Our Best Wishes for the New Year
The arrival of 2017 is certainly a great opportunity to look at the progress made over the last year, which was marked by several significant achievements.
The Oceans Protection Plan (OPP), announced by the Government of Canada in early November, in particular, is excellent news. The OPP is an ambitious whole-of-government approach consisting of working with the provinces and territories, Aboriginal communities, industry, environmental organizations, coastal communities and a host of other partners to further protect our coasts and our waterways. It provides for a significant investment of $1.5 billion for Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) programs and services.
We are proud to have renewed our commitment to the St. Lawrence Action Plan for the 2016–2021 program and, among all DFO and CCG contributions, to have strengthened scientific monitoring of St. Lawrence health indicators. In this regard, we would like to emphasize our participation at Rendez-vous Saint-Laurent, as well as the public and media interest raised through the marine-only version of Rendez-vous Saint-Laurent held at the Maurice Lamontagne Institute.
Improvements in fisheries management, such as the stabilization of geographic fleet shares for the Atlantic halibut, now provide a predictability that allows fish harvesters to better plan their activities and helps their businesses achieve economic viability.
The year 2017 will be significant. We will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Maurice Lamontagne Institute and the 150th anniversary of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. We will continue working to improve several harbour infrastructures as part of the Federal Infrastructure Initiative. In addition, the implementation of marine conservation initiatives will help Canada meet its resource protection goals of 5% of territory preserved by 2017 and 10% by 2020.
This spring, the CCG will begin dismantling the Kathryn Spirit, the ship that has been abandoned on the shores of Beauharnois since 2011. By the end of 2017, it will also review its action plan to continue to reduce, or even eliminate, the risk of pollution from the Corfu Island, which has been aground in the Magdalen Islands for more than 50 years.
On behalf of all Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Canadian Coast Guard employees, we would like to wish you, your families and your loved ones all the best for health, happiness and prosperity in the New Year.
Regional Director General
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Canadian Coast Guard
Central and Arctic Region