Oceans Act (S.C. 1996, c. 31)

Act current to 2017-04-12 and last amended on 2015-02-26. Previous Versions

Oceans Act

S.C. 1996, c. 31

Assented to 1996-12-18

An Act respecting the oceans of Canada

Preamble

WHEREAS Canada recognizes that the three oceans, the Arctic, the Pacific and the Atlantic, are the common heritage of all Canadians;

WHEREAS Parliament wishes to reaffirm Canada’s role as a world leader in oceans and marine resource management;

WHEREAS Parliament wishes to affirm in Canadian domestic law Canada’s sovereign rights, jurisdiction and responsibilities in the exclusive economic zone of Canada;

WHEREAS Canada promotes the understanding of oceans, ocean processes, marine resources and marine ecosystems to foster the sustainable development of the oceans and their resources;

WHEREAS Canada holds that conservation, based on an ecosystem approach, is of fundamental importance to maintaining biological diversity and productivity in the marine environment;

WHEREAS Canada promotes the wide application of the precautionary approach to the conservation, management and exploitation of marine resources in order to protect these resources and preserve the marine environment;

WHEREAS Canada recognizes that the oceans and their resources offer significant opportunities for economic diversification and the generation of wealth for the benefit of all Canadians, and in particular for coastal communities;

WHEREAS Canada promotes the integrated management of oceans and marine resources;

AND WHEREAS the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, in collaboration with other ministers, boards and agencies of the Government of Canada, with provincial and territorial governments and with affected aboriginal organizations, coastal communities and other persons and bodies, including those bodies established under land claims agreements, is encouraging the development and implementation of a national strategy for the management of estuarine, coastal and marine ecosystems;

NOW, THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Oceans Act.

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

 In this Act,

artificial island

île artificielle

artificial island means any man-made extension of the seabed or a seabed feature, whether or not the extension breaks the surface of the superjacent waters; (île artificielle)

Department

ministère

Department means the Department of Fisheries and Oceans; (ministère)

federal laws

droit

federal laws includes Acts of Parliament, regulations as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Interpretation Act and any other rules of law within the jurisdiction of Parliament, but does not include laws of the Legislature of Yukon, of the Northwest Territories or for Nunavut; (droit)

law

droit

law, in respect of a province, includes a law or rule of law from time to time in force in the province, other than federal laws, and the provisions of any instrument having effect under any such law; (droit)

marine installation or structure

ouvrages en mer

marine installation or structure includes

  • (a) any ship and any anchor, anchor cable or rig pad used in connection therewith,

  • (b) any offshore drilling unit, production platform, subsea installation, pumping station, living accommodation, storage structure, loading or landing platform, dredge, floating crane, pipelaying or other barge or pipeline and any anchor, anchor cable or rig pad used in connection therewith, and

  • (c) any other work or work within a class of works prescribed pursuant to paragraph 26(1)(a); (ouvrages en mer)

Minister

ministre

Minister means the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans; (ministre)

ship

navire

ship includes any description of vessel, boat or craft designed, used or capable of being used solely or partly for marine navigation without regard to method or lack of propulsion. (navire)

  • 1996, c. 31, s. 2;
  • 1993, c. 28, s. 78;
  • 1998, c. 15, s. 35;
  • 2002, c. 7, s. 223;
  • 2014, c. 2, s. 46.
Marginal note:Saving

 For greater certainty, nothing in this Act shall be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from any existing aboriginal or treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Her Majesty

Marginal note:Her Majesty

 This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.

PART ICanada’s Maritime Zones

Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone

Marginal note:Territorial sea of Canada

 The territorial sea of Canada consists of a belt of sea that has as its inner limit the baselines described in section 5 and as its outer limit

  • (a) subject to paragraph (b), the line every point of which is at a distance of 12 nautical miles from the nearest point of the baselines; or

  • (b) in respect of the portions of the territorial sea of Canada for which geographical coordinates of points have been prescribed pursuant to subparagraph 25(a)(ii), lines determined from the geographical coordinates of points so prescribed.

Marginal note:Determination of the baselines
  •  (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the baseline is the low-water line along the coast or on a low-tide elevation that is situated wholly or partly at a distance not exceeding the breadth of the territorial sea of Canada from the mainland or an island.

  • Marginal note:Geographical coordinates of points

    (2) In respect of any area for which geographical coordinates of points have been prescribed pursuant to subparagraph 25(a)(i) and subject to any exceptions in the regulations for

    • (a) the use of the low-water line along the coast between given points, and

    • (b) the use of the low-water lines of low-tide elevations that are situated wholly or partly at a distance not exceeding the breadth of the territorial sea of Canada from the mainland or an island,

    the baselines are straight lines interpreted as geodesics joining the consecutive geographical coordinates of points so prescribed.

  • Marginal note:Baselines where historic title

    (3) In respect of any area not referred to in subsection (2), the baselines are the outer limits of any area, other than the territorial sea of Canada, over which Canada has a historic or other title of sovereignty.

  • Marginal note:Low-tide elevations

    (4) For the purposes of this section, a low-tide elevation is a naturally formed area of land that is surrounded by and above water at low tide but submerged at high tide.

Marginal note:Internal waters of Canada

 The internal waters of Canada consist of the waters on the landward side of the baselines of the territorial sea of Canada.

Marginal note:Part of Canada

 For greater certainty, the internal waters of Canada and the territorial sea of Canada form part of Canada.

Marginal note:Rights of Her Majesty
  •  (1) For greater certainty, in any area of the sea not within a province, the seabed and subsoil below the internal waters of Canada and the territorial sea of Canada are vested in Her Majesty in right of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Saving

    (2) Nothing in this section abrogates or derogates from any legal right or interest held before February 4, 1991.

Marginal note:Application of provincial law
  •  (1) Subject to this section and to any other Act of Parliament, the laws of a province apply in any area of the sea

    • (a) that forms part of the internal waters of Canada or the territorial sea of Canada;

    • (b) that is not within any province; and

    • (c) that is prescribed by the regulations.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (2) Subject to any regulations made pursuant to paragraph 26(1)(d), subsection (1) does not apply in respect of any provision of a law of a province that

    • (a) imposes a tax or royalty; or

    • (b) relates to mineral or other non-living natural resources.

