May 16, 2018 11:09 pm

Ottawa’s Oceans Protection Plan to include funds for weather forecasting, ship monitoring

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau delivers a speech on the Transportation Modernization Act and the Ocean Protection Plan at a business luncheon in Halifax, May 23, 2017.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
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VANCOUVER – Transport Minister Marc Garneau says the federal government is investing in navigational mapping, ship monitoring and weather forecasting as part of the $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan.

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Garneau says the federal government will spend $110 million over five years for the Canadian Hydrographic Service to chart 23 high-priority commercial ports and near-shore areas to fill gaps in navigational data and charts.

He named seven additional coastal communities, including the T’Souke and Pacheedaht Nations on Vancouver Island, as partners to test new information systems for monitoring ship traffic – bringing the total to nine.

READ MORE: Spill equipment, orca study among newly unveiled details of Oceans Protection Plan

Nova Scotia-based Hercules SLR has been awarded an initial $180,000 contract to supply two emergency tow-kits to the Canadian Coast Guard.

Another $7.2 million over five years will fund the deployment of five smart buoys to improve weather forecasting on the East and West coasts.

Garneau says the plan will help protect the B.C. coast against any possible spills and will proceed regardless of whether the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is built.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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