Canada – Key statements

Date: 2 November 2022

March 2024

27/3/24

  • Canada believes that REMPs should be a prerequisite for consideration for an application for a plan of work.

26/3/24

  • Canada believes the Council should finalize the rules and procedures for the environmental compensation fund, including payment requirements, prior to approving the first plan of work for deep-sea mining.

25/3/24

  • Canada supports there is no need for a definition of effective control as the existent definition is already sufficient 

19/3/24

  • Canada expressed that profits could be generated by mining contractors and entities with no compensation for the ISA; need to ensure the ISA receives benefits. 

November 2023

8/11/23

  • With regards to a Health and Safety Plan, Canada questioned the objective of such a plan and how the ISA will ensure compliance with such a plan, and whether the ISA would be substituting itself for a flag state.

6/11/23

  • The delegation noted that ff the royalty is not recouped, the contractor would be losing the license. “If anybody in the future takes that license, would it be liable for that debt. “

1/11/23

  • Draft regulation 49:  Canada would prefer harmful effects over serious harm. 
  • Canada agreed with inclusion of marine litter and underwater noise, as written.

July 2023

27/7/23

  • Canada expresses frustration in regards to the lack of consensus on the adoption of agenda item establishing a general policy by the Assembly related to the consultation of the marine environment under the two year rule, proposed by Chile, Costa Rica, France, Palau, and Vanuatu. “Canada is very preoccupied with the way that we are advancing in time. And we’ve not been able to reach a consensus decision on our way forward to deal with two matters that are of interest.”

25/7/23

  • Canada states it firmly believes that the development of rigorous rules, regulations and procedures ensuring the protection of the environment and applying precaution and ecosystem based approaches is a prerequisite to any exploitation of the seabed. 
  • Canada states that the development of a robust inspection and compliance mechanism and the establishment of transparent stakeholder consultation mechanisms are vital in order to ensure the effective implementation of the regulatory framework. 
  • Canada reiterates its position that in the absence of both a comprehensive understanding of seabed mining, environmental impacts, and a robust regulatory regime, Canada supports a moratorium on commercial seabed mining in areas beyond national jurisdiction. 
  • Canada welcomes the draft decision by Chile, France, Palau and Vanuatu on the establishment of a precautionary recess of exploitation activities in the area. “Canada would support a decision of the Assembly that the Authority will not approve a plan of work for exploitation until rules, regulations and procedures are approved and adopted.At the very least, we believe that given its importance, the issue should be discussed during this Assembly meeting” 

14/7/23

  • Canada supports a moratorium on commercial seabed mining, which confirms Canada’s long standing position that the environment is protected by a rigorous regulatory structure with a science based structure and a robust inspection mechanism. 
  • Canada will negotiate in good faith rules, regulations and procedures and fulfill its UNCLOS obligations.

March 2023

24/3/23

  • Believes there is no obligation on council to automatically approve a Plan of Work.  The provisional approval of Plan of Work does not equal final approval and thus does not imply necessarily a contract.  

23/3/23

  • Agreed with Germany that some environmental impact assessment requirements should be binding.
  • Called for more details on discharge of spoiled waters and assessment of harm to environment as well as information on how activities might disturb and how to monitor
  • Canada recommended “that in the case of a termination of a contract, the council should have the capacity to bar company principals from direct or indirect involvement with any contractor or subcontractor operating in the area for a period of up to 10 years”

16/3/22

  • Canada reiterated that it does not currently have legislation to govern deep-sea mining in ABNJ and therefore would not authorize deep-sea mining.
  • The delegation stated that deep-sea mining should only take place if effective protection is provided through a rigorous regulatory structure using science and with full transparency.
  • Canada also stated that knowledge of the deep sea and the marine environment and potential impact of deep-sea mining is critical for any review or consideration of any application.
  • The delegation highlighted that currently the allotted time for the intersessional work on the 2-year rule is not sufficient. “We are open to discuss with others on how we can allocate more time on this so we can hopefully arrive at a consensus.”

October/November 2022

4/11/22

  • Canada stated that seabed mining should only take place if consistent with article 145 of UNCLOS and ensures effective protection of the marine environment.
  • The delegation stated that they were not in favor of approving a plan of work without necessary regulations in place & robust inspection mechanisms.

3/11/22

  • Canada highlighted concerns around having a clear understanding of what the measures to prevent environmental degradation would be.

2/11/22

  • Backed a proposal by Costa Rica to devote a full day of the Council meeting to discussions on the options ISA Council Members would have in the event that in July, no agreement on draft regulations is reached, as well as a discussion on the legal options the Council and or Authority would have.

July/August 2022

3/8/22

  • Stated that “maybe we should consider the possibility that the contractor intervenes individually, therefore with an amendment to the rules of procedure.”

1/8/22

Stated that they are seeking the conclusion of a BBNJ treaty in 2022 and are committed to the development of robust regulations of mineral resources that ensures effective protection of marine environment and sound governance.

22/7/22

  • Any regulations must ensure effective protection using the precautionary approach using scientific based decision making. This aligns with the high level panel.”
  • “Being a coastal state to 3 oceans, on which we rely on, Canada is a friend of the ocean. We reiterate our commitment to ocean health at the recent UNOC, including our support for 30×30.”
  • “We take note of recent interventions on the 2 year rule and calls for a moratorium, and we look forward to productive discussions so we can decide collectively on the best approach in the spirit of the agreement.”
  • The delegation stated that “it is impossible to offset for damage to the seabed if you consider all the scientific information” and therefore they could not support the term “offset” in regulations.

20/7/22

  • Canada opened the day’s session by stating that they “Would like to confirm that there will be web transmission today” to which the Chair confirmed that WebTV was on.

18/7/22

  • Together with Belgium, Chile, Costa Rica, Italy, Spain, New Zealand and Dominican Republic called for full transparency in negotiations and the reinstatement of UN Web TV so that remote delegates, observers and media could follow meeting proceedings
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