Canada Transport Minister Lisa Raitt has launched the area response planning pilot project in a bid to strengthen the country’s marine safety system.
The new project is part of the Canadian Government’s approach to world-class tanker safety systems.
Raitt said: "Our government’s goals with world-class tanker safety are to prevent ship-source oil spills, clean them up quickly if they do happen and to ensure that polluters pay.
"As a part of our tanker safety measures, the area response planning process will help ensure procedures are in place and equipment is readily available to plan for any scenario in specific areas."
The project will support ship-source spill preparedness and response designed to a particular geographic area. It will be performed with the support of local communities, Aboriginal groups, industry, and all levels of government.
The new initiative will cover areas such as the southern portion of British Columbia, Vancouver harbour, and Saint John and the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick.
Port Hawkesbury and the Strait of Canso, Nova Scotia and St Lawrence River (Montreal to Anticosti Island), Quebec are also part of the pilot area.
Meanwhile, Raitt also announced a community participation funding programme in conjunction with the project.
The funding programme, which provides up to $2.1m, will support the participation of local communities and Aboriginal groups.
The initiative will also see the collaboration of Transport Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Environment Canada.