  • Marginal note:Interpretation

    (3) For the purposes of this section, the laws of a province shall be applied as if the area of the sea in which those laws apply under this section were within the territory of that province.

  • Marginal note:Sums due to province

    (4) Any sum due under a law of a province that applies in an area of the sea under this section belongs to Her Majesty in right of the province.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (5) For greater certainty, this section shall not be interpreted as providing a basis for any claim, by or on behalf of a province, in respect of any interest in or legislative jurisdiction over any area of the sea in which a law of a province applies under this section or the living or non-living resources of that area, or as limiting the application of any federal laws.

Marginal note:Contiguous zone of Canada

 The contiguous zone of Canada consists of an area of the sea that has as its inner limit the outer limit of the territorial sea of Canada and as its outer limit the line every point of which is at a distance of 24 nautical miles from the nearest point of the baselines of the territorial sea of Canada, but does not include an area of the sea that forms part of the territorial sea of another state or in which another state has sovereign rights.

Marginal note:Prevention in contiguous zone of infringement of federal laws

 A person who is responsible for the enforcement of a federal law that is a customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary law and who has reasonable grounds to believe that a person in the contiguous zone of Canada would, if that person were to enter Canada, commit an offence under that law may, subject to Canada’s international obligations, prevent the entry of that person into Canada or the commission of the offence and, for greater certainty, section 25 of the Criminal Code applies in respect of the exercise by a person of any powers under this section.

Marginal note:Enforcement in contiguous zone of federal laws
  •  (1) Where there are reasonable grounds to believe that a person has committed an offence in Canada in respect of a federal law that is a customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary law, every power of arrest, entry, search or seizure or other power that could be exercised in Canada in respect of that offence may also be exercised in the contiguous zone of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (2) A power of arrest referred to in subsection (1) shall not be exercised in the contiguous zone of Canada on board any ship registered outside Canada without the consent of the Attorney General of Canada.

Exclusive Economic Zone

Marginal note:Exclusive economic zone of Canada
  •  (1) The exclusive economic zone of Canada consists of an area of the sea beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea of Canada that has as its inner limit the outer limit of the territorial sea of Canada and as its outer limit

    • (a) subject to paragraph (b), the line every point of which is at a distance of 200 nautical miles from the nearest point of the baselines of the territorial sea of Canada; or

    • (b) in respect of a portion of the exclusive economic zone of Canada for which geographical coordinates of points have been prescribed pursuant to subparagraph 25(a)(iii), lines determined from the geographical coordinates of points so prescribed.

  • Marginal note:Determination of the outer limit of the exclusive economic zone of Canada

    (2) For greater certainty, paragraph (1)(a) applies regardless of whether regulations are made pursuant to subparagraph 25(a)(iv) prescribing geographical coordinates of points from which the outer limit of the exclusive economic zone of Canada may be determined.

Marginal note:Sovereign rights and jurisdiction of Canada

 Canada has

  • (a) sovereign rights in the exclusive economic zone of Canada for the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources, whether living or non-living, of the waters superjacent to the seabed and of the seabed and its subsoil, and with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the exclusive economic zone of Canada, such as the production of energy from the water, currents and winds;

  • (b) jurisdiction in the exclusive economic zone of Canada with regard to

    • (i) the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations and structures,

    • (ii) marine scientific research, and

    • (iii) the protection and preservation of the marine environment; and

  • (c) other rights and duties in the exclusive economic zone of Canada provided for under international law.

Marginal note:Rights of Her Majesty
  •  (1) For greater certainty, any rights of Canada in the seabed and subsoil of the exclusive economic zone of Canada and their resources are vested in Her Majesty in right of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Saving

    (2) Nothing in this section abrogates or derogates from any legal right or interest held before February 4, 1991.

Marginal note:Fishing zones of Canada

 The fishing zones of Canada consist of areas of the sea adjacent to the coast of Canada that are prescribed in the regulations.

Continental Shelf

Marginal note:Continental shelf of Canada
  •  (1) The continental shelf of Canada is the seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas, including those of the exclusive economic zone of Canada, that extend beyond the territorial sea of Canada throughout the natural prolongation of the land territory of Canada

    • (a) subject to paragraphs (b) and (c), to the outer edge of the continental margin, determined in the manner under international law that results in the maximum extent of the continental shelf of Canada, the continental margin being the submerged prolongation of the land mass of Canada consisting of the seabed and subsoil of the shelf, the slope and the rise, but not including the deep ocean floor with its oceanic ridges or its subsoil;

    • (b) to a distance of 200 nautical miles from the baselines of the territorial sea of Canada where the outer edge of the continental margin does not extend up to that distance; or

    • (c) in respect of a portion of the continental shelf of Canada for which geographical coordinates of points have been prescribed pursuant to subparagraph 25(a)(iii), to lines determined from the geographical coordinates of points so prescribed.

  • Marginal note:Determination of the outer limit of the continental shelf of Canada

    (2) For greater certainty, paragraphs (1)(a) and (b) apply regardless of whether regulations are made pursuant to subparagraph 25(a)(iv) prescribing geographical coordinates of points from which the outer edge of the continental margin or other outer limit of the continental shelf of Canada may be determined.

  • 1996, c. 31, s. 17;
  • 2015, c. 3, s. 137(E).
Marginal note:Sovereign rights of Canada

 Canada has sovereign rights over the continental shelf of Canada for the purpose of exploring it and exploiting the mineral and other non-living natural resources of the seabed and subsoil of the continental shelf of Canada, together with living organisms belonging to sedentary species, that is to say, organisms that, at the harvestable stage, either are immobile on or under the seabed of the continental shelf of Canada or are unable to move except in constant physical contact with the seabed or the subsoil of the continental shelf of Canada.

