CAMBRIDGE BAY, NUNAVUT — Canada’s Minister of Transport Marc Garneau recently announced an investment of over $175 million in seven measures to help protect Arctic waters as part of the Oceans Protection Plan.
Last November, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau launched the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan.
This national strategy is creating a marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians, while protecting coastlines and clean water for future generations, notes a media statement from Transport Canada.
According to the release, the measures, which are expected to help Canada's northern territories protect their marine environment and coastal communities, include:
$94.3 million over five years to support safer and more efficient Arctic resupply operations;
enhanceing partnerships with indigenous communities and Arctic stakeholders to establish Low Impact Shipping Corridors.
The shipping routes established will provide the infrastructure, navigational support and emergency response services needed for safer marine navigation, while respecting the environment and local ecology and cultures, the statement indicated;
$29.9 million to build a new Arctic National Aerial Surveillance Program Complex in Iqaluit, Nunavut featuring a hangar and accommodations unit, to further improve spill prevention.
The investment will enhance Transport Canada's National Aerial Surveillance Program;
$21 million over five years for Transport Canada's Marine Training Contribution Fund.
The investment will enhance and expand marine training and opportunities to underrepresented groups, including indigenous people, northerners and women;
$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.
The office will oversee implementation of the incident command system which is a response tool used in emergency situations;
$13.4 million over five years to expand Transport Canada's Community Participation Funding Program. The investment will facilitate partnerships with indigenous groups and increase their participation and input into decisions affecting Canada's marine transportation system; and
the continued expansion of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary in the Arctic to bolster the collective ability to respond to maritime all-hazard incidents in the future. The Coast Guard Auxiliary is made up of trained volunteers who use their own vessels to respond to incidents in Canadian waters.