Government of Canada provides over $2.5 million to four British Columbia coastal communities to increase availability of maritime data

News release

November 30, 2018       Victoria

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, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport announced that over $2.5 million in funding has been awarded to four coastal communities in British Columbia for their role in a pilot project to develop, test and evaluate a new maritime awareness information system in Canada.

The funding will go to the Council of the Haida Nation and the Gitga’at Nation, who are hosting two pilot projects on the North and Central Coast of British Columbia. Also receiving funding is the T’Sou-ke Nation and the Pacheedaht Nation, as neighbouring nations, who are hosting a shared pilot project on the South Coast of Vancouver Island.

Transport Canada is working in partnership with Indigenous and coastal communities on a new maritime awareness information system, identifying the types of information that should be included in the system, discussing local priorities and building partnerships. In total, ten Indigenous communities, governments and organizations from across Canada’s coasts will be piloting the new system.

The new maritime awareness information system will be web-based, user-friendly, and will increase access and expand the type of maritime data available to Indigenous peoples, coastal communities and other stakeholders.

The system will display a range of valuable near real-time data and maritime information, including vessel traffic and weather information. The funding announced today will provide local communities with the resources to put in place infrastructure, internet and equipment necessary to test this new system over the course of one year, starting in spring 2019.

Collaboration is a cornerstone of programs and initiatives launched under the OPP, and the Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness Initiative plays an important role in working together to create greater efficiencies, stronger partnerships and a sustainable marine safety system.

This funding was made available under the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan (OPP), which 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.


“Just as air-traffic control was developed to organize the movement of aircraft, we are working collaboratively to develop a system to better collect and share maritime information. This announcement displays the Government’s commitment to strengthening partnerships and exploring innovative solutions to improve our marine system and protect our coasts for generations to come.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada has announced initiatives worth more than $600 million under the Oceans Protection Plan.

  • The five-year, $62.5 million Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness Initiative was announced in November 2017.

  • Transport Canada is making up to $9.8 million over 2 years available to support the implementation of the Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness initiative pilot projects.

  • Four First Nations in British Columbia are receiving a total of over $2.5 million in funding.

  • There are ten partner Indigenous governments and organizations across Canada participating in the EMSA pilot projects. These partners will test the system and their feedback, local priorities and traditional knowledge will be a key part of informing changes and updates to the system over the course of the one-year pilot projects.

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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