Ottawa to double spending on ship pollution surveillance off Canadian coasts

Douglas Channel, the proposed termination point for an oil pipeline in the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, is pictured in an aerial view of Kitimat.

The federal government has announced a funding boost for marine pollution surveillance as it attempts to shore up environmental protections in British Columbia and water down opposition to oil export plans.

Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said on Wednesday that funding for the aerial surveillance program will increase from $5 million to roughly $10 million a year over the next five years, allowing the country’s three surveillance aircraft to increase the number of flights to spot oil spills off Canadian coasts.

The fleet currently spends 2,080 hours a year in the air, and Raitt said that time will increase to 3,750 with the new money.

“On the West Coast, what it means is that surveillance hours increase from 500 to 700 hours until 2017-2018, and at that time, it’s going to increase to 1,200 hours,” she said at a media event in Richmond.

She also said more patrols will be dispatched in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Vancouver Harbour, the waters just off Metro Vancouver.

Surveillance will also increase around Prince Rupert and Kitimat, where tankers would ship diluted bitumen from the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline if the project is approved.

Read the full story here.

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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