Government of Canada is making Arctic marine operations safer for remote northern communities

News release

August 14, 2019            Iqaluit            Transport Canada

Protecting the marine environment and those who rely on Canada's oceans and waterways is of paramount importance to the Government of Canada, which is why it is implementing the Oceans Protection Plan. For residents of Canada’s Northern territories, marine transportation is an essential lifeline. Ships and boats transport food and important goods and represent well-paying middle-class jobs.

Today, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced that under the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is providing $76.5 million over seven years to build two community harbours in Grise Fiord and Resolute Bay, Nunavut. This investment is part of the $190 million in infrastructure funding by the Government of Canada for communities in the Tallurutiup Imanga area.

Community harbours in two of Canada’s most northern settlements will enhance the safety of marine operations in these communities, support the protection of the local environments, and increase the safety and reliability of community resupply.

Transport Canada will work with the Government of Nunavut and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association to design the community harbours and provide funding to construct the harbours. Collaboration is a cornerstone of the Oceans Protection Plan and this relationship is another example of how the Government of Canada is working with Inuit and Indigenous partners and coastal communities to improve local marine infrastructure and security, create employment opportunities, and promote environmental stewardship.

The Oceans Protection Plan’s funding for the community harbours builds on previous investments made through the Safety Equipment and Basic Marine Infrastructure in Northern Communities Initiative. Funding has also gone towards installing mooring bollards for safer fuel delivery and refueling operations in Nunavut communities and a comprehensive community scoping study to implement essential marine infrastructure projects across Nunavut. Along with these projects, the community harbours is helping Northerners be better positioned to protect their communities and livelihoods and respond to marine safety and pollution incidents.

The $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. The world-leading marine safety system 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 Inuit and Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and northern communities. 


“Today, the Government of Canada has taken additional steps under the Oceans Protection Plan to protect the health of our Arctic coast and strengthen the safety of Canada’s marine transportation system. We are doing this by working with our Inuit partners and local communities, and investing in Northern marine infrastructure.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau
Canada’s Minister of Transport

“We appreciate the federal government’s commitment to Nunavut’s marine transportation infrastructure. This funding will make substantial improvements to the economy and people of Grise Fiord and Resolute Bay. The Government of Nunavut looks forward to working with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association and the Government of Canada to advance these projects and foster the sustainability of the High Arctic.”

The Honourable David Akeeagok
Nunavut’s Minister of Economic Development and Transportation

“These investments in community harbours in Grise Fiord and Resolute Bay signal an important step towards addressing the infrastructure inequality between Canada’s North and south. For these two High Arctic communities, like many Nunavut communities, the sea is a highway –the lifeline that connects us to the world. These investments make it possible for Inuit in these communities to cast off boats without endangering lives. They make it possible for us to lay the ground work for food sovereignty, and sustainable industries, such as fisheries.”

 P.J. Akeeagok
President, Qikiqtani Inuit Association

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada has announced over 50 initiatives under the Oceans Protection Plan since its launch almost three years ago.

  • Almost three years ago, the Government of Canada announced a total investment of over $175 million for seven measures to help protect Arctic waters as part of the Oceans Protection Plan.

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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