Investments under the Oceans Protection Plan to protect Canada’s Arctic Coast and Water


Canadians rely on their coasts and waterways for recreation, to deliver products to market, and to earn a livelihood, but also cherish them for cultural reasons. The Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada's coasts and waterways, while growing our economy. With this Plan, our future generations will continue to enjoy and benefit from our coasts and waterways the way we do now.

For residents of Canada’s Northern territories, marine transportation is an essential lifeline. Up to 95 percent of food and other goods are shipped to northern communities through the marine transportation system. Through the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is taking action to protect Canada’s Arctic coast and support safe and responsible shipping in Arctic waters.

Federal investments in Safety Equipment and Basic Marine Infrastructure in Northern Communities Initiative

As part of the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada will invest $94.3 million over five years in the Safety Equipment and Basic Marine Infrastructure in Northern Communities Initiative. This initiative will make Arctic resupply operations faster, safer, and more efficient for remote Arctic coastal communities. Investments will be made in on-the-ground safety equipment and basic marine infrastructure to support safer community resupply operations and in training to use and maintain that equipment and infrastructure. The Government of Canada will work collaboratively with territorial governments, northern communities, Indigenous groups, and stakeholders to implement this initiative.

Enhanced National Aerial Surveillance Program and Arctic Complex

The Oceans Protection Plan will invest $29.9 million to build an Arctic National Aerial Surveillance Program Complex in Iqaluit over the next five years, including a hangar and accommodations unit. Aerial surveillance is considered internationally as the most effective way to detect oil spills. The National Aerial Surveillance Program keeps an eye on Canada’s coasts, including the Arctic coast, with three strategically placed aircraft located across Canada. One aircraft is currently co-located between Ottawa, ON and Iqaluit, NU, the second is located in Moncton, NB, and the third is located in Vancouver, BC. The new Arctic NASP Complex will allow year-round National Aerial Surveillance Program operations in the Arctic, as needed, and support the safety, security, and environmental sustainability of marine transportation in the North. In addition, under the Oceans Protection Plan, operations of Canada’s National Aerial Surveillance Program in the Arctic will be enhanced to support local marine pollution reporting, search and rescue capacity and satellite monitoring of vessels offshore.

Marine Training Contribution Fund in the Arctic

The Oceans Protection Plan is providing $21 million over five years through the Marine Training Contribution Fund to enhance and expand marine training and opportunities for underrepresented groups in Canada’s Arctic, including Indigenous Peoples, Northerners, and women. This includes adapting training curricula to reflect Indigenous traditional knowledge and culturally appropriate material. The Marine Training Contribution Fund will provide long-term training and jobs for Indigenous communities in Canada’s Arctic and contribute to a well-trained labour force that reflects Canada’s diverse population.

Incident Command System

The Oceans Protection Plan is providing $16.9 million over five years to Transport Canada for ongoing support to the new Office of Incident Management. Launching in September, 2017, the Office of Incident Management will modernize and standardize Transport Canada’s incident response processes including the implementation of Incident Command System across the department through training, coaching, and exercises among other activities. Implementing Incident Command System will improve coordination and increase response effectiveness, particularly where multiple agencies are involved. The Incident Command System is the recognized response tool used by federal departments such as the Canadian Coast Guard the National Energy Board, Environment and Climate Change Canada and others. It is also used widely among private/non-governmental response organizations, industry and most provincial, territorial, and municipal governments.

Community Participation Funding Program

As part of the Oceans Protection Plan, Transport Canada is expanding the Community Participation Funding Program (CPFP) to facilitate meaningful partnerships with Indigenous groups and provide funding to support community engagement on marine safety issues across the country. A total of $13.4 million in funding, with a maximum of $50,000 per recipient, per engagement opportunity, will be made available over the next five years. Funding will encourage the participation of Indigenous groups, non-profit organizations and local communities (including municipal governments and residential associations), as well as increase the capacity of these groups to engage and share their knowledge and expertise in the development and improvement of Canada’s marine transportation system. Please visit Transport Canada’s website at for more information.

Low impact shipping corridors

The Low Impact Shipping Corridors are specific shipping routes throughout the Arctic where the necessary infrastructure, marine navigational support, and emergency response services are provided to support safe shipping in the Arctic. These shipping routes are based on historical and projected traffic patterns, hydrographic information, and areas of environmental sensitivity. The Government of Canada will continue to work with Indigenous groups and stakeholders to validate the shipping routes and to implement this Oceans Protection Plan initiative.

Enhanced Arctic Auxiliary

The Canadian Coast Guard will support the continued expansion of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary in the Arctic to bolster our collective ability to respond to maritime all-hazard incidents in the future. The Coast Guard Auxiliary is made up of trained volunteers who use their own vessels to respond to incidents in Canadian waters. Agreement negotiations are underway and the Canadian Coast Guard has begun identifying locations of the expanded Arctic Auxiliary.

Oceans Protection Plan

These initiatives are part of the Government of Canada’s $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, a national strategy to create a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines for future generations. The Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made in Canada’s coasts and waterways. The Oceans Protection Plan will involve new measures to improve marine safety and responsible shipping, protect Canada’s marine environment, and offer new possibilities for Indigenous and coastal communities.

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