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2018 Legal News


May 30, 2018 - Regulations Amending Newfoundland and Labrador Fishery Regulations

The Amendments have three objectives arising from the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement (LILCA):

  • to recognize the creation of the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area within the Fisheries Act’s associated regulatory framework;

  • to allow the provisions of the LILCA to be implemented until such time as the Nunatsiavut Government is in a position to introduce its own fishing regulations; and

  • to provide the necessary regulatory tools to allow DFO to manage the fisheries in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area and fulfill its mandate of conservation, public health or public safety.


May 16, 2018 - Regulations Amending the Small Vessel Regulations

The Amendments address three issues:

  • Stand-up paddleboards are added to the list of vessels that have reduced safety equipment carriage requirements when each person aboard wears a lifejacket or personal flotation device.

  • Pyrotechnic distress signals (flares) requirements on smaller boats are reduced under certain conditions.

  • The amendments clarify that an update to a pleasure craft licence does not extend the expiry date of the licence by an additional 10 years.


April 25, 2018 - Rules Amending the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Rules

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) is an independent quasi-judicial administrative tribunal that has jurisdiction to inquire into whether dumped or subsidized imports injure domestic industry, inquire into complaints by potential suppliers (both domestic and foreign) concerning federal procurement, and other trade and tariff issues.


These amendments to the Rules modify the CITT Rules and codify a number of current practices, including:

  • The electronic filing of documents (e.g. written evidence, argument, witness statements, etc.) is established as the preferred method of filing; and the need for the filing of paper copies is eliminated.

  • Rules requiring the CITT to receive and distribute parties’ submissions and confidential information in a procurement proceeding are eliminated and parties will generally be permitted to provide all documents filed after the initial complaint documents directly to one another.

  • New rules explicitly state the power of the CITT to compel a non-party to file a questionnaire response, to provide specific information to the Tribunal, or to file an affidavit.

  • Potential interveners are required to spell out in more detail the nature of their interest in the appeal, and why their interests would not be adequately represented by current parties to the proceeding. In addition, the current CITT practice of consulting the existing parties to the proceeding regarding the relevance of intervener participation will be codified.

  • Certain deadlines will be advanced, including deadlines for filing expert reports (30 days before the hearing instead of 20), identifying lists of witnesses in appeals proceedings (20 days before the hearing) and oral translation requirements (20 days before the hearing instead of 30), and requests for postponement of a hearing (15 days before the hearing instead of 10). 

April 23, 2018 - Administrative Monetary Penalties and Notices (CSA 2001) Regulations

The amendments designate new provisions as violations under the following regulations, which will allow Transport Canada marine safety inspectors to issue AMPs under these regulations:

  • Collision Regulations;

  • Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations;

  • Small Vessel Regulations;

  • Fire and Boat Drills Regulations;

  • Safety Management Regulations; and

  • Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations.

Violations are also being added or reintroduced for the CSA 2001 relating to pollution prevention and response and return of Canadian maritime document

April 4, 2018 - Regulations Respecting Reduction in the Release of Methane and Certain Volatile Organic Compounds (Upstream Oil and Gas Sector)

These regulations introduce operating and maintenance standards for the upstream oil and gas industry. They ensure that fugitive or venting emissions of methane are reduced when there is a higher potential to emit methane.

March 28, 2018 – Measures to address North Atlantic right whale mortalities in the Gulf of St. Lawrence

The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard announced new measures to address North Atlantic right whale mortalities in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, including:

  • A mandatory speed restriction from April 28 until November 15 for vessels 20 metres or longer to a maximum of 10 knots when travelling in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence. The speed restriction zone may be changed as needed.

  • Allowing vessels to travel at normal speeds in parts of two shipping lanes north and south of Anticosti Island when no whales are in the area. A 15-day mandatory slowdown of 10 knots will be activated within a section of the shipping lanes when one North Atlantic right whale is spotted and can be extended as needed.

  • Opening the southern Gulf snow crab season earlier (if possible) and closing the season earlier with all fishing fleets in area 12 beginning simultaneously. All snow crab gear must be removed from the water by June 30, 2018, two weeks earlier than normally scheduled.

  • Introducing temporary and fixed fisheries management areas and closures where right whales are observed.

  • Reducing the number of traps in the midshore fishery in Crab Fishing Area 12 compared to 2017.

