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Transport Canada announces seven measures to protect Arctic waters

2018-08-27

McKeil Marine's Evans Spirit  won the International Bulk Journal's 2016 Ship of the Year Award during the IBJ's Salute to Excellence in the Maritime Bulk Industry gala awards ceremony in London, UK on November 21.
"It's a fantastic way to closeout our 60th anniversary year: having a vessel named after our founder, Evans McKeil, win this prestigious international award," said Steve Fletcher, President and CEO of McKeil Marine.
Acquired by McKeil in 2015, the Evans Spirit is a cargo ship with the shallow draught characters of a tug and barge; however, compared to a tug-and-barge unit, she can transport approximately 40 per cent more cargo about 50 per cent faster on a very similar amount of fuel.  She is in service throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
Evans Spirit was shortlisted for 2016 Ship of the Year competing with three other vessels: CS Bright, Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan;  Damen Shipyards, Netherlands; and MN Baroque, Swiss Marine, Switzerland. The award is presented to the owner, operator or builder of an outstanding individual bulk ship. Judged on operational efficiency, design innovation, safety and environmental protection, the Evans Spirit was selected as winner. (Photo Paul Beesley).

Canada's federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau has announced a total investment of $175 million in seven measures to help protect Arctic waters and coastal communities as part of the Oceans Protection Plan.

For residents of Canada's Northern territories, marine transportation is an essential lifeline. Ships bring food and other important goods and represent critical jobs and employment, noted an August 27 Transport Canada press release datelined Cambridge Bay.

Last November, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau launched the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan. 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. The Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada's coasts and waterways.

 

The new measures include:
?    $94.3 million over five years to support safer, and more efficient Arctic resupply operations through the Federal Investments in Safety Equipment and Basic Marine Infrastructure in Northern Communities Initiative.
?    The Government of Canada will enhance partnerships with Indigenous communities and Arctic stakeholders to establish Low Impact Shipping Corridors. The shipping routes established through these initiatives will provide the infrastructure, navigational support and emergency response services needed for safer marine navigation, while respecting the environment and local ecology and cultures.
?    $29.9 million to build a new Arctic National Aerial Surveillance Program Complex in Iqaluit, Nunavut featuring a hangar and accommodations unit, to further improve spill prevention. This investment will enhance Transport Canada's National Aerial Surveillance Program Arctic operations to keep a watchful eye over the growing number of ships operating in Canada's Arctic waters.
?    $21 million over five years for Transport Canada's Marine Training Contribution Fund. This investment will enhance and expand marine training and opportunities to underrepresented groups, including Indigenous people, Northerners and women in Canada's Arctic.
?    $16.89 million over five years to establish Transport Canada's Office of Incident Management, which will modernize and standardize the department's incident response processes. The Office will oversee implementation of the Incident Command System, a widely recognized and used response tool. This will improve the department's response capability in emergency situations and improve seamless coordination with other response partners.
?    $13.4 million over five years to expand Transport Canada's Community Participation Funding Program. This investment will facilitate meaningful partnerships with Indigenous groups and increase their participation and input into decisions affecting Canada's marine transportation system.
?    The continued expansion of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary in the Arctic to bolster our collective ability to respond to maritime all-hazard incidents in the future. The Coast Guard Auxiliary is made up of trained volunteers who use their own vessels to respond to incidents in Canadian waters. (Photo of a Nunavut coastal community by Paul Beesley).

 
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