Marginal note:Rights of Her Majesty
  •  (1) For greater certainty, any rights of Canada in the continental shelf of Canada are vested in Her Majesty in right of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Saving

    (2) Nothing in this section abrogates or derogates from any legal right or interest held before February 4, 1991.

Marginal note:Application of federal laws — continental shelf installations
  •  (1) Subject to any regulations made pursuant to paragraph 26(1)(j) or (k), federal laws apply

    • (a) on or under any marine installation or structure from the time it is attached or anchored to the continental shelf of Canada in connection with the exploration of that shelf or the exploitation of its mineral or other non-living resources until the marine installation or structure is removed from the waters above the continental shelf of Canada;

    • (b) on or under any artificial island constructed, erected or placed on the continental shelf of Canada; and

    • (c) within such safety zone surrounding any marine installation or structure or artificial island referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) as is determined by or pursuant to the regulations.

  • Marginal note:Interpretation

    (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), federal laws shall be applied

    • (a) as if the places referred to in that subsection formed part of the territory of Canada;

    • (b) notwithstanding that by their terms their application is limited to Canada; and

    • (c) in a manner that is consistent with the rights and freedoms of other states under international law and, in particular, with the rights and freedoms of other states in relation to navigation and overflight.

Marginal note:Application of provincial law
  •  (1) Subject to this section and to any other Act of Parliament, the laws of a province apply to the same extent as federal laws apply pursuant to section 20 in any area of the sea

    • (a) that forms part of the exclusive economic zone of Canada or is above the continental shelf of Canada;

    • (b) that is not within any province; and

    • (c) that is prescribed by the regulations.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (2) Subject to any regulations made pursuant to paragraph 26(1)(d), subsection (1) does not apply in respect of any provision of a law of a province that

    • (a) imposes a tax or royalty; or

    • (b) relates to mineral or other non-living natural resources.

  • Marginal note:Interpretation

    (3) For the purposes of this section, the laws of a province shall be applied as if the area of the sea in which those laws apply under this section were within the territory of that province.

  • Marginal note:Sums due to province

    (4) Any sum due under a law of a province that applies in an area of the sea under this section belongs to Her Majesty in right of the province.

  • Marginal note:Limitation

    (5) For greater certainty, this section shall not be interpreted as providing a basis for any claim, by or on behalf of a province, in respect of any interest in or legislative jurisdiction over any area of the sea in which a law of a province applies under this section or the living or non-living resources of that area, or as limiting the application of any federal laws.

Court Jurisdiction

Marginal note:Jurisdiction extended
  •  (1) Subject to subsection (4) and to any regulations made pursuant to paragraph 26(1)(h), a court that would have jurisdiction in respect of any matter had the matter arisen in a province has jurisdiction in respect of any such matter involving a federal law that applies pursuant to this Act to the extent that the matter arises in whole or in part in any area of the sea that is not within any province and

    • (a) that area of the sea is nearer to the coast of that province than to the coast of any other province; or

    • (b) that province is prescribed by the regulations.

  • Marginal note:Jurisdiction extended — provincial laws

    (2) Subject to any regulations made pursuant to paragraph 26(1)(h), a court that would have jurisdiction in respect of any matter had the matter arisen in a province has jurisdiction in respect of any such matter involving a law of the province that applies pursuant to this Act to the extent that the matter arises in whole or in part in any area of the sea to which the law of that province applies pursuant to this Act.

  • Marginal note:Orders and powers

    (3) A court referred to in subsection (1) or (2) may make any order or exercise any power it considers necessary in respect of any matter referred to in that subsection.

  • Marginal note:Criminal offences

    (4) The jurisdiction and powers of courts with respect to offences under any federal law are determined pursuant to sections 477.3, 481.1 and 481.2 of the Criminal Code.

  • Marginal note:Saving

    (5) Nothing in this section limits the jurisdiction that a court may exercise apart from this Act.

  • Marginal note:Definition of “court”

    (6) In this section, court includes a judge of a court and a justice of the peace.

Miscellaneous Provisions

Marginal note:Certificate — Minister of Foreign Affairs
  •  (1) In any legal or other proceedings, a certificate issued by or under the authority of the Minister of Foreign Affairs containing a statement that any geographic location specified in the certificate was, at any time material to the proceedings,

    • (a) in the internal waters of Canada,

    • (b) in the territorial sea of Canada,

    • (c) in the contiguous zone of Canada,

    • (d) in the exclusive economic zone of Canada, or

    • (e) in or above the continental shelf of Canada

    is conclusive proof of the truth of the statement without proof of the signature or official character of the person appearing to have issued the certificate.

  • Marginal note:Certificate — Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

    (2) In any legal or other proceedings, a certificate issued by or under the authority of the Minister containing a statement that any geographic location specified in the certificate was, at any time material to the proceedings, within an area of the sea in which a law of the province named in the certificate applies under section 9 or 21 is conclusive proof of the truth of the statement without proof of the signature or official character of the person appearing to have issued the certificate.

  • Marginal note:Certificate cannot be compelled

    (3) A certificate referred to in subsection (1) or (2) is admissible in evidence in proceedings referred to in that subsection, but its production cannot be compelled.

Marginal note:Saving

 Nothing in this Part limits the operation that any Act, rule of law or instrument has apart from this Part.

Regulations

Marginal note:Recommendation — Minister of Foreign Affairs

 The Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, make regulations

  • (a) prescribing geographical coordinates of points from which

    • (i) baselines may be determined under subsection 5(2) as straight lines interpreted as geodesics,

    • (ii) in respect of a portion of the territorial sea of Canada prescribed in the regulations, an outer limit line may be determined, where, in the opinion of the Governor in Council, a portion of the territorial sea of Canada determined in accordance with paragraph 4(a) would conflict with the territorial sea of another state or other area of the sea in which another state has sovereign rights or would be unreasonably close to the coast of another state,

    • (iii) in respect of a portion of the exclusive economic zone of Canada or the continental shelf of Canada prescribed in the regulations, an outer limit line may be determined, where, in the opinion of the Governor in Council, a portion of the exclusive economic zone of Canada or the continental shelf of Canada determined in accordance with paragraph 13(1)(a) or 17(1)(a) or (b) would conflict with the territorial sea of another state or other area of the sea in which another state has sovereign rights or would be unreasonably close to the coast of another state or is otherwise inappropriate, and

    • (iv) the outer limit of the exclusive economic zone of Canada or the outer edge of the continental margin or other outer limit of the continental shelf of Canada may be determined; and

  • (b) prescribing areas of the sea adjacent to the coast of Canada as fishing zones of Canada.

