The Government of Canada’s announcement today of expanded use of new Canadian Coast Guard radars, as part of the Coast Guard’s Marine Communication and Traffic Services network, is yet another concrete action towards further protection of British Columbia’s pristine coastal waters under the Oceans Protection Plan.
Announced by the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Chamber of Shipping is fully supportive of the installation of six new radar systems that will expand the overall radar coverage of the southern British Columbia coast. Radar coverage of our coastal waters is essential to supporting enhanced marine traffic monitoring and the safety of lives at sea - this includes many different types of vessels, from large commercial ships to smaller recreational boats.
“Our coastal waters can be a harsh environment where the weather conditions occasionally reduce the visibility, “stated the Chamber’s President, Robert Lewis-Manning. “The radar systems announced today will provide a valuable capability to support responsible shipping, and the management and mitigation of risk.”
We also commend the Canadian Coast Guard for its careful consideration of the placement of these new systems. This effort was extensive and included a detailed analysis of the needs and careful consideration of the local impacts to First Nations’ and coastal communities.
Commercial shipping results in $30 billion of economic activity annually in Canada and, at 1.8% of the Canadian economy, ships move more than $200 billion worth of goods to and from global markets. From farmers to retailers, thousands of Canadian jobs depend on a healthy and thriving trade environment supported by a robust and fluid marine transportation network, committed to environmental protection and stewardship.