The Government of Canada expects to surpass its marine conservation target of 10 percent protection of marine and coastal areas by 2020. The new Tuvaijuittuq (meaning "the place where the ice never melts") marine protected area planned off the Nunavut coast would ban new or additional human activities in the area for up to five years, but still allows Inuit to hunt and fish. There are also exceptions for emergency activities, some scientific research and "certain activities carried out by a foreign national, entity, ship or state. This new marine protected area combined with the Tallurutiup Imanga national marine conservation area in the northeastern region of Nunavut covers more than 427,000 square kilometres.
This follows an order-in-council, issued on July 28 by cabinet, that prohibits all offshore oil and gas activities in the Arctic, building off a moratorium on issuing new oil and gas licenses announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2016, alongside then-U.S. president Barack Obama. The new order-in-council is to remain in effect until Dec. 31, 2021 as the federal cabinet has the power to prohibit certain oil and gas work in Arctic offshore areas if deemed to be in the national interest, and the authority to freeze the terms of licence holders in those areas during the ongoing moratorium.