Marginal note:Recommendation — Minister of Justice
  •  (1) The Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice, make regulations

    • (a) prescribing a work or a class of works for the purpose of the definition “marine installation or structure” in section 2;

    • (b) making any law of a province applicable in respect of any part of the area of the sea in which laws of the province apply under section 9 or 21, even though the law, by its own terms, is applicable only in respect of a particular area within the province;

    • (c) restricting the application of subsection 9(1) or 21(1) to such laws of a province as are specified in the regulations;

    • (d) making subsection 9(1) or 21(1) applicable, on the terms and conditions, if any, specified in the regulations, in respect of any laws of a province that impose a tax or royalty or relate to mineral or other non-living natural resources;

    • (e) excluding any law of a province from the application of subsection 9(1) or 21(1);

    • (f) determining or prescribing the method of determining the safety zone referred to in paragraph 20(1)(c);

    • (g) prescribing an area of the sea and a province for the purposes of subsection 9(1), 21(1) or 22(1);

    • (h) restricting the application of subsection 22(1), (2) or (3) to courts of a district or territorial division of a province;

    • (i) prescribing, in respect of any area of the sea and for the purpose of subsection 22(1), the manner of determining the province that has the coast nearest to that area;

    • (j) excluding any federal laws or laws of a province or any of their provisions from the application of subsection 20(1) or 21(1), as the case may be, in respect of any area in or above the continental shelf of Canada or in respect of any specified activity in any such area; and

    • (k) making federal laws or laws of a province or any of their provisions applicable, in such circumstances as are specified in the regulations,

      • (i) in the exclusive economic zone of Canada or in a portion of that zone,

      • (ii) in or above the continental shelf of Canada or a portion of that shelf, or

      • (iii) in any area beyond the continental shelf of Canada, where that application is made pursuant to an international agreement or arrangement entered into by Canada.

  • Marginal note:Restriction

    (2) A regulation made pursuant to subsection (1) in relation to a law of a province may be restricted to a specific area or place or to a specific provision of the law.

  • Marginal note:Interpretation

    (3) For the purposes of paragraphs (1)(j) and (k), federal laws and the laws of a province shall be applied

    • (a) as if the places referred to in any regulations made pursuant to either of those paragraphs formed part of the territory of Canada;

    • (b) notwithstanding that by their terms their application is limited to Canada or a province; and

    • (c) in a manner that is consistent with the rights and freedoms of other states under international law and, in particular, with the rights and freedoms of other states in relation to navigation and overflight.

Marginal note:Publication of proposed regulations
  •  (1) A copy of each regulation that the Governor in Council proposes to make pursuant to paragraph 25(b) or section 26 shall be published in the Canada Gazette at least 60 days before its proposed effective date, and a reasonable opportunity shall be given to interested persons and provinces to make representations with respect to the proposed regulation.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) No proposed regulation that has been published pursuant to this section need again be published under this section, whether or not it has been altered.

PART IIOceans Management Strategy

Marginal note:Part does not apply to inland waters

 For greater certainty, this Part does not apply in respect of rivers and lakes.

Marginal note:Development and implementation of strategy

 The Minister, in collaboration with other ministers, boards and agencies of the Government of Canada, with provincial and territorial governments and with affected aboriginal organizations, coastal communities and other persons and bodies, including those bodies established under land claims agreements, shall lead and facilitate the development and implementation of a national strategy for the management of estuarine, coastal and marine ecosystems in waters that form part of Canada or in which Canada has sovereign rights under international law.

Marginal note:Principles of strategy

 The national strategy will be based on the principles of

  • (a) sustainable development, that is, development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs;

  • (b) the integrated management of activities in estuaries, coastal waters and marine waters that form part of Canada or in which Canada has sovereign rights under international law; and

  • (c) the precautionary approach, that is, erring on the side of caution.

Marginal note:Integrated management plans

 The Minister, in collaboration with other ministers, boards and agencies of the Government of Canada, with provincial and territorial governments and with affected aboriginal organizations, coastal communities and other persons and bodies, including those bodies established under land claims agreements, shall lead and facilitate the development and implementation of plans for the integrated management of all activities or measures in or affecting estuaries, coastal waters and marine waters that form part of Canada or in which Canada has sovereign rights under international law.

Marginal note:Implementation of integrated management plans

 For the purpose of the implementation of integrated management plans, the Minister

  • (a) shall develop and implement policies and programs with respect to matters assigned by law to the Minister;

  • (b) shall coordinate with other ministers, boards and agencies of the Government of Canada the implementation of policies and programs of the Government with respect to all activities or measures in or affecting coastal waters and marine waters;

  • (c) may, on his or her own or jointly with another person or body or with another minister, board or agency of the Government of Canada, and taking into consideration the views of other ministers, boards and agencies of the Government of Canada, provincial and territorial governments and affected aboriginal organizations, coastal communities and other persons and bodies, including those bodies established under land claims agreements,

    • (i) establish advisory or management bodies and appoint or designate, as appropriate, members of those bodies, and

    • (ii) recognize established advisory or management bodies; and

  • (d) may, in consultation with other ministers, boards and agencies of the Government of Canada, with provincial and territorial governments and with affected aboriginal organizations, coastal communities and other persons and bodies, including those bodies established under land claims agreements, establish marine environmental quality guidelines, objectives and criteria respecting estuaries, coastal waters and marine waters.

