November 6, 2020
Northwest Territories – Through the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is working in partnership with Indigenous coastal communities to improve marine safety and responsible shipping to protect Canada’s marine environment.
As part of this $1.5 billion plan, in 2017 the Canadian Coast Guard launched the Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Pilot Program. Under this program, communities are provided with funding to purchase boats and equipment to enhance their marine safety capacity as members of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Today, under year three of the program, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, announced $255,178 for Hay River to purchase a search and rescue boat, related equipment, and $276,632 for Inuvik to purchase a search and rescue boat and a life raft.
Through new equipment and training, Auxiliary members are better equipped and prepared to respond to marine emergencies, helping to enhance the safety of their communities and the surrounding waters and coasts.
The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary is a national non-profit organization of 4,000 volunteer members with access to 1,100 vessels that boost the Government of Canada’s maritime search and rescue response capacity. The Canadian Coast Guard funds the Auxiliary through a contribution program totaling $7.7 million each year. The Auxiliary responds to approximately 25 per cent of maritime calls for assistance each year, providing an often life saving service.
The $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. This national plan is creating a stronger marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines and clean water for generations to come. This work is being done in close collaboration with Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities.
November 7, 2020, marks the fourth anniversary of the launch of the Oceans Protection Plan. Despite the new challenges that have emerged with COVID-19, the Oceans Protection Plan continues to:
- Foster partnerships with Indigenous and coastal communities;
- Improve marine incident response;
- Prevent marine accidents and pollution;
- Protect Canada’s endangered whale populations; and
- Preserve and restore Canada’s marine ecosystems.