Canadian Senate Bill criminalises accidental or non-intentional pollution

A letter expressing INTERTANKO’s concern over two acts currently being considered by Canadian Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources has been sent by INTERTANKO Chairman, Stephen Van Dyck to the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Tommy Banks. The two acts are Senate Bill C-15, an act to amend the Migratory Birds Convention Act (1994) and the Canadian Environment Protection Act (1999). 

The letter conveys INTERTANKO's support for the initiative to safeguard the marine and coastal environments of Canada, but expresses concern over the legality of some of the measures. In particular, Van Dyck stated that certain provisions of the Bill will criminalise accidental or non-intentional pollution and will consider the accused person guilty until he/she has proven his or her innocence, rather than vice versa. In addition, the Bill is contrary to Canadian obligations under MARPOL 73/78 and UNCLOS.

Click here to view the letter.  

Click here for an article in last week’s Weekly NEWS on the adoption by the European Parliament of a final compromise text on criminal sanctions in case of ship-source pollution, which echoes the Canadian legislation. 

Contact: Joe Angelo