As part of its CAD 1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, Canada has unveiled a total investment of over CAD 175 million (USD 140 million) in seven measures to help protect Arctic waters.
According to the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, the measures include CAD 94.3 million over five years to support safer, and more efficient Arctic resupply operations through the Federal Investments in Safety Equipment and Basic Marine Infrastructure in Northern Communities Initiative.
Additionally, the government will enhance partnerships with Indigenous communities and Arctic stakeholders to establish Low Impact Shipping Corridors. The shipping routes established through these initiatives will provide the infrastructure, navigational support and emergency response services needed for safer marine navigation, while respecting the environment and local ecology and cultures.
Of the amount, CAD 29.9 million is designated for the construction of a new Arctic National Aerial Surveillance Program Complex in Iqaluit, Nunavut, to further improve spill prevention. This investment will enhance Transport Canada’s National Aerial Surveillance Program Arctic operations to keep a watchful eye over the growing number of ships operating in Canada’s Arctic waters.
Furthermore, CAD 21 million would be invested over five years for Transport Canada’s Marine Training Contribution Fund, to enhance and expand marine training and opportunities to underrepresented groups.
Other investments include CAD 16.89 million over five years to establish Transport Canada’s Office of Incident Management, which will modernize and standardize the department’s incident response processes, as well as CAD 13.4 million to expand Transport Canada’s Community Participation Funding Program.
The government will also continue the expansion of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary in the Arctic to bolster its collective ability to respond to maritime all-hazard incidents in the future.
“The measures we are announcing today will protect Canada’s Arctic coast and water for future generations and continue to provide critical jobs and employment,” Garneau said.
“Our government is proud to be implementing the Oceans Protection Plan, a historic, $1.5-billion investment to help keep our oceans safe and clean,” the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, added.