RICHMOND, B.C. - The federal government is doubling the money spent on aerial surveillance to monitor pollution such as oil spills from ships in Canadian waters.
Transport Minister Lisa Raitt says funding will increase from $5 million to roughly $10 million a year over the next five years.
Raitt says tanker traffic is expected to increase in Canada's waters as trade increases, so the new money will fund more flights to spot spills.
She says the increased surveillance in areas such as Prince Rupert and Kitimat on the B.C. coast will help deter polluters.
The federal government is trying to shore up its tanker safety and environmental protections in B.C. in an effort to quell opposition to oil exports from the West Coast.
The surveillance fleet consists of one aircraft located in Vancouver, another in Moncton, N.B., and one in Ottawa, all equipped with instruments to record and report marine pollution.