by an annual 5% reduction in the number of releases of harmful pollutants in the marine environment by vessels identified during pollution patrol from 2013-16.

Program's Expected Achievements for 2014-2015

In 2014-2015, the program's expected achievements include:

  • Legislative amendments to strengthen current requirements for spill prevention and preparedness at oil handling facilities and increased oversight and enforcement capacity.
  • Increased inspection of foreign tankers.
  • Enhanced aerial surveillance of vessels transiting Canadian waters.
  • Review by the Tanker Safety Expert Panel of the Marine Oil Spill Preparedness and response regime in the Arctic as well as a national review of requirements for hazardous and noxious substances.
2014-2015
Performance Indicators Targets Results Achieved
Percentage of instruments that are aligned with domestic legislation and/or adopted international standards 95% by March 31, 2017  
Percentage of foreign-flagged ships that are inspected 100% by March 31, 2016  
Increased aerial surveillance over Canadian waters 3,400 hours by March 31, 2018  
Tanker Safety Expert Panel report on the Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Regime in the Arctic Report submitted in 2014  
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