Transport Canada issued a news release stating that it will be investing $175 millions of dollars under the Oceans Protection Plan to protect Canada's Arctic waters. Investments will be made in safety equipment and basic marine infrastructure in northern communities, while low impact shipping corridors will be identified in coastal waters. Investments include:
- $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.
- The Government of Canada 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.
- $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. 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.
- $21 million over five years for Transport Canada‘s Marine Training Contribution Fund. This investment will enhance and expand marine training and opportunities to underrepresented groups, including Indigenous people, Northerners and women in Canada’s Arctic.
- $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, a widely recognized and used response tool. This will improve the department’s response capability in emergency situations and improve seamless coordination with other response partners.
- $13.4 million over five years to expand Transport Canada’s Community Participation Funding Program. This investment will facilitate meaningful partnerships with Indigenous groups and increase their participation and input into decisions affecting Canada’s marine transportation system.
- The continued expansion of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary in the Arctic to bolster our 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.
These new measures will allow Canada’s Northern territories to be better equipped, better regulated, and better prepared to protect their marine environment and coastal communities.