Government of Canada delivers marine safety training and barges to Northern communities through the Oceans Protection Plan

News release

October 13, 2018                      Hay River, NWT

Protecting the marine environment and all users of Canada's oceans and waterways is of paramount importance. The Government of Canada, under the Oceans Protection Plan, is making sure our coasts are protected in a modern and advanced way.

Today, Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories, announced an investment of $19.5 million, under the Oceans Protection Plan, to construct four double-hulled barges that will deliver fuel safely to Northern communities and opened the Hay River Training Facility, which will provide marine safety training to Northern communities.

The four new double-hulled barges will be commissioned by the Government of the Northwest Territories. Currently, fuel is carried to some Northern communities, particularly those along the Mackenzie River watershed, in single-hulled barges. The risk of a fuel spill increases when fuel is carried in this way during low water conditions. These new double-hulled barges will minimize the risk of a fuel spill and improve the safety of community resupply operations. 

This $19.5 million investment is part of the $94.3 million Safety Equipment and Basic Marine Infrastructure in Northern Communities initiative under the Oceans Protection Plan. The initiative helps to make Arctic resupply operations more efficient and safer for communities, workers, and the environment through investments in marine safety equipment and infrastructure.

The Hay River Training Facility is an important part of the Government of Canada’s $21 million Northern Marine Training Program. The Nunavut Fisheries and Marine Training Consortium received $12.6 million through the Program to deliver marine training to Northern communities, which includes expanding programming at their Iqaluit campus and opening this satellite training facility in Hay River.

The $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. Through this plan, the Government of Canada is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coasts and waterways for generations to come. This work is being done in close collaboration with Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities.


“Many northern communities rely on marine re-supply operations to receive up to 95% of their goods. I am pleased to announce this significant step in protecting the health of our Arctic coast and waters and enhancing the safety and security of re-supply operations.”

Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories
Michael V. McLeod

“Today, the Government of Canada has taken additional steps to protect the health of our Arctic coast, strengthen the safety of Canada’s marine transportation system, and expand employment opportunities for Canadians. We are doing this by investing in Northern marine resupply operations and supporting the creation of a well-trained Northern marine labour force reflective of Canada’s diverse population.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau
Canada’s Minister of Transport

“Increasing the safety and efficiency of marine resupply operations in the Northwest Territories is a priority for the Government of the Northwest Territories. Today’s announcement will help to stabilize the cost of living, provides increased protection of the marine environment and supports the efficiency of resupply to the NWT’s 16 marine-serviced Northern communities”

The Honourable Wally Schumann
Minister of Infrastructure
Government of Northwest Territories

Quick facts

  • The four new double-hulled barges will be designed for safe operations on Great Slave Lake, the Mackenzie River watershed, along the coastlines of the Northwest Territories, and delivery offshore from Tuktoyaktuk Harbour.

  • The Marine Training Program is expanding and enhancing marine training and opportunities for underrepresented groups in the marine sector, such as women, Northerners, Inuit and Indigenous peoples.

Associated links


Delphine Denis
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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