Government of Canada working with Arctic Indigenous communities to enhance local marine search and rescue
OTTAWA, ONTARIO – Through the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is working to improve marine safety and responsible shipping, protect Canada’s marine environment, and offer new possibilities for Indigenous and coastal communities.
As part of this plan, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, today announced close to $1 million in funding for four Arctic Indigenous communities to buy search and rescue capable boats and related equipment. This will strengthen their participation in marine emergency response in local waters as members of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Communities receiving funding as part of the new Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Pilot Program are Gjoa Haven, Cambridge Bay and Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, as well as Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories.
The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary is a national non-profit organization of 4,000 volunteer members with access to 1,100 vessels who boost the Government of Canada’s maritime search and rescue response capacity. The Auxiliary responds to approximately 25 per cent of maritime calls for assistance each year.
The Canadian Coast Guard funds the Auxiliary through a contribution program totaling $7.7 million each year.
“Members of Arctic Indigenous communities possess indispensable knowledge of local waters, and have a long history of being the first on the scene to respond to marine search and rescue incidents. Through the Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Pilot Program, we are ensuring these communities have the tools they need to respond to emergencies, and recognizing them with a formal role in Canada’s marine search and rescue system.”
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
The Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Pilot Program is a four-year program, and the Canadian Coast Guard will continue to meet with coastal Indigenous communities to identify those that are interested in participating in future years.
The search and rescue capable boats and other equipment bought under this program meet the standards of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary and Transport Canada.
As part of the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is partnering with Indigenous and coastal communities to develop a world-leading marine safety system that meets the unique needs of people on all coasts.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Press SecretaryOffice of the Minister
Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
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