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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LETTER: Miles put on the car causes North Island driver to reflect

“Up here in Port McNeill we are so blessed with nature’s tranquillity all around us”

Collaborative effort removes salmon farms from BC coast

The first farms to be removed were those in closest to the Ahta and Viner Rivers.

North Island Concert Society: Marc Atkinson Trio coming to the Civic Centre

The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 18 at the Port Hardy Civic Centre.

MP Blaney welcomes feedback on medical assistance in dying legislation

Over the next two weeks the Government of Canada is holding consultations… Continue reading

Picture perfect: Get the most from your wedding photography

Stop by the Comox Community Centre on Jan. 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.!

Canada to bolster screening of central China passengers for virus at 3 airports

Additional measures will include messaging on arrivals screens in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

Ice chunk from truck crushes vehicle windshield on Vancouver Island

None injured, but Nanaimo RCMP say there can be fines for accumulations of ice and snow

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Wind and snow spark power outages across Vancouver Island

Winter storm warning in effect for east and west regions while wind warning to hit south and north

BC Ferries hybrid ships arrive in Victoria on Saturday

The battery-operated vessels will take over smaller routes

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Most Read