Government of Canada Assists the United States in Oil Spill Cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico

June 8, 2010 09:49

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture) today announced that the United States has accepted an offer from the Government of Canada to help to contain the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The Government of Canada is providing offshore booms to assist with oil spill clean up efforts underway in the Gulf of Mexico, reports with reference to Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

"When faced with an environmental tragedy like the one in the Gulf of Mexico, we must not forget that we are all global citizens who must be prepared to lend a hand where it's needed," said Minister Shea.  "Canada and the United States have a long-standing tradition of helping one another in times of need, and we stand ready to assist our American neighbours."

The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) has examined its environmental response capacity and determined that it can assist the United States by providing at least 3,000 metres of ocean boom at this time, which is in addition to technical and scientific support already being provided by Canada.

"Canada is pleased to share our leading edge scientific and environmental response capability with a friend and neighbour in need" said Minister Blackburn. "Our government will continue to work closely with the U.S. to ensure we can maximize Canada's contribution to the cleanup effort in the Gulf of Mexico."

Our Government has acted without delay to assist the United States and a number of Canadian federal departments or agencies have already provided considerable expertise and support to the cleanup efforts:
For many years DFO has conducted research on oil spill mitigation in the marine environment. At the U.S.'s request, DFO sent a team of scientists from its Centre for Offshore Oil and Gas Environmental Research, headed by internationally recognized oil spill remediation expert Dr. Kenneth Lee, to assist U.S. officials with monitoring the effectiveness of their clean-up operations.

Transport Canada and Environment Canada have been working closely together to provide aerial surveillance of the spill area to help determine the course and location of the oil, and to target cleanup operations.

Transport Canada deployed a Dash 8 aircraft, which was been helping at the Louisiana coast since May 1st, along with a Marine Aerial Reconnaissance Team. The team and the aircraft remain in the area to provide aerial surveillance in support of ongoing U.S. efforts.

Environment Canada, Canadian Coast Guard, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada have sent experts to attend meetings in Louisiana, at the request of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to provide advice and best practices on the use of dispersants. 

The Government of Canada will continue to stand ready to assist cleanup efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.

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