Government of Canada provides funding to the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association

News Release

December 21, 2017
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Public Safety Canada

Today, Terry Duguid, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South, on behalf of the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced $635,928 in federal funding to the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) SmartPilot Seminar Series under the Search and Rescue New Initiatives Fund (SAR NIF).

CASARA is a non-profit organization that provides search and rescue assistance to the Royal Canadian Air Force and promotes flight safety. With the SmartPilot Seminar Series, CASARA aims to raise awareness on the importance recreational flight safety to and, ultimately, reducing the frequency and severity of aviation incidents. The SmartPilot Series will deliver seminar presentations to recreational pilots across Canada, including videos, animation and interactive programming. The goal of this project is to reduce the frequency and severity of aviation search and rescue incidents by improving search and rescue prevention awareness.

The SAR NIF aims to fund projects that improve and enhance the objectives of the National Search and Rescue Program (NSP).  The Government of Canada dedicates $7.6 million each year to support new and ongoing projects under SAR NIF.


“Canadians love to play, work and explore in the great outdoors all across our country. The search and rescue community works tirelessly to keep us all safe if something goes wrong. Through the Search and Rescue New Initiatives Fund, the Government of Canada is proud to support more effective and coordinated search and rescue capacity—to provide better tools to help the volunteers and experts who respond to emergencies and work to prevent them before they happen. From updating our national emergency management framework to restoring funding for Heavy Urban Search and Rescue teams across Canada, the federal government is determined to pay greater attention to emergency planning, preparedness and response. I’m confident that today’s investment will help keep people safe.”

—    The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“This SAR NIF funding is great news for the community as it will help by ensuring the safety of recreational pilots in the region and across the country, and by making search and rescue CASARA activities more effective. I am looking forward to the launch of the SmartPilot Seminar Series.”

—    Terry Duguid, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South

“The SmartPilot seminar series is an important program that CASARA is creating to provide aviation safety and search and rescue awareness information to pilots across the country.  Leveraging the success of the CASARA web site,, the program’s goal is to help make private general aviation safer and reduce the incidence and severity of search and rescue across Canada which will result in the reduction of property damage, loss of life and SAR call outs."

—    Ted Rankin, Developer, Smart Pilot Series

Quick Facts

  • Investments in the SAR NIF will:

    • Promote and support projects designed to develop and improve SAR prevention;
    • Enhance the effectiveness of the SAR response in federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions; and,
    • Share SAR response and prevention best practices throughout the SAR community.
  • The Government of Canada funds up to 95 per cent of approved search and rescue projects through the SAR NIF.  Recipients must obtain a minimum of 5 per cent of the total project cost by way of in-kind and/or cash contribution.

  • Projects are selected through a merit-based process using objective and measurable criteria.

Associated Links


Dan Brien
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

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