Vanguard Magazine

Vanguard June/July 2017

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

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O OCEANS PROTECTION PLAN JUNE/JULY 2017 35 play an active role in decision-making about marine safety. This is where the Oceans Protection Plan really sets itself apart from similar projects. Partnership and collaboration at the local level are the foundation of delivering many of the OPP initiatives. The traditional knowledge and exper- tise of Indigenous peoples and coastal communities is critical to protecting Canada's coasts and waterways. They have been safeguarding these waters for years. They are often the first to respond to marine emergencies and can be the most affected when a marine pollution incident occurs. The Government of Canada will partner with Indigenous and coastal communities in a number of areas, including: • understanding the effects of shipping; • creating local vessel control areas to minimize environmental impacts and safety risks; • updating regulations and other tools to better respond to local marine traffic is- sues; • establishing priorities for habitat resto- ration and taking appropriate measures when monitoring clean-up in the event of a spill; • developing training programs to in- crease participation of the Indigenous community and women in marine safety jobs. Investing in science for decision-making Canada's marine safety system will be built on stronger scientific evidence. This means that under the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada will work with international partners to access the best technology available for oil spill clean-up. Additional research will also be conducted to better understand how oil and petroleum products behave when spilled in a marine environment. Protecting Canada's coasts today and for future generations The Oceans Protection Plan is the result of many conversations the Government of Canada had with Canadians over the last few years. Ministers and government of- ficials sat with Indigenous Peoples, indus- try representatives, coastal communities, other levels of government and environ- mental organizations to learn what was needed most. Canadians also submitted their thoughts online through engage- ment portals. From coast-to-coast-to- coast, they gathered together to listen and to learn how to better protect Canada's waters. Canadians told their government that they want jobs and prosperity, but not at the cost of their environment. They want the government to improve Can- ada's trade corridors so they can prosper in a global, integrated economy, but also want Canadian products to be shipped in an environmentally responsible way. They expect the Government of Canada to ad- vance economic needs hand in hand with environmental goals. The Oceans Protection Plan shows that this is possible – creating economic oppor- tunities today while protecting Canada's waters for tomorrow.

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