Marginal note:Cooperation and agreements
  •  (1) In exercising the powers and performing the duties and functions assigned to the Minister by this Act, the Minister

    • (a) shall cooperate with other ministers, boards and agencies of the Government of Canada, with provincial and territorial governments and with affected aboriginal organizations, coastal communities and other persons and bodies, including those bodies established under land claims agreements;

    • (b) may enter into agreements with any person or body or with another minister, board or agency of the Government of Canada;

    • (c) shall gather, compile, analyse, coordinate and disseminate information;

    • (d) may make grants and contributions on terms and conditions approved by the Treasury Board; and

    • (e) may make recoverable expenditures on behalf of and at the request of any other minister, board or agency of the Government of Canada or of a province or any person or body.

  • Marginal note:Consultation

    (2) In exercising the powers and performing the duties and functions mentioned in this Part, the Minister may consult with other ministers, boards and agencies of the Government of Canada, with provincial and territorial governments and with affected aboriginal organizations, coastal communities and other persons and bodies, including those bodies established under land claims agreements.

Marginal note:Logistics support, etc.

 The Minister may coordinate logistics support and provide related assistance for the purposes of advancing scientific knowledge of estuarine, coastal and marine ecosystems.

Marginal note:Marine protected areas
  •  (1) A marine protected area is an area of the sea that forms part of the internal waters of Canada, the territorial sea of Canada or the exclusive economic zone of Canada and has been designated under this section for special protection for one or more of the following reasons:

    • (a) the conservation and protection of commercial and non-commercial fishery resources, including marine mammals, and their habitats;

    • (b) the conservation and protection of endangered or threatened marine species, and their habitats;

    • (c) the conservation and protection of unique habitats;

    • (d) the conservation and protection of marine areas of high biodiversity or biological productivity; and

    • (e) the conservation and protection of any other marine resource or habitat as is necessary to fulfil the mandate of the Minister.

  • Marginal note:Marine protected areas

    (2) For the purposes of integrated management plans referred to in sections 31 and 32, the Minister will lead and coordinate the development and implementation of a national system of marine protected areas on behalf of the Government of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Regulations

    (3) The Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister, may make regulations

    • (a) designating marine protected areas; and

    • (b) prescribing measures that may include but not be limited to

      • (i) the zoning of marine protected areas,

      • (ii) the prohibition of classes of activities within marine protected areas, and

      • (iii) any other matter consistent with the purpose of the designation.

Marginal note:Interim marine protected areas in emergency situations
  •  (1) The Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister, may make orders exercising any power under section 35 on an emergency basis, where the Minister is of the opinion that a marine resource or habitat is or is likely to be at risk to the extent that such orders are not inconsistent with a land claims agreement that has been given effect and has been ratified or approved by an Act of Parliament.

  • Marginal note:Exemption from Statutory Instruments Act

    (2) An order made under this section is exempt from the application of sections 3, 5 and 11 of the Statutory Instruments Act.

  • Marginal note:Temporary effect

    (3) An order made under this section that is not repealed ceases to have effect 90 days after it is made.

Marginal note:Offence and punishment

 Every person who contravenes a regulation made under paragraph 35(3)(b) or an order made under subsection 36(1) in the exercise of a power under that paragraph

  • (a) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to a fine not exceeding $100,000; or

  • (b) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to a fine not exceeding $500,000.

Marginal note:Contravention of unpublished order

 No person may be convicted of an offence consisting of a contravention of an order made under subsection 36(1) in the exercise of a power under paragraph 35(3)(b) that, at the time of the alleged contravention, had not been published in the Canada Gazette in both official languages unless it is proved that reasonable steps had been taken before that time to bring the purport of the order to the attention of those persons likely to be affected by it.

Marginal note:Enforcement officers
  •  (1) The Minister may designate any person or class of persons to act as enforcement officers for the purposes of this Act and the regulations.

  • Marginal note:Designation of provincial government employees

    (2) The Minister may not designate any person or class of persons employed by the government of a province unless that government agrees.

  • Marginal note:Certificate of designation

    (3) Every enforcement officer must be provided with a certificate of designation as an enforcement officer in a form approved by the Minister and, on entering any place under this Act, the officer shall, if so requested, show the certificate to the occupant or person in charge of the place.

  • Marginal note:Powers of peace officers

    (4) For the purposes of this Act and the regulations, enforcement officers have all the powers of a peace officer, but the Minister may specify limits on those powers when designating any person or class of persons.

  • Marginal note:Exemptions for law enforcement activities

    (5) For the purpose of investigations and other law enforcement activities under this Act, the Minister may, on any terms and conditions the Minister considers necessary, exempt enforcement officers who are carrying out duties or functions under this Act, and persons acting under their direction and control, from the application of any provision of this Act or the regulations.

  • Marginal note:Obstruction

    (6) When an enforcement officer is carrying out duties or functions under this Act or the regulations, no person shall

    • (a) knowingly make any false or misleading statement either orally or in writing to the enforcement officer; or

    • (b) otherwise wilfully obstruct the enforcement officer.

Marginal note:Inspections
  •  (1) For the purpose of ensuring compliance with this Act and the regulations, an enforcement officer may, subject to subsection (3), at any reasonable time enter and inspect any place in which the enforcement officer believes, on reasonable grounds, there is any thing to which this Act or the regulations apply or any document relating to the administration of this Act or the regulations, and the enforcement officer may

    • (a) open or cause to be opened any container that the enforcement officer believes, on reasonable grounds, contains any such thing or document;

    • (b) inspect the thing and take samples free of charge;

    • (c) require any person to produce the document for inspection or copying, in whole or in part; and

    • (d) seize any thing by means of or in relation to which the enforcement officer believes, on reasonable grounds, this Act or the regulations have been contravened or that the enforcement officer believes, on reasonable grounds, will provide evidence of a contravention.

  • Marginal note:Conveyance

    (2) For the purposes of carrying out the inspection, the enforcement officer may stop a conveyance or direct that it be moved to a place where the inspection can be carried out.

  • Marginal note:Dwelling-place

    (3) The enforcement officer may not enter a dwelling-place except with the consent of the occupant or person in charge of the dwelling-place or under the authority of a warrant.

