Haida Nation and Transport Canada identify new potential places of refuge for ships in Haida Gwaii

Published by info@haidanation.com on

News Release

For Immediate Release
Haida Nation and Transport Canada identify new potential places of refuge for ships in Haida Gwaii

March 13, 2018 – (Gaw Old Masset), Haida Gwaii

Protecting the marine environment is of paramount importance. The Haida Nation and Transport Canada have revised a regional plan to ensure that ships in need of assistance have a designated location to stabilize their condition and reduce the hazards to navigation, human life and the environment.

The revised Places of Refuge Contingency Plan for the Pacific Region includes a new Annex that identifies potential places of refuge around Haida Gwaii. It also reflects improvements to the federal marine safety regime and lessons learned from real-life incidents.

The Annex contains direction for the management of places of refuge incidents that affect Haida Gwaii, including technical, logistical and resource information about specific sites that may be evaluated as potential places of refuge. It is one of several sub-regional plans that will provide site-specific information about the management of places of refuge incidents.


“The Haida Nation, with federal and provincial government partners, has demonstrated strong leadership to significantly update the places of refuge framework. By working and learning together, we’ve created a more inclusive plan to collaboratively manage Places of Refuge decisions. This teamwork is a foundation for ongoing work under the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

“As a result of the 2014 Simushir incident, the Haida Nation made the decision to begin working with other governments to ensure that a coordinated and effective emergency response system was established for Haida Gwaii. The cooperative work between the Haida Nation and Transport Canada to refine the Places of Refuge Contingency Plan and to identify places of refuge within Haida territory is a significant achievement and an important addition to protecting Haida Gwaii waters and our way of life.”

kil tlaats ‘gaa, Peter Lantin

President of the Haida Nation


  • The Transport Canada National Places of Refuge Contingency Plan was introduced in 2006.  It instructed regions to develop their own plans to reflect regional realities.
  • Transport Canada developed and issued the first Pacific Region Places of Refuge Contingency Plan on March 6, 2009, as a supplement to the national plan.
  • The update to the Pacific Places of Refuge Contingency Plan and development of the Haida Gwaii Annex provide recommendations to the Haida Nation, Transport Canada and the Province of BC. They are based on the “Lessons from the Simushir” workshop held in Skidegate on May 12-13, 2015.
  • See the Haida Nation’s website for the final report, recommendations and videos of the presentations.
  • Revisions to the Transport Canada Pacific Places of Refuge Contingency Plan reflect the work done in four technical workshops undertaken in the region, and includes involvement from: Transport Canada; Canadian Coast Guard ; Haida Nation; Province of BC (Emergency Management BC, Ministry of Environment, and Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development); Parks Canada (Haida Gwaii); Environment and Climate Change Canada; Public Safety Canada; Coastal First Nations – Great Bear Initiative; and supporting marine consultants.

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Associated Links


Delphine Denis
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau

Minister of Transport, Ottawa


Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa


Simon Davies

Manager, Communications

Council of the Haida Nation


250-559-4468 or 250-6371130

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