Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan Needs Improvement

Chamber of Shipping > Blog > Campaigns > Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan Needs Improvement

Ottawa, November 5, 2019 – Today, the Chamber of Shipping released a Report Card on the progress of the Oceans Protection Plan (OPP) as it relates to commercial shipping. Overall, the fifty-plus programs under the OPP have had varied levels of success. Certain programs have suffered from a lack of resources and a lack of an integrated approach between Federal Departments. Additionally, there has been little intent to connect OPP programs with Government reviews associated with port governance, and supply chain efficiency and productivity, missing an opportunity to align the OPP with trade objectives.

Notwithstanding these weaknesses, the OPP has made significant strides in delivering certain infrastructure that will increase safety in coastal waters, such as increased coastal radar coverage, investing in the protection of species at risk, and progressing ocean conservation through a sophisticated framework of co-governance on the North Coast of British Columbia.

While the OPP was never designed to address supply chain efficiency and productivity, it is now appropriate to recalibrate the OPP programming with a goal to optimize the effectiveness of the supply chain while addressing Canada’s climate change targets. Protecting Canada’s incredible coasts must include efficient and productive ports, and marine transportation corridors that maximize safety, environmental standards, and efficiency.

As the Government of Canada considers its priorities and programming, the following recommendations should be considered as a means of enhancing the OPP and Canada’s international trade:

1. Eliminating the multiple and inconsistent marine safety frameworks for evaluating and mitigating risk from commercial marine shipping;

2. Increasing funding and the allocation of departmental resources to collect and disseminate supply chain data, and assess, benchmark, and resolve inefficiencies in Canadian ports;

3. Increasing resources and technical expertise to better evaluate and develop environmental regulations necessary to address climate change while balancing the requirements of trade and competitiveness; and

4. Eliminating the duplication of reporting and establishing a single window for reporting marine conveyance data to enhance situational awareness throughout the Federal Departments.

Commercial marine shipping in Canada remains negatively impacted by an overly complex regulatory and administrative framework managed by multiple Federal Departments and agencies with competing jurisdictional controls. In the absence of a clear and shared vision with the Government of Canada on the management of its international trade corridors, Canada’s global competitiveness will continue to decline. Canada is poised to increase its market access but the absence of a strategic vision that is coordinated between Federal Departments results in the loss of productivity, creates inefficiencies and adds to the regulatory burdens within the marine transportation system.

About Chamber of Shipping
The Chamber of Shipping represents commercial carriers and their agents in Canada which trade internationally and domestically. The marine transportation sector is vital to supporting Canadian trade, and Canada’s continued prosperity and high standard of living depends on our ability to deliver resources, goods, and people in a responsible and competitive manner.

For more information:
Janet Kelly
Chamber of Shipping
T +1 604 681 2351

Download the Oceans Protection Plan Report Card here.

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