Parliamentary secretary Jonathan Wilkinson (right) after announcing Vancouver Island components of Justin Trudeau's Oceans Protection Plan Tuesday morning in Victoria.

New facilities for Port Hardy, Port Renfrew and Victoria part of Oceans Protection Plan

Federal government also pledging better navigational data and tools to protect killer whales and several Vancouver Island waterways

Killer whales will be protected, Port Hardy will be getting a new environmental response centre and new lifeboat stations will be established in Victoria and Port Renfrew as part of the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan announced yesterday by Justin Trudeau.

Parliamentary Secretary Jonathan Wilkinson revealed details about how the plan will impact Vancouver Island during a media event this morning at the University of Victoria.

Among the highlights of the announcement:

  • Enhanced protection of the southern resident killer whales through investments in new large mammal avoidance systems and new measures to mitigate noise
  • A new logistics depot in Port Hardy to house environmental response staff and equipment to ensure rapid response to any spill
  • Creation of six new lifeboat stations, including stations in Victoria, Port Renfrew and Nootka
  • Investments in modern hydrographic and navigational data for Victoria, Esquimalt, Nanaimo, Port Renfrew, Port Alberni, Chemainus and Campbell River waterways

“The Oceans Protection Plan will lead to better responses when incidents occur off our coasts. And most importantly, it will take steps to ensure marine incidents do not happen in the first place,” Wilkinson said in a media release. “The Plan will help create economic opportunities for Canadians today, including jobs for the middle-class and for Indigenous Canadians, while protecting our waters for future generations to enjoy this extraordinary place.”

The announcement comes prior to a decision on the controversial $6.8 billion Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project.

Among the previously announced marine spill response enhancements were Indigenous Community Response Teams and improved towing capacity for Canadian Coast Guard vessels.

After an announced federal plan that seemed considerably less than what B.C. officials had requested of Ottawa, Premier Christy Clark said Monday she is pleased with the progress after years of requests for more resources.

A briefing from federal officials left her confident that “the bulk of the benefits” will go to the Pacific coast, including one of the new heavy rescue tugs and towing upgrades to four Coast Guard vessels, she said.

“I have to say I have no cause for complaint with what we’ve seen today,” Clark told reporters.

— with file from Tom Fletcher

Just Posted

Port Hardy Fire Rescue looking to replace old equipment

PHFR recently requested funding from the district for new SCBA equipment, citing a $35,000 cost.

Port Hardy council has sent a second cannabis application to LCRB for consideration

Port Hardy council voted in favour to have a cannabis application moved forward to LCRB.

Port Hardy water, sewer and garbage rates may go up

Water rates would increase by 2 per cent, garbage by 2.5 per cent, and sewer by 4 per cent.

VIDEO: North Island female minor hockey jamboree a big success story

“Success is measured by the smiles on the players’ faces, not by the scoreboard.”

FOLLOW-UP: Shelley Downey speaks on her Conservative candidacy

“I anticipate requesting a leave of absence from Port McNeill council,” Downey said.

VIDEO: Ex-NASA engineer pranks mail thieves with glitter bomb trap

Package thefts are common this time of year, but YouTuber Mark Rober used his engineering skills

Lightning top Canucks 5-2 in feisty battle

NHL’s No. 1 team too much for Vancouver

Bear cubs try to take Vancouver Island woman’s Christmas cookies

Incident happened in the early-morning hours today, Dec. 18, in Nanaimo

FortisBC says you can return to normal gas use following pipeline fire

Utility says increased pipeline capacity, warmer weather have allowed supply to reach normal levels

CSIS collected info on peaceful groups, but only in pursuit of threats: watchdog

Security Intelligence Review Committee says fears unjustified after reviewing evidence, testimony

Canada ranks 16th on annual gender gap list

This is the second year Canada has placed 16th in the World Economic Forum’s list

VIDEO: Tornado rips through city west of Seattle

Reports indicate five to seven homes damaged in Port Orchard, Wash.

Trial date postponed for man charged with killing Abbotsford police officer

Oscar Arfmann’s trial pushed back from January to May 2019

Privacy watchdog says legal cannabis buyers should use cash, not credit

Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis

Most Read