Legislation and Policies

An important focus of the NMC is reviewing existing or proposed regulatory, policy, research, development and management planning initiatives that affect, or may in the future affect, the marine areas ‐ and advocating the need for improvements, as required.A select listing of legislation and policies which govern or apply to Nunavut’s marine areas is provided for the information of Nunavummiut.


Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act (1985):
One of the most important pieces of environmental legislation for the Arctic, the AWPPA prohibits any person or ship from depositing or permitting the deposit of waste of any type in the arctic waters or in any place on the mainland or islands of the Canadian arctic under any conditions where the waste or any other waste that results from the deposit of the waste may enter the arctic waters. This Act is administered by Transport Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, and Natural Resources Canada. http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/A-12/


Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations (2011):
Regulations under the Canada Shipping Act. Ballast water that is taken on board a vessel outside Canadian waters must be managed in order to (a) minimize both the uptake of harmful aquatic organisms or pathogens within the ballast water and their release with the ballast water into Canadian waters; or (b) remove or render harmless harmful aquatic organisms or pathogens within the ballast water.  


Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act (2002):
A National Marine Conservation Areas (NMCA) is a marine protected areas administered by Parks Canada and is managed and uses in an ecologically sustainable manner that meets the needs of present and future generations. NMCAs include the seabed, subsoil, the water above it and any species that occur there and may also take in wetlands, estuaries, islands and other coastal lands. Activities such as a harvesting by Inuit, commercial fishing, marine transportation and a range of recreational and tourism activities can occur in a NMCA, but with an emphasis on conservation-oriented management practices. Currently, a National Marine Conservation Area is being considered for establishment in Lancaster Sound. http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-7.3/index.html


Canada Shipping Act (2001):
The Canada Shipping Act is the primary piece of legislations governing the operation of Canadian vessels everywhere as well as foreign vessels operating in Canadian waters. It sets out requirements for registration, safety and pollution prevention amongst other items. This Act is administered by Transport Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.  http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-10.15/


Canadian Environmental Protection Act (1999):
The Canadian Environmental Protection Act addresses pollution prevention and the protection of the environment and human health in order to contribute to sustainable development. This Act is administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-15.31/


Fisheries Act (1985):
The Fisheries Act is the principle federal statute that manages Canadian fisheries resources and is administered by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada. It addresses the proper management and control of the fisheries, the conservation and protection of fish, and the protection of fish habitat and prevention of pollution. http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/F-14/


Marine Mammal Regulations:
The Marine Mammal Regulations are established under the Fisheries Act and apply in respect of the management and control of fishing for marine mammals and related activities in Canada. http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-93-56/index.html


Navigation Protection Act (1985):
It is prohibited to construct, place, alter, repair, rebuild, remove or decommission a work in, on, over, under, through or across any navigable water that is listed in the schedule under this Act, except in accordance with this Act or any other federal Act. The Arctic Ocean and Baker Lake are included as a navigable water under the Schedule for the NPA. This Act is administered by Transport Canada. http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/N-22/


Oceans Act (1996):
The Oceans Act applies to Canada’s oceans and marine areas and requires that a national oceans management strategy be developed and implemented through Fisheries and Oceans Canada in collaboration with other responsible parties. http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/O-2.4/


Polar Code:
The Polar Code is a proposed binding international framework to protect the two polar regions—Arctic (north pole region) and Antarctic (south pole region)—from maritime risks. The Code would cover the full range of design, construction, equipment, operational, training, search and rescue and environmental protection matters relevant to ships operating in the inhospitable waters surrounding the two poles. Under the Code, Canada will require ships in the Arctic to carry a Polar Water Operational Manual providing operators with sufficient information regarding the ship's operational capabilities and limitations to support their decision-making process. The chapters in the Code each set out goals and functional requirements regarding ship structure, equipment and pollution prevention, among other items. http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/HotTopics/polar/Documents/POLAR%20CODE%20TEXT%20AS%20ADOPTED.pdf


Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act (1992):
The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, much like its title, addresses the requirements for ensuring safe shipment and handling of goods with the potential for safety risks or environmental harm. This Act is administered by Transport Canada which, based on risks, develops safety standards and regulations, provides oversight and gives expert advice (through the Canadian Transport Emergency Centre) on dangerous goods accidents to promote public safety in the transportation of dangerous goods by all modes of transport in Canada. http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/T-19.01/