Canada Invests in Arctic Shipping Safety

The Government of Canada revealed plans to invest $22.7 million over five years on a cash basis to improve the safety of marine transportation in the Arctic.

As part of these investments, Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Canadian Hydrographic Service will acquire and install four multibeam sonar systems aboard Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers in order to increase the amount of seafloor surveying in the Arctic.

The Canadian Coast Guard also plans to enhance emergency response and search and rescue capacity in the Arctic by increasing the current Coast Guard Auxiliary presence in remote locations. The Canadian Coast Guard will also conduct reviews to identify ways to enhance Arctic marine navigation services and infrastructure, including aids to navigation.

Transport Canada said it would work closely with Aboriginal groups and local communities on ways to improve marine transportation in the North.

Moving forward, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Canadian Hydrographic Service and Transport Canada are working together on the Northern Marine Transportation Corridors Initiative to determine what the appropriate mix of navigational services, infrastructure, and emergency response services could be across Canada’s Arctic waterways.

“By improving the charting of Arctic waterways and developing options to improve navigation systems and infrastructure, our Government is taking the necessary steps to support incident prevention and marine safety in the Arctic, ” Gail Shea, Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans said.

Nearly 95 per cent of goods transported in the Arctic are shipped by sea, making the Canadian Coast Guard an integral part of the Arctic way of life.