November 21, 2014 - Victoria, British Columbia
The member of Parliament for Yukon, Ryan Leef, on behalf of the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, was pleased to welcome the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier back to its home port of Victoria, B.C. and also welcome over 60 students and teachers from Royal Oak Middle School for an afternoon of exploring and discovering Canadian history onboard the ship.
The crew of CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier and hydrographers from the Canadian Hydrographic Service, both branches of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, along with an archaeologist from Parks Canada, conducted tours and presentations for the students throughout the ship, allowing students to see the areas where data collection, analyses and discoveries took place during the 2014 Victoria Strait expedition.
CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier was the main ship in this year’s multi-partner expedition and provided vessel and helicopter support to archaeologists from the Government of Nunavut and Parks Canada, supporting their breakthrough discovery of Sir John Franklin’s HMS Erebus. The Canadian Hydrographic Service provided the high resolution three-dimensional multibeam data, collected from two of its survey launches, that provided Parks Canada with the ability to ultimately confirm the identity of the discovered shipwreck.
In addition to science support for the Franklin search, the vessel, its Coast Guard crew and the Canadian Hydrographic Service hydrographers also conducted significant work in support of maritime safety and security. Among the many activities undertaken by the Canadian Coast Guard during the Victoria Strait timeframe included icebreaking, search and rescue, servicing aids to navigation, and conducting ice escorts for commercial ships. During that same timeframe, the Canadian Hydrographic Service collected substantial amounts of bathymetric, topographic and tidal information to contribute directly to developing modern nautical charts, which will enhance marine safety in Canada’s arctic waters.
“Since 2008, under the leadership of our Prime Minister, our Government has worked with an array of partners from the public, private, and academic sectors to locate the historic ships of the ill-fated 1845 Franklin Expedition. This year’s expedition exemplary partnership allowed us to maximize our technologies and expertise, ultimately helping mariners transit our arctic waters safely, protect our northern communities, understand our marine ecosystems and even uncover our own arctic history.”
The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister for Fisheries and Oceans Canada
“We are incredibly proud that the Canadian Coast Guard and the Canadian Hydrographic Service played such a vital role in the discovery of the HMS Erebus. Through this year’s Franklin expedition, the many public and private partners solved one of the world’s great maritime mysteries, and it will be through our teachers and professors that Canadian students will learn about how this discovery ties into our nation’s history and our future.”
Member of Parliament for Yukon Ryan Leef
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Office (604) 775-8809 Cell: 604-209-6225
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