  • Marginal note:Warrant

    (4) Where on ex parte application a justice, as defined in section 2 of the Criminal Code, is satisfied by information on oath that

    • (a) the conditions for entry described in subsection (1) exist in relation to a dwelling-place,

    • (b) entry to the dwelling-place is necessary in relation to the administration of this Act or the regulations, and

    • (c) entry to the dwelling-place has been refused or there are reasonable grounds for believing that entry will be refused,

    the justice may issue a warrant authorizing the enforcement officer to enter the dwelling-place subject to any conditions that may be specified in the warrant.

Marginal note:Search and seizure without warrant

 For the purpose of ensuring compliance with this Act and the regulations, an enforcement officer may exercise the powers of search and seizure provided in section 487 of the Criminal Code without a warrant, if the conditions for obtaining a warrant exist but by reason of exigent circumstances it would not be feasible to obtain the warrant.

Marginal note:Custody of things seized
  •  (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), where an enforcement officer seizes a thing under this Act or under a warrant issued under the Criminal Code,

    • (a) sections 489.1 and 490 of the Criminal Code apply; and

    • (b) the enforcement officer, or any person that the officer may designate, shall retain custody of the thing, subject to any order made under section 490 of the Criminal Code.

  • Marginal note:Forfeiture where ownership not ascertainable

    (2) Where the lawful ownership of or entitlement to the seized thing cannot be ascertained within thirty days after its seizure, the thing or any proceeds of its disposition are forfeited to

    • (a) Her Majesty in right of Canada, if the thing was seized by an enforcement officer employed in the federal public administration; or

    • (b) Her Majesty in right of a province, if the thing was seized by an enforcement officer employed by the government of that province.

  • Marginal note:Perishable things

    (3) Where the seized thing is perishable, the enforcement officer may dispose of it or destroy it, and any proceeds of its disposition must be

    • (a) paid to the lawful owner or person lawfully entitled to possession of the thing, unless proceedings under this Act are commenced within ninety days after its seizure; or

    • (b) retained by the enforcement officer pending the outcome of the proceedings.

  • Marginal note:Abandonment

    (4) The owner of the seized thing may abandon it to Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.

  • 1996, c. 31, s. 39.3;
  • 2003, c. 22, s. 224(E).
Marginal note:Disposition by Minister

 Any thing that has been forfeited or abandoned under this Act must be dealt with and disposed of as the Minister may direct.

Marginal note:Liability for costs

 The lawful owner and any person lawfully entitled to possession of any thing seized, abandoned or forfeited under this Act are jointly and severally liable for all the costs of inspection, seizure, abandonment, forfeiture or disposition incurred by Her Majesty in right of Canada in excess of any proceeds of disposition of the thing that have been forfeited to Her Majesty under this Act.

Marginal note:Contravention of Act or regulations
  •  (1) Every person who contravenes subsection 39(6) or any regulation made under section 52.1

    • (a) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable to a fine not exceeding $100,000; or

    • (b) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding $500,000.

  • Marginal note:Subsequent offence

    (2) Where a person is convicted of an offence under this Act a second or subsequent time, the amount of the fine for the subsequent offence may, notwithstanding subsection (1), be double the amount set out in that subsection.

  • Marginal note:Continuing offence

    (3) A person who commits or continues an offence on more than one day is liable to be convicted for a separate offence for each day on which the offence is committed or continued.

  • Marginal note:Fines cumulative

    (4) A fine imposed for an offence involving more than one animal, plant or other organism may be calculated in respect of each one as though it had been the subject of a separate information and the fine then imposed is the total of that calculation.

  • Marginal note:Additional fine

    (5) Where a person has been convicted of an offence and the court is satisfied that monetary benefits accrued to the person as a result of the commission of the offence,

    • (a) the court may order the person to pay an additional fine in an amount equal to the court’s estimation of the amount of the monetary benefits; and

    • (b) the additional fine may exceed the maximum amount of any fine that may otherwise be imposed under this Act.

Marginal note:Forfeiture
  •  (1) Where a person is convicted of an offence, the convicting court may, in addition to any punishment imposed, order that any seized thing by means of or in relation to which the offence was committed, or any proceeds of its disposition, be forfeited to Her Majesty in right of Canada.

  • Marginal note:Return where no forfeiture ordered

    (2) Where the convicting court does not order the forfeiture, the seized thing, or the proceeds of its disposition, must be returned to its lawful owner or the person lawfully entitled to it.

Marginal note:Retention or sale

 Where a fine is imposed on a person convicted of an offence, any seized thing, or any proceeds of its disposition, may be retained until the fine is paid, or the thing may be sold in satisfaction of the fine and the proceeds applied, in whole or in part, in payment of the fine.

Marginal note:Orders of court

 Where a person is convicted of an offence, the court may, in addition to any punishment imposed and having regard to the nature of the offence and the circumstances surrounding its commission, make an order containing one or more of the following prohibitions, directions or requirements:

  • (a) prohibiting the person from doing any act or engaging in any activity that could, in the opinion of the court, result in the continuation or repetition of the offence;

  • (b) directing the person to take any action that the court considers appropriate to remedy or avoid any harm to estuarine, coastal or ocean waters, or their resources that resulted or may result from the commission of the offence;

  • (c) directing the person to publish, in any manner that the court considers appropriate, the facts relating to the commission of the offence;

  • (d) directing the person to pay the Minister or the government of a province compensation, in whole or in part, for the cost of any remedial or preventive action taken by or on behalf of the Minister or that government as a result of the commission of the offence;

  • (e) directing the person to perform community service in accordance with any reasonable conditions that may be specified in the order;

  • (f) directing the person to submit to the Minister, on application to the court by the Minister within three years after the conviction, any information respecting the activities of the person that the court considers appropriate in the circumstances;

  • (g) requiring the person to comply with any other conditions that the court considers appropriate for securing the person’s good conduct and for preventing the person from repeating the offence or committing other offences; and

  • (h) directing the person to post a bond or pay into court an amount of money that the court considers appropriate for the purpose of ensuring compliance with any prohibition, direction or requirement under this section.

