Every year, thousands of people in Canada’s Arctic communities depend on the annual marine sealift and re-supply services for food, medicine and essential goods.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has made this service even more critical. That’s just one reason why the Government of Canada is committed to making Arctic re-supply operations faster, safer, and more efficient for remote northern communities.
Today, while marking the fourth anniversary of the Oceans Protection Plan, I’m pleased to announce that we are committing close to 65 million dollars for several projects to improve Northern marine infrastructure.
This funding is part of the 94.3 million dollar Safety Equipment and Basic Marine Infrastructure in Northern Communities Initiative under the Oceans Protection Plan.
The initiative helps Northerners protect their communities and livelihoods with a marine safety system that better prevents and responds to marine safety and pollution incidents.
The 1.5 billion dollar Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada's coasts and waterways. The Plan has improved Arctic marine safety in many ways, including new hydrographic surveys, increased aerial surveillance of Arctic waters, and a new seasonal Coast Guard search and rescue station in Rankin Inlet. All of this work is being done in close collaboration with Inuit and Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and northern communities.
Today’s investments reflect the Oceans Protection Plan’s goals, and will have a lasting impact, a positive one, on Northerners, Canada’s marine transportation system, and resupply services.
Since launching the Plan, we’ve announced more than 50 marine safety, research, and ecosystem initiatives, spanning from coast to coast to coast. These include measures to help protect Canada’s endangered whale species, remove wrecked and abandoned vessels from our waters, and improve our marine pollution response.
These are just a few examples of how the Oceans Protection Plan is making Canada’s marine shipping safer, and protecting our marine environment better than ever before.