Federal government invests in the security of domestic ferries



    OTTAWA, Jan. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - John Baird, Canada's Minister of Transport,
today announced that the federal government will fund projects to enhance
security for domestic ferries under the Marine Security Contribution Program.
    Domestic ferry operators in Nova Scotia, Quebec and British Columbia will
be receiving the funding for specific security enhancements, such as
surveillance equipment, dockside and perimeter security, command, control and
communications equipment, and training.
    "Many Canadians rely on ferry services every day. Our government is
getting things done to improve the safety and security of those who work and
use our ferries," said Minister Baird. "In addition to strengthening the
security of Canadians, this investment encourages more travel on our domestic
ferries, helps stimulates the economy, supports tourism and promotes the
creation of new jobs."
    This Marine Security Contribution Program is a $115-million initiative
that has helped Canada's ports, marine facilities and domestic ferries to help
cover the costs of modernizing and strengthening their security systems and
programs.
    This Program is application-based and provides funding to recipients on a
cost-sharing basis for a number of clearly identified eligible expenses.

    A backgrounder on the Marine Security Contribution Program is attached.


    
                                 Backgrounder
                                 ------------
                                 ------------

                     MARINE SECURITY CONTRIBUTION PROGRAM
                     ------------------------------------

    The Marine Security Contribution Program is a five-year, $115-million
Government of Canada commitment to assist ports, marine facilities and
domestic ferries with security enhancements. The program is application-based
and provides funding on a cost-shared basis - 75 per cent government / 25 per
cent recipient - for a number of clearly identified eligible expenses.
    In compliance with international security requirements mandated by the
International Maritime Organization's International Ship and Port Facility
Security Code, the Government of Canada implemented the Marine Transportation
Security Regulations, which require ports and marine facilities to have
approved security plans in place.
    The program was recently expanded to allow for the participation of
domestic ferry services and vessels, recognizing the high volume of passengers
carried by domestic ferries every year and the unique security challenges they
face as a result of their extensive, open systems. The funding will help
recipients meet the requirements of the International Ship and Port Facility
Security Code.
    Under the Marine Security Contribution Program, Canada Port Authorities;
harbour commissions