Marginal note:Suspended sentence
  •  (1) Where a person is convicted of an offence and the court suspends the passing of sentence pursuant to the Criminal Code, the court may, in addition to any probation order made on suspending the passing of that sentence, make an order containing one or more of the prohibitions, directions or requirements mentioned in section 39.9.

  • Marginal note:Imposition of sentence

    (2) Where the person does not comply with the order or is convicted of another offence, within three years after the order was made, the court may, on the application of the prosecution, impose any sentence that could have been imposed if the passing of sentence had not been suspended.

Marginal note:Limitation period
  •  (1) Proceedings by way of summary conviction in respect of an offence may be commenced at any time within, but not later than, two years after the day on which the subject-matter of the proceedings became known to the Minister.

  • Marginal note:Minister’s certificate

    (2) A document appearing to have been issued by the Minister, certifying the day on which the subject-matter of any proceedings became known to the Minister, is admissible in evidence without proof of the signature or official character of the person appearing to have signed the document and is proof of the matter asserted in it.

Marginal note:Procedure
  •  (1) In addition to the procedures set out in the Criminal Code for commencing a proceeding, proceedings in respect of any offence prescribed by the regulations may be commenced by an enforcement officer

    • (a) completing a ticket that consists of a summons portion and an information portion;

    • (b) delivering the summons portion to the accused or mailing it to the accused at the accused’s latest known address; and

    • (c) filing the information portion with a court of competent jurisdiction before the summons portion has been delivered or mailed or as soon as is practicable afterward.

  • Marginal note:Content of ticket

    (2) The summons and information portions of the ticket must

    • (a) set out a description of the offence and the time and place of its alleged commission;

    • (b) include a statement, signed by the enforcement officer who completes the ticket, that the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the accused committed the offence;

    • (c) set out the amount of the fine prescribed by the regulations for the offence and the manner in which and period within which it may be paid;

    • (d) include a statement that if the accused pays the fine within the period set out in the ticket, a conviction will be entered and recorded against the accused; and

    • (e) include a statement that if the accused wishes to plead not guilty or for any other reason fails to pay the fine within the period set out in the ticket, the accused must appear in the court on the day and at the time set out in the ticket.

  • Marginal note:Notice of forfeiture

    (3) Where a thing is seized under this Act and proceedings relating to it are commenced by way of the ticketing procedure, the enforcement officer who completes the ticket shall give written notice to the accused that, if the accused pays the fine prescribed by the regulations within the period set out in the ticket, the thing, or any proceeds of its disposition, will be immediately forfeited to Her Majesty.

  • Marginal note:Consequences of payment

    (4) Where an accused to whom the summons portion of a ticket is delivered or mailed pays the prescribed fine within the period set out in the ticket,

    • (a) the payment constitutes a plea of guilty to the offence and a conviction must be entered against the accused and no further action may be taken against the accused in respect of that offence; and

    • (b) notwithstanding section 39.3, any thing seized from the accused under this Act that relates to the offence, or any proceeds of its disposition, are forfeited to

      • (i) Her Majesty in right of Canada, if the thing was seized by an enforcement officer employed in the federal public administration, or

      • (ii) Her Majesty in right of a province, if the thing was seized by an enforcement officer employed by the government of that province.

  • Marginal note:Regulations

    (5) The Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing

    • (a) offences in respect of which this section applies and the manner in which the offences are to be described in tickets; and

    • (b) the amount of the fine for a prescribed offence, but the amount may not exceed $2,000.

  • 1996, c. 31, s. 39.12;
  • 2003, c. 22, s. 224(E).

PART IIIPowers, Duties and Functions of the Minister

General

Marginal note:Powers, duties and functions of the Minister
  •  (1) As the Minister responsible for oceans, the powers, duties and functions of the Minister extend to and include all matters over which Parliament has jurisdiction, not assigned by law to any other department, board or agency of the Government of Canada, relating to the policies and programs of the Government of Canada respecting oceans.

  • Marginal note:Encouragement of activities

    (2) For the purpose of subsection (1), the Minister shall encourage activities necessary to foster understanding, management and sustainable development of oceans and marine resources and the provision of coast guard and hydrographic services to ensure the facilitation of marine trade, commerce and safety in collaboration with other ministers of the Government of Canada.

Coast Guard Services

Marginal note:Coast guard services
  •  (1) As the Minister responsible for coast guard services, the powers, duties and functions of the Minister extend to and include all matters over which Parliament has jurisdiction, not assigned by law to any other department, board or agency of the Government of Canada, relating to

    • (a) services for the safe, economical and efficient movement of ships in Canadian waters through the provision of

      • (i) aids to navigation systems and services,

      • (ii) marine communications and traffic management services,

      • (iii) ice breaking and ice management services, and

      • (iv) channel maintenance;

    • (b) the marine component of the federal search and rescue program;

    • (c) [Repealed, 2005, c. 29, s. 36]

    • (d) marine pollution response; and

    • (e) the support of departments, boards and agencies of the Government of Canada through the provision of ships, aircraft and other marine services.

  • Marginal note:Cost effective

    (2) The Minister shall ensure that the services referred to in subparagraphs (1)(a)(i) to (iv) are provided in a cost effective manner.

  • 1996, c. 31, s. 41;
  • 1999, c. 31, s. 170(F);
  • 2005, c. 29, s. 36.

