RANKIN INLET, NUDE, August 10, 2022 /CNW/ – The Arctic Ocean provides critical resources to northern communities through Canada. It is a key transportation corridor for community resupply, provides food resources and is part of the cultural identity of the North. Ensuring these waters are safe is crucial. This is why the government of Canada made significant investments to improve maritime safety in from Canada North as part of the next phase of the Oceans Protection Plan.
Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honorable Joyce Murray, announced funding for two separate Arctic initiatives:
1. Improve the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) in the Arctic
This new funding from $84 million will allow the CHS to continue its work to improve modern hydrographic seabed mapping services, which directly contribute to the safety of navigation in the Arctic. CHS will undertake hydrographic surveys using new technologies such as autonomous survey vessels and satellite remote sensing, to address the challenges of Arctic hydrography and provide new charts and nautical products in priority areas . This funding will also allow communities in the Arctic and Canada work with the CHS to collect and use hydrographic data, advancing their understanding of the local seafloor.
With previous funding from the Oceans Protection Plan, CHS was able to increase its hydrographic coverage of Arctic shipping lanes and publish 72 new electronic navigational charts. The funding announced today will build on these achievements and further improve maritime safety in the Arctic.
2. Improve the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) in the Arctic
This new funding from $24.7 million improve the CCG’s response capabilities to Rankin Inlet. Established as part of the first phase of the Oceans Protection Plan, the Canadian Coast Guard’s first Arctic search and rescue station opened in Rankin Inlet, Nunavutin August 2018 as an inshore rescue boat station. With this additional funding, the station will be transformed into an Arctic maritime response station.
The CCG will use these resources to hire and train additional teams from local communities; extend the station’s operating season by one month per year starting in 2023, to better align with the full ice-free navigation season in the region; procure an additional search and rescue vessel, specifically designed for Arctic operations; and undertake additional infrastructure improvements to enhance operational capabilities.
CCG Station at Rankin Inlet provides maritime search and rescue services during the open water season. Crews respond to distress calls that range from capsized vessels taking on water to medical emergencies. Her crew are an important part of the northern emergency preparedness and response system, working with CCG auxiliaries, Inuit and local first responders to increase maritime safety in Arctic waters.
The Oceans Protection Plan is a Canadian success story. When Indigenous peoples, industry, communities, academia and government work together to protect our environment, grow our economy and support good jobs across the country, we get real results. A renewed and expanded Oceans Protection Plan will maintain the health of our oceans and coasts, advance reconciliation, and build a clean future for our children and grandchildren.
“These significant investments in the Canadian Hydrographic Service and the Canadian Coast Guard will contribute to safer waters in the Arctic and help protect coastal communities throughout the region. By collaborating with northern communities, we are ensuring those who use and depend on Arctic waters daily will be safer than ever.”
The Honorable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“Through the new investment in the Oceans Protection Plan, we are improving the Canadian Coast Guard’s ability to provide essential search and rescue, icebreaking and critical supplies to northern communities. By working with First Nations, Inuit, Métis and coastal communities, we ensure our coastal ecosystems remain protected and local communities have access to the assets they need.”
The Honorable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport
“These investments will enhance the key strategic assets of our Arctic operations. The Canadian Coast Guard is committed to shaping our programs and services in the Arctic in partnership with the communities we serve, and only by working directly with Inuit, First Nations and Métis can we expect us to fulfill this mandate. This new funding will allow us to hire additional staff and acquire improved equipment that will enable search and rescue teams to operate even more effectively using crucial local Indigenous knowledge and expertise.
Mario PelletierCommissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard
“This renewed funding will allow us to continue our important work in the Arctic. Since the start of the Oceans Protection Plan in 2016, we have made significant progress in surveying and mapping Arctic waters. We look forward to continuing this work to advance Arctic shipping safety.
Geneviève Béchard, Director General, Canadian Hydrographic Service
- Since 2016, the government of Canada dedicated $3.5 billion to the Oceans Protection Plan, making it the largest investment Canada has ever done to protect its coasts and waterways.
- The funding announced today is part of the Government of from Canada Budget 2022 commitment to provide $2 billion over nine years to renew from Canada Oceans Protection Plan and expand its work to new areas.
- Since the launch of the Oceans Protection Plan, the Canadian Hydrographic Service has:
- modern surveys completed and 49 electronic navigational charts for 23 high priority commercial ports;
- advanced modern hydrography in the Arctic over approximately 112,000 km2 surveys and publication of 72 new electronic navigation charts and 28 paper charts;
- traveled 85,000 km2 in from Canada areas near the shore; and,
- developed innovative digital navigation products for six commercial ports and waterways.
- Since the launch of the CCG station in Rankin Inletlocal crews responded to three search and rescue incidents in 2018, one in 2019 and six in 2020. They also participated in several training exercises with various partners, including the local Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary unit and fire and rescue services.
- The funding announced today will build on these achievements and further improve maritime safety in the Arctic.
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SOURCE Fisheries and Oceans Canada Ontario and Prairie Region
For further information: Kevin Lemkay, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, 613-992-3474, [email protected]; Media Relations, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 613-990-7537, [email protected]