Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia to see more scientific research as part of oceans plan

Nova Scotia will see more scientific research and a new radar station, according to a $1.5-billion oceans protection plan announced by the federal government Monday.

Canadian Coast Guard and Bedford Institute of Oceanography will see money, environment minister says

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna announced $1.5 billion Monday to protect Canada's three coasts. (CBC)

Nova Scotia will see more scientific research and a new radar station, according to a $1.5-billion oceans protection plan announced by the federal government Monday.

The funding is earmarked to prevent oil spills, cut response times for cleanups and improve marine rescues in the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans. 

As part of that, a new radar station will be installed in Chedabucto, N.S., Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said at a press conference at the Canadian Coast Guard's Dartmouth offices.

Both the Canadian Coast Guard and the Bedford Institute of Oceanography will receive more money as part of the plan, she said. 

"We will draw on the traditional knowledge and expertise of Canada's Indigenous communities to more effectively protect Canada's coasts and waterways," McKenna said.

"We will ensure we are using the best available science by investing in research."

'Better responses' to disasters

The goal is to achieve "better responses" to marine incidents, and prevent them from happening, she said.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Centre for Offshore Oil, Gas and Energy Research, also based in Dartmouth, will see more money for scientific collaboration on oil spill response, McKenna said.

Two members of the Canadian Coast Guard look on during an announcement Monday by Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. (CBC)

More response planning, oil spill trajectory models and improved hydrography, charting and navigation products are promised, as well as improved weather forecasting with more detailed, frequent and localized information.

'Bigger roles' in emergency response

At the same time, the federal government is ensuring that coastal and Indigenous communities "will have a bigger role in emergency response and waterway management that protects their interests," McKenna said.

The Liberal government will present new legislation, she said, to reduce the number of derelict vessels being left to local communities to clean up. The legislation and changes to registration will mean owners can be found more easily and will have have to shoulder cleanup costs, McKenna said.

Bernadette Jordan, MP for South Shore-St. Margarets, was credited with pushing that forward. A community in her riding, Shelburne, has been dealing with an abandoned ship, the Farley Mowat, since 2013. Its owner was sentenced last spring for failing to remove the vessel.