Marine Sciences

Marginal note:Functions

 In exercising the powers and performing the duties and functions assigned by paragraph 4(1)(c) of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Act, the Minister may

  • (a) collect data for the purpose of understanding oceans and their living resources and ecosystems;

  • (b) conduct hydrographic and oceanographic surveys of Canadian and other waters;

  • (c) conduct marine scientific surveys relating to fisheries resources and their supporting habitat and ecosystems;

  • (d) conduct basic and applied research related to hydrography, oceanography and other marine sciences, including the study of fish and their supporting habitat and ecosystems;

  • (e) carry out investigations for the purpose of understanding oceans and their living resources and ecosystems;

  • (f) prepare and publish data, reports, statistics, charts, maps, plans, sections and other documents;

  • (g) authorize the distribution or sale of data, reports, statistics, charts, maps, plans, sections and other documents;

  • (h) prepare in collaboration with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, publish and authorize the distribution or sale of charts delineating, consistently with the nature and scale of the charts, all or part of the territorial sea of Canada, the contiguous zone of Canada, the exclusive economic zone of Canada and the fishing zones of Canada and adjacent waters;

  • (i) participate in ocean technology development; and

  • (j) conduct studies to obtain traditional ecological knowledge for the purpose of understanding oceans and their living resources and ecosystems.

Marginal note:Powers

 Subject to section 4 of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Act respecting the powers, duties and functions of the Minister in relation to matters mentioned in that section over which Parliament has jurisdiction, the Minister

  • (a) is responsible for coordinating, promoting and recommending national policies and programs with respect to fisheries science, hydrography, oceanography and other marine sciences;

  • (b) in carrying out his or her responsibilities under this section, may

    • (i) conduct or cooperate with persons conducting applied and basic research programs and investigations and economic studies for the purpose of understanding oceans and their living resources and ecosystems, and

    • (ii) for that purpose maintain and operate ships, research institutes, laboratories and other facilities for research, surveying and monitoring for the purpose of understanding oceans and their living resources and ecosystems; and

  • (c) may provide marine scientific advice, services and support to the Government of Canada and, on behalf of the Government, to the governments of the provinces, to other states, to international organizations and to other persons.

Marginal note:Marine scientific research by foreign ships

 The Minister may

  • (a) request the Minister of Foreign Affairs to attach to a consent of the Minister of Foreign Affairs under paragraph 3(2)(c) of the Coasting Trade Act a condition that the foreign ship or non-duty paid ship supply the Minister with the results of the marine scientific research conducted by that ship in waters that form part of Canada or in which Canada has sovereign rights under international law; and

  • (b) establish guidelines, not inconsistent with Canada’s international obligations, for use by foreign ships and non-duty paid ships in conducting marine scientific research in waters that form part of Canada or in which Canada has sovereign rights under international law.

Marginal note:Minister’s powers

 As the Minister responsible for hydrographic services, the powers, duties and functions of the Minister extend to and include all matters over which Parliament has jurisdiction, not assigned by law to any other department, board or agency of the Government of Canada, relating to

  • (a) setting standards and establishing guidelines for use by hydrographers and others in collecting data and preparing charts on behalf of the Minister; and

  • (b) providing hydrographic advice, services and support to the Government of Canada and, on behalf of the Government, to the governments of the provinces, to other states, to international organizations and to other persons.

Marginal note:Entry on lands

 A hydrographer may, for the purpose of conducting a hydrographic survey on behalf of the Minister, enter on or pass over the lands of any person, but shall take all reasonable precautions to avoid causing any damage in doing so.

Fees

Marginal note:Fees for services or use of facilities
  •  (1) The Minister may, subject to any regulations that the Treasury Board may make for the purposes of this section, fix the fees to be paid for a service or the use of a facility provided under this Act by the Minister, the Department or any board or agency of the Government of Canada for which the Minister has responsibility.

  • Marginal note:Amount not to exceed cost

    (2) Fees for a service or the use of a facility that are fixed under subsection (1) may not exceed the cost to Her Majesty in right of Canada of providing the service or the use of the facility.

Marginal note:Fees for products, rights and privileges

 The Minister may, subject to any regulations that the Treasury Board may make for the purposes of this section, fix fees in respect of products, rights and privileges provided under this Act by the Minister, the Department or any board or agency of the Government of Canada for which the Minister has responsibility.

Marginal note:Fees in respect of regulatory processes, etc.
  •  (1) The Minister may, subject to any regulations that the Treasury Board may make for the purposes of this section, fix fees in respect of regulatory processes or approvals provided under this Act by the Minister, the Department or any board or agency of the Government of Canada for which the Minister has responsibility.

  • Marginal note:Amount

    (2) Fees that are fixed under subsection (1) shall in the aggregate not exceed an amount sufficient to compensate Her Majesty in right of Canada for any reasonable outlays incurred by Her Majesty for the purpose of providing the regulatory processes or approvals.

Marginal note:Consultation
  •  (1) Before fixing a fee under this Act, the Minister shall consult with such persons or bodies as the Minister considers to be interested in the matter.

  • Marginal note:Publication

    (2) The Minister shall, within 30 days after fixing a fee under this Act, publish the fee in the Canada Gazette and by such appropriate electronic or other means that the Treasury Board may authorize by regulation.

  • Marginal note:Reference to Scrutiny Committee

    (3) Any fee fixed under this Act shall stand referred to the Committee referred to in section 19 of the Statutory Instruments Act to be reviewed and scrutinized as if it were a statutory instrument.

Marginal note:Power to make regulations

 The Treasury Board may make regulations for the purposes of section 47, 48, 49 or 50.

Marginal note:Review
  •  (1) The administration of this Act shall, within three years after the coming into force of this section, be reviewed by the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.

  • Marginal note:Report to Parliament

    (2) The Committee shall undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act, including the consequences of its implementation, and shall, within a year after the review is undertaken or within such further time as the House of Commons may authorize, submit a report to Parliament thereon including a statement of any changes to this Act or its administration that the Committee would recommend.

Marginal note:Regulations

 The Governor in Council may, on the recommendation of the Minister, make regulations for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Act and, in particular, but without restricting the generality of the foregoing, may make regulations

  • (a) prescribing marine environmental quality requirements and standards;

  • (b) respecting the powers and duties of persons designated by the Minister as enforcement officers; and

  • (c) respecting the implementation of provisions of agreements made under this Act.

Conditional Amendments

 [Amendments]

Repeals

 [Repeals]

Related Amendments

 [Amendments]

Coming into Force

Marginal note:Coming into force

Footnote * This Act or any of its provisions, other than section 53, comes into force on a day or days to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.

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