Government of Canada Partnering with Lennox Island First Nation to Enhance Marine Safety in Prince Edward Island

News release

January 29, 2021

Lennox Island, Prince Edward Island -

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, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, announced that a new search and rescue boat for Lennox Island First Nation on Prince Edward Island has been received. The Canadian Coast Guard provided $209,190 for the purchase of the boat and related equipment.

Through new equipment and training, Canadian Coast Guard 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. In August, nine members of the Lennox Island First Nation successfully completed search and rescue training with the Auxiliary to respond to emergencies in waters near their community. 

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 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.

Quotes

“The Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Pilot Program recognizes the critical role of Indigenous peoples as members of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary. Indigenous coastal communities have been stewards of the oceans and shores for generations and are critical to Canada's marine safety system today. The Program will enable these communities to continue the vital work of protecting mariners and our marine environment safely and effectively for decades to come.”

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“Our government understands the importance of partnering with Indigenous and coastal communities to foster a safe marine environment. Under the Oceans Protection Plan, Canadian coasts and waterways are more protected than ever before. The Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Pilot Program demonstrates the vital role of Indigenous communities in safeguarding Canadian waters. The new search and rescue boat and related equipment will help support emergency response capabilities and continued marine stewardship under this Oceans Protection Plan initiative.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport

“This investment supports safety measures for our community efforts while on the water. We are pleased to have necessary equipment and resources that will assist us in preparing for emergency situations, which we have found ourselves in many times in the past. It is important to ensure safety and security steps are taken while we continue to be stewards of the land and water.”

 

Chief Darlene Bernard, Lennox Island First Nation

Quick facts

  • As part of the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is partnering with Indigenous and coastal communities to develop a marine safety system that meets the unique needs of people on all coasts.

  • The Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Pilot Program is a four-year pilot program, which began in 2017. The Coast Guard continues conversations with coastal Indigenous communities to identify those that are interested in participating in the future.

  • A total of approximately $2.7 million in funding was provided to 10 communities under the third year of this program. Communities in Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, British Columbia and Northwest Territories have also received funding in the third year of this program. The program has delivered a total of $6.4 million in funding since it began in 2017.

  • 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.

  • Since the Oceans Protection Plan started in November 2016, over 50 initiatives have been announced in the areas of marine safety, research and ecosystem protection that span coast-to-coast-to-coast.

Associated links

Contacts

Jane Deeks
Press Secretary  
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans
and the Canadian Coast Guard
343-550-9594
Jane.Deeks@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
613-990-7537
Media.xncr@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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