Government of Canada announces three new pilot hosts to develop and test a maritime information system

News release

July 6, 2020                             

The Government of Canada values the traditional knowledge and expertise of Canada’s Indigenous peoples and coastal communities in protecting our coasts. These communities have identified the need for more user-friendly local data on marine traffic. This is why, under the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada launched the Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness initiative in 2017.

Today, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced that three additional pilot partners along the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) Project marine shipping route are being added to the initiative. The Scianew First Nation, Malahat First Nation, and Tseycum First Nation, located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, will join 10 existing pilot project hosts across Canada. The three new pilot host communities will have access to up to $2,460,000 over two years to establish the required capacity, including staff, infrastructure, and equipment so they can successfully participate in the pilot project and share feedback.

The Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness initiative is piloting a new, easy-to-use, web-based system that displays a range data on vessel traffic, weather information, hydrography and marine environmental information. . It supports local and collaborative planning, analysis and decision-making to help communities:

  • Improve maritime situational awareness;
  • plan vessel routes;
  • identify sensitive areas;
  • enhance marine safety; and
  • address concerns about the potential impacts increased vessel traffic may present to marine activities and the environment locally.

Through this system, Indigenous and coastal communities can access a near real-time picture of local maritime activity and other relevant information through their computers, smart phones and tablets. Pilot partners will have an important role in developing this technology by using the system in their communities.


“The Government of Canada remains committed to keeping Canadians safe, particularly during these unprecedented and challenging times. The Oceans Protection Plan’s Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness initiative has received a positive response in communities that are participating and we are grateful to all of the First Nations who have been involved in this process. We look forward to the new ideas and fresh perspectives of the new hosts who have come on board.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

Quick facts

  • The five year, $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. This national strategy is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines and clean water for generations to come.

  • Each Nation along the TMX Project marine shipping route will be able to customize the Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness initiative platform based on their unique local requirements for marine safety and environmental monitoring and protection.

  • The addition of these pilot project partners, and potential access to the Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness initiative for all other First Nations along the TMX marine shipping route, responds to one of the eight accommodation measures set by the Government of Canada following the re-initiated consultations on the TMX Project. This action also addresses recommendation #13 of the Canada Energy Regulator’s (formerly the National Energy Board) TMX Project Reconsideration Report.

  • The following partners have been involved in developing and testing the pilot project since 2018:

    • Maritime Aboriginal Peoples Council – Truro Heights, Nova Scotia (coastal waters surrounding Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia)
    • Essipit Innu First Nation Council – Les Escoumins, Québec
    • Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke - Kahnawà:ke, Québec
    • Nunatsiavut Government - Nain, Nunatsiavut (Northern Labrador)
    • Ekaluktutiak Hunters and Trappers Organization – Cambridge Bay, Nunavut
    • Tuktoyaktuk Hunters and Trappers Committee in collaboration with the Tuktoyaktuk Community Corporation – Tuktoyaktuk, Inuvialuit Settlement Area (Northwest Territories)
    • T’Sou-ke First Nation – Sooke, British Columbia
    • Pacheedaht First Nation – Port Renfrew, British Columbia
    • Gitga’at First Nation – Hartley Bay, British Columbia
    • Council of Haida Nation – Haida Gwaii, British Columbia

Associated links


Livia Belcea
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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