June 15, 2017 – Funding for Fisheries, Oceans and Coast Guard
Our government has invested approximately $3 billion into the core operations for DFO/CCG through Budget 2016, Budget 2017, the Oceans Protection Plan and following a comprehensive review of the organization’s programs and services. With these investments, Canadians will soon see a noticeable difference in the services they receive from DFO/CCG.
- There will be no changes to CCG presence in inland waterways.
- The Coast Guard dive team will remain at the Sea Island base.
- There will be no change or reductions to the Salmonid Enhancement Program (SEP). All elements of SEP will continue.
With the significant new investments in DFO/CCG, our government will be enhancing search and rescue services on all our coasts and working with community partners on a number of ecosystem restoration projects.
On Salmonid Enhancement Program
I have shared with the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard the concerns I have heard from community members over recent days with respect to some recent changes to the Salmonid Enhancement Program. I take those concerns extremely seriously, as does our government.
Preserving and restoring salmon habitat is fundamental to ensuring the Pacific coast has salmon for generations to come. There will be no reductions to the Salmonid Enhancement Program: all these programs will continue. This includes the educational and technical contracts that support Stream to Sea and Salmonids in the Classroom, the SEP Resource Restoration Unit, and the hatchery production of Steelhead and Cutthroat trout.
We recognize the long standing relationships with Indigenous, community and municipal partners in our collective conservation efforts to protect wild Pacific salmon stocks. We will continue this important work through the SEP Program.
Coastal Restoration Fund
DFO has for a long time focused on inland waters but emerging new science has also shown we need to mitigate stressors in the ocean environment. Our government is committed to continuing all aspects of the Salmonid enhancement program, as well as restoring habitat along our ocean coastlines.
The new Coastal Restoration Fund – $75M over 5 years –addresses historically degraded areas and will support projects that contribute to coastal restoration plans; support the identification of restoration priorities; and threats to marine species located on Canada’s coasts. (Link: http://dfo-mpo.gc.ca/oceans/crf-frc/index-eng.html)
Investments stemming from this fund will help indigenous people, community based groups, not-for-profit organizations, academic institutions, researchers, and industry to work together with us to restore marine environments and protect critical coastline habitat.
As we focus on restoring lost protections in the Fisheries Act, and focus on rebuilding habitat management capacity in our department, our government will outline better and more significant investments in the months ahead as to how we intend to partner with these community groups to ensure that this important work is not lost and is continued and strengthened for the years ahead.
Increased Search and Rescue Capacity
Through the Oceans Protection Plan, our government is increasing the Canadian Coast Guard’s search and rescue, and environmental response capacity.
To increase our search and rescue capacity so vital to Canadians on all of our coasts the Canadian Coast Guard will establish seven new lifeboat stations. Four of these stations will be located in British Columbia – in Victoria, Port Renfrew, Nootka and Hartley Bay.
As part of creating a world leading marine safety system the Coast Guard will create 24/7 emergency coordination capacities within existing regional operation centres – one in Victoria.
Total investments in 2017 will create more job opportunities within the Coast Guard, resulting in up to 15% increase in staffing across the country within the next year.
Sea Island Dive Team
I have shared with the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard the concerns I have heard from community members over recent days respect to some recent changes to Coast Guard services – including the dive team program and services on inland waterways.
I take those concerns extremely seriously, as does our government. We know how much Canadians value the programs and services offered the Coast Guard.
All these programs will continue. We have listened to Canadians and understand the strong attachment they place on the Canadian Coast Guard. That’s why our government is making historic investments in Coast Guard capacity through the Oceans Protection Plan and the recent program review.