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Canada’s oceans get $1.5 billion in marine protection


Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stands on board the Canadian Coast Guard ship Sir Wilfrid Laurier, during a tour of the harbour in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday November 7, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

VANCOUVER — The federal government has announced a $1.5 billion ocean-protection plan that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says will make Canada a world leader in protecting the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans.

Trudeau announced the funding over five years, which includes creating a marine safety system, restoring marine ecosystems, and spending on oil spill cleanup research and methods.

Trudeau told a group in Vancouver that the funding will strengthen the Canadian Coast Guard, get tough on pollution from industry, fund coastal habitat restoration and create new legislation to increase responsibility for vessel owners.

Oil spill cleanup in Vancouver's English Bay
A Vancouver Police boat and a spill response vessel are seen near the bulk carrier cargo ship Alpha Loyalty after a bunker fuel spill on English Bay in Vancouver, on Thursday, April 9, 2015. (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The prime minister says because Canada has the longest coastline in the world, it’s vital to have a plan to ensure protection in modern and advanced ways.

The announcement comes a day after a barge flipped and sank not far from the site on B.C.’s central coast where a tug ran aground last month, spilling more than 100,000 litres of diesel fuel from its tanks.

It also sets the stage for the possible approval of the $6.8-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Trudeau’s government is expected to announce a decision on the project by Dec. 19.

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