June 30, 2021 Vancouver, British Columbia Transport Canada
The path to reconciliation requires a true partnership between Canada and First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Nation when it comes to decisions about Canada’s marine environment. The Government of Canada, in cooperation with Indigenous Peoples, is taking concrete measures to address the complex range of threats that contribute to the endangerment of marine mammals, including addressing increased noise levels from nearby ships. This important partnership with Indigenous communities in British Columbia is one based on traditional knowledge sharing, science and inclusive engagement.
Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra announced almost $750,000 in funding through the Quiet Vessel Initiative for five Indigenous communities along the Trans Mountain Expansion Project marine shipping route.
The Indigenous communities receiving funding are the Malahat Nation, Cowichan Tribes, T’Sou-ke First Nation, Pacheedaht First Nation and Tseycum First Nation. Recipient communities will use this funding to build and improve their scientific capacity and expertise to measure and monitor the local impacts of underwater vessel noise. This includes purchasing and deploying equipment (such as hydrophones), providing training, collecting and analyzing acoustic data, and developing community awareness and education programs.
The five-year, $26 million Quiet Vessel Initiative is a critical investment in the most promising technologies, vessel designs, retrofits and operational practices to make vessels quieter. It is part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to address underwater vessel noise and to protect the marine environment.