The Government of Canada has introduced new measures to help protect Canada’s waters and coastlines as part of CAD 1.5 billion (USD 1.2 billion) Oceans Protection Plan.
The government will spend CAD 110 million over five years for the Canadian Hydrographic Service to chart 23 high-priority commercial ports and near-shore areas along all three coasts to create safer navigation for mariners.
As explained, the new investment will fill gaps in critical areas across the country that currently have limited and out-of-date navigational information.
Furthermore, seven coastal communities to test a new information system showing where ship traffic is located have been added as part of the Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness initiative.
The government has awarded an initial contract to Hercules SLR of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, to supply the Canadian Coast Guard with two vessel-based emergency tow kits, plus equipment and training. The initial contract, worth CAD 180,000, includes options for up to 62 additional tow kits and related equipment.
In addition, CAD 7.2 million will be awarded over five years to support the Marine Weather Information Services Demonstration Project. This project will deploy five smart buoys that will produce data for tailored weather forecasts.
“The marine safety and navigational improvements from the Oceans Protection Plan announced today (May 16) will help us put safeguards in place for all vessels, including those carrying petroleum products overseas,” Marc Garneau, Canada’s Minister of Transport, said.
“This investment in the Canadian Hydrographic Service will help provide up-to-date navigation information in critical areas across the country, and these new tow kits will give the Canadian Coast Guard greater ability to tow vessels out of distress in emergency situations,” Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, commented.