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New marine safety equipment for Nunavut and Manitoba communities

Photo of Pond Inlet by Nunatsiaq News

OTTAWA, ON – Through the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is working in partnership with Indigenous coastal communities to improve marine safety and responsible shipping to protect Canada’s marine environment. As part of this $1.5 billion plan, in 2017 the Canadian Coast Guard launched the Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Pilot Program. Under this program, communities are provided with funding to purchase boats and equipment to enhance their marine safety capacity as members of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Today, under year three of the program, Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs and Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface—Saint Vital, on behalf of  Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced $994,847 for communities in Manitoba and Nunavut to purchase search and rescue boats and related equipment.

One community in Manitoba and three communities in Nunavut are receiving funding: Churchill, MB – $319,035 to purchase a search and rescue boat, related equipment, and a boat shelter; Arviat, NU – $305,326 to purchase a search and rescue boat and related equipment;Pond Inlet, NU – $313,167 to purchase a search and rescue boat and related equipment; Clyde River, NU – $57,319 to purchase a boat shed for an existing boat in the community.

The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary is a national non-profit organization of 4,000 volunteer members with access to 1,100 vessels that boost the Government of Canada’s maritime search and rescue response capacity. The Canadian Coast Guard funds the Auxiliary through a contribution program totaling $7.7 million each year. The Auxiliary responds to approximately 25 per cent of maritime calls for assistance each year, providing an often life-saving service.