Government of Canada invests in marine training for women, Northerners, Inuit and Indigenous peoples through the Oceans Protection Plan

News release

April 24, 2019              Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia

Indigenous coastal communities share ties to Canada’s oceans that span generations. They value them as a source of livelihood, food security, and transportation routes. The Oceans Protection Plan is providing Indigenous peoples with new opportunities to protect and preserve Canada’s oceans and sea routes.

Today, Member of Parliament Rodger Cuzner, on behalf of the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced that the Government of Canada is providing funding over three years to Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) to deliver a program to increase access to marine training courses for women and Indigenous communities.

This $5.9 million in funding under the Oceans Protection Plan to NSCC will expand accessibility and flexibility to suit unique learner needs, create a safe learning environment and equitable work culture for its students. It will also increase public awareness of marine career opportunities by working with community partners to provide recruitment sessions.

The Marine Training Program is part of the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways, and reduces barriers to marine training for underrepresented groups in the marine labour force, such as women, Northerners, Inuit and Indigenous peoples.

The Oceans Protection Plan 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. Work is being done in close collaboration with Inuit and Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities.  


“Our Government is committed to maintaining a well-trained marine labour force reflective of Canada’s diverse population. Thanks to initiatives like the Oceans Protection Plan’s Marine Training Program, Canada’s marine safety system is stronger than it has ever been.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau
Canada’s Minister of Transport

“Collaboration amongst our partners and institutions is the key to continue building a safe marine industry that benefits all Canadians. Our Government’s funding to the Nova Scotia Community College will help it deliver the Marine Training Program and increase access to marine training courses for underrepresented groups in this field, such as women and Indigenous peoples.”

Member of Parliament for Cape Breton-Canso, Rodger Cuzner

"As our marine industry continues to grow, our government recognizes the importance of creating opportunities for Nova Scotians to join it by offering bursaries and training opportunities. This funding is significant, as it will help meet demand and continue to diversify the industry's workforce including specific investments for women and Indigenous peoples."

Hon. Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development

“We know that our partners across the marine industry are experiencing a skilled labour shortage. There are more jobs than people with the skills to fill them. This project helps address this gap by increasing access to career opportunities for women and Indigenous people, while simultaneously creating opportunities for employers to introduce the diverse skill sets and perspectives that they want and need.”

Don Bureaux
President, Nova Scotia Community College

Quick facts

  • Since the Oceans Protection Plan started in November 2016, over 50 initiatives have been announced in the areas of marine safety, research and ecosystem protection that span coast-to-coast-to-coast. 

  • The Oceans Protection Plan, through the Marine Training Program, is contributing to the development of marine training programs and curricula on marine safety and environmental protection that reflects Inuit and Indigenous traditional knowledge and creates a safe learning environment and equitable work culture.

  • The Government of Canada funding agreement with Nova Scotia Community College improves access to marine training on the Atlantic coast. 

  • In February 2018, $12.6 million in funding over three years was awarded to Nunavut Fisheries and Marine Training Consortium to execute the Marine Training Program in the North.

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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