Canada’s Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, announced that more than $2.5 million has been awarded to four coastal communities in British Columbia to develop, test and evaluate a new maritime awareness information system in Canada.
The Government of Canada, under the Oceans Protection Plan, is ensuring that Canada’s coasts are protected in a modern and advanced way. The funding will go to the Council of the Haida Nation and the Gitga’at Nation, who are hosting two pilot projects on the North and Central Coast of British Columbia.
Moreover, the T’Sou-ke Nation and the Pacheedaht Nation will also receive funding, as neighbouring nations, who are hosting a shared pilot project on the South Coast of Vancouver Island.
This funding was available under the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, and is the largest investment that has ever been made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. Via this plan, the Government of Canada is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic chances for Canadians, while protecting the coasts and waterways for generations to come.
Transport Canada is collaborating with Indigenous and coastal communities in favour of a new maritime awareness information system, identifying the kind of information that should be included in the system, discussing local priorities and building partnerships. In total, ten Indigenous communities, governments and organizations from Canada’s coasts will be embodying the new system.
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The new maritime awareness information system will be web-based, user-friendly, and will develop access and expand the type of maritime data available to Indigenous peoples, coastal communities and other stakeholders.
The system will show a variety of valuable close-to-real-time data and maritime information, including vessel traffic and weather information. The funding is set to provide local communities with the resources to put in place infrastructure, internet and equipment necessary to test this new system over the course of one year, starting in spring 2019.
Finally, partnership is a basis of programs and initiatives launched under the OPP, and the Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness Initiative plays an crucial role in working together to create greater efficiencies, stronger partnerships and a sustainable marine safety system.