New Marine Environment Protections Announced for Canadian Arctic

The Canadian government has announced an investment of more than $175 million to help protect Arctic waters as part of an Oceans Protection Plan launched late last year by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Minister of Transport Marc Garneau said this week that the funds would be spread over seven areas, including $94.3 million for more efficient Arctic resupply operations through safety equipment and basic marine infrastructure in a Northern Communities initiative.

More than $29 million is earmarked for a new Arctic National Aerial Surveillance Program Complex in Iqaluit, Nunavut, to further improve spill prevention. Another $16.89 million will fund establishment of Transport Canada’s Office of Incident Management, which will modernize and standardize the department’s incident response processes. This will improve the department’s response capability in emergency situations and improve seamless coordination with other response partners, the government said. Also included is funding for continued expansion of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary in the Arctic to boost the collective ability to respond to maritime all-hazard incidents in the future. The auxiliary is made up of trained volunteers who use their own vessels to respond to incidents in Canadian waters.