  • Increasing aerial and at-sea surveillance to detect whales.

  • Implementing licencing requirements at certain fisheries for harvesters to keep better track of rope and buoys, and mandatory reporting of lost gear.

  • Adding a reporting requirement to all commercial licences that all interactions with marine mammals must be reported.

  • Increasing the frequency that snow crab vessels are now required to report their activity on the water through Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) vessel monitoring system to ensure compliance with new measures.

March 28, 2018 – Three new potential marine conservation measures announced off the coast of Nova Scotia

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has identified the Eastern Shore Islands and Fundian Channel-Browns Bank as Areas of Interest (AOIs) for future designation as marine protected areas (MPAs) designation under the Oceans Act. Additionally, an area known as the Eastern Canyons has been proposed as a new conservation area under the Fisheries Act. These areas were selected from a larger MPA Network Design for the Maritimes Region, which will be released for public consultation in the coming months.


March 21, 2018 - Nova Scotia Power to voluntarily pay $50,000 to environmental damages fund following May 2017 fish mortality at White Rock Generating Station

Nova Scotia Power Inc. (NSPI), in response to a May 2017 fish mortality resulting from the operation of its White Rock Generating Station (Kings County, Nova Scotia), has voluntarily agreed to pay $50,000 to the Federal Environmental Damages Fund by March 31, 2018. The voluntary compliance follows an investigation by Fisheries and Oceans Canada for violations under Section 35 of the Fisheries Act which states: “No person shall carry on any work, undertaking or activity that results in serious harm to fish that are part of a commercial, recreational or Aboriginal fishery, or to fish that support such a fishery.”


On May 28, 2017, the unit gate at the Generating Station was opened to allow for a faster flow of water to accommodate an annual fundraising event. This increase in water flow resulted in the death of adult gaspereau.


February 6, 2018 – Amendments to the Fisheries Act introduced in Parliament (“Bill C-68”),

Bill C-68 amends the Fisheries Act to, among other things:

  • require that, when making a decision under that Act, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard shall consider any adverse effects that the decision may have on the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, include provisions respecting the consideration and protection of traditional knowledge of the Indigenous peoples of Canada, and authorize the making of agreements with Indigenous governing bodies to further the purpose of the Fisheries Act

  • add a purpose clause and considerations for decision-making under that Act

  • empower the Minister to establish advisory panels and to set fees, including for the provision of regulatory processes

  • provide measures for the protection of fish and fish habitat with respect to works, undertakings or activities that may result in the death of fish or the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat, including in ecologically significant areas, as well as measures relating to the modernization of the regulatory framework such as authorization of projects, establishment of standards and codes of practice, creation of fish habitat banks by a proponent of a project and establishment of a public registry;

  • empower the Governor in Council to make new regulations, including regulations respecting the rebuilding of fish stocks and importation of fish;

  • empower the Minister to make regulations for the purposes of the conservation and protection of marine biodiversity;

  • empower the Minister to make fisheries management orders prohibiting or limiting fishing for a period of 45 days to address a threat to the proper management and control of fisheries and the conservation and protection of fish;

  • prohibit the fishing of a cetacean with the intent to take it into captivity, unless authorized by the Minister, including when the cetacean is injured, in distress or in need of care; and

  • update and strengthen enforcement powers, as well as establish an alternative measures agreements regime

January 11, 2018 – Transport Canada lifts temporary speed restriction in the Gulf of St. Lawrence

The Minister of Transport announced that the temporary mandatory slowdown for vessels has been lifted in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to ensure ships can maintain manoeuverability in winter conditions and for the safety of those operating in Canadian waters. On August 11, 2017, Transport Canada implemented a speed restriction for vessels 20 metres or more to a maximum of 10 knots in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence. This temporary measure was in response to an increased number of right whales observed in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. There have been no sightings of North Atlantic right whales in the area of the slow-down in recent weeks.

January 10, 2018 - Transport Canada introduces new Arctic Shipping Safety and Pollution Prevention Regulations

Transport Canada has introduced new Arctic Shipping Safety and Pollution Prevention Regulations. The regulations incorporate the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (the Polar Code) into Canada’s domestic legislation. The Polar Code and Canada’s new regulations include a variety of safety and pollution prevention measures, including those related to vessel design and equipment, vessel operations and crew training.

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