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The Ship Fund Marks its 35th Anniversary: Driving Access to Justice by Assisting Those Affected by Ship-source Oil Pollution

OTTAWA – APRIL 24, 2024

 Today, the Administrator, Mark A.M. Gauthier and the Deputy Administrator, Chiamaka Mọgọ, issued the following statement:

“The Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund proudly celebrates its 35th anniversary. Since 1989 it has been a crucial support to those affected by oil spills from ships and boats in Canadian waters. For over three decades, we have provided financial resources to impacted individuals and communities, demonstrating our commitment to aiding in their recovery and resilience.

We have received over 560 claims, paying out $28 million to compensate claimants for spill prevention measures or to aid in their clean-up efforts. Over the past year, we have experienced a remarkable surge with a record-breaking 41 claims received. This underscores the growing, nationwide recognition of the Ship Fund, a testament to the effectiveness of our outreach program.

We have processed claims and provided financial assistance to a more diverse set of claimants in recent years, while the Canadian Coast Guard continues to be our key claimant. Indigenous communities, ports, marinas, and harbours are seeking compensation for their damages more than ever, highlighting the far-reaching effects these incidents have had on them. An important part of our portfolio also involves dealing with the consequences of abandoned vessels.

Upholding the polluter pays principle, our legal team is committed to pursuing recovery against polluting ships. This ensures access to justice for affected parties and alleviates the burden on taxpayers. Despite the obstacles we encounter in recovering owed amounts, more than $4 million has been recovered in the past six years.

Additionally, we recently achieved a significant milestone in improving our readiness to help claimants obtain timely and effective compensation following major spills. Through strategic agreements with key international partners, we have enhanced our capacity to handle a high number of claims to assist Canadians when they need it most.

Follow us on social media, subscribe to our newsletter, or visit our website to stay informed about our ongoing efforts.

As we celebrate this significant milestone, we renew our pledge to continue our vital work in service to all Canadians, helping to mitigate the impacts of oil pollution on our oceans, lakes, rivers, shores, and livelihoods.”

Additional Quote from Gaute Sivertsen, Director of the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPC Funds):

 “The IOPC Funds value their partnership with the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund and congratulate the organisation on this important milestone marking 35 years of leadership in ensuring compensation for people affected by oil pollution in Canadians waters. This close cooperation culminated in the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding which will enhance cooperation and efficiency in handling claims in the event of an oil pollution incident involving both organisations”.

For more information, media may contact:

Jannie Bédard Guillemette
Communications Manager

2022-2023 Annual Report is now available

2022-2023 Annual Report

2022-2023 Annual Report

You can now read our 2022-2023 Annual Report here.  This is the 34th annual report concerning our activities from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023.

Welcome to our new Deputy Administrator

Chiamaka Mọgọ

Chiamaka Mọgọ

Please join us in welcoming Ms. Chiamaka Mọgọ as the new Deputy Administrator of the Fund. Her leadership, knowledge and experience in public policy acquired in Canada and abroad, constitute a valuable addition to our team.

Ms. Mọgọ will be featured in our next newsletter, so make sure to subscribe for more details about her nomination at

Farewell to our Outgoing Administrator

Anne Legars

Anne Legars

It is with both sadness and gratitude that we must announce that Anne Legars left her functions at the expiry of her mandate as Administrator of the Fund after seven years of leadership.

Mark Gauthier will be our Interim Administrator until a new person is selected for the role.

Please join us in congratulating Anne on her leadership and dedicated service over the past seven years.

Here is a quick overview of her major achievements:

  • The creation of a strategic plan to help our team stay the course, using the following orientations:
    1. Increase access to justice for claimants;
    2. Develop an efficient and transparent organization, agile and structured;
    3. Build a professional team linked to a web of expertise.
  • An increase of outreach activities to unprecedented levels. This helped increase the number of claims received, as well as the claimants’ diversity.
  • An increase in our capacity to handle a high number of claims.
  • The development of numerous resources for claimants, to explain simply, the complex nature of the Fund, including:
      1. New claims manuals;
      2. Easy-to-use forms;
      3. Infographics, blogs and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs);
      4. Handbooks targeted at specific groups of claimants, and
      5. Webinars.

