Fisheries and Oceans is the lead government agency with respect to oil spills in Canadian waters. In the event of a major oil spill, the commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard would coordinate and implement the Government of Canada’s response. Although National Defence is not the lead department, the Canadian Forces could provide personnel and logistics assistance, if requested.
Canadian naval vessels are capable of dealing with minor oil spills resulting from their own operations. A more robust capability also exists in Halifax and Esquimalt naval harbours for self-generated in-port incidents. However, the Canadian Forces are not mandated or equipped to deal with a major environmental event similar to the oil spill off the coast of Spain.