Here is a message from Anne:

“The Fund has a long history. It started over 50 years ago with, the Maritime Pollution Claims Fund. Over time, Parliament has kept expanding the role of the Fund. It ensures better compensation and access to justice for those impacted by ship-source oil spills. I feel privileged to have been part of its story.

I am mostly proud of leaving to my successors an organisation that has gained internal capacity and expertise, and a wonderful staff willing to keep improving and developing the organisation further for the benefit of the public.

I am confident that under Mark’s leadership and this team, the upcoming year will see ongoing progress in the delivery of the Fund’s mandate.”

If you wish to send a farewell message to Anne, please email:



August is Water Quality Month! We take water quality seriously, 365 days a year! Recently, we received our 500th claim for ship-source oil pollution damage. Claims can be submitted by those who suffer damages from any type of oil, from any type of ship or boat, anywhere in Canadian waters.

Since 1989, we have paid over $28.7 million to Canadian claimants. Recent years have been especially active. The number of claims submitted has never been higher, making the 2016-2022 years a record in the 33-year history of the Fund.

Number of claims received since 1989

We continue to collaborate with various partners and stakeholders to increase awareness of the Fund. While the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) remains our main claimant, many other claimants have submitted claims for the first time.

Our Claims Centre takes questions and provides free guidance at every step of the way. We can be reached at (613) 991-1726 or

Would you like to read more about these two incidents or any other ones? Have a look at our latest edition of the Incident Summaries compilation at:

Additional resources:


January 20, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario  

Today, the Administrator of the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund announced the successful recovery of $375,000 from the shipowners of the Cormorant for polluting the water in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia in 2015. 

In 2015, the Cormorant partially sank at Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, discharging oil into the La Have River. A response operation managed by the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) removed 5,850 litres of waste oil and 350 litres of hydraulic oil from the vessel. The CCG submitted a claim to the Fund for the associated costs. 

In 2016, the Administrator and her legal team began taking extensive legal actions to recover from the shipowners for the cost of the CCG’s oil spill response operation. In 2019, a settlement that included a consent judgment was reached with the Port of Bridgewater and a numbered company. Those parties admitted ownership of the vessel and agreed to pay $375,000 to the Fund. The Administrator registered the judgment against the Port of Bridgewater’s property. Upon the recent sale of that property, the Administrator was able to recover the totality of the settled amount. 

Canada’s regime is based on the polluter-pays principle. Shipowners are responsible for oil pollution damage caused by their ship or boat. Since 1989, the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund has compensated those who suffer oil pollution damages caused by any type of oil, from any type of ship or boat, anywhere in Canadian waters. Once a claimant receives payment from the Fund, the Administrator takes all reasonable measures to recover from the shipowner or other persons responsible.  


“We are pleased that our recovery efforts were successful and that we were able to recover $375,000 from the shipowner. We are committed to taking all necessary steps to make sure polluters are held accountable for the damages they cause”. 

Anne Legars, Administrator of the Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund 

Quick facts 

  • Constructed in 1963, the 75-metre long Cormorant was a former Royal Canadian Navy diving support ship that was decommissioned and sold to private entities in 1997.  
  • In 2015, the Fund paid over $530,000 to the CCG for its response operation to an oil spill caused by the Cormorant 
  • In 2020, the CCG announced the removal, deconstruction, and recycling of the Cormorant, which was completed in the summer of 2021. 

Page Break 

Associated link 

Incident Summary: Cormorant (2015), p.37: 



Jannie Bédard Guillemette
Communications Officer 
Follow the Fund on Twitter: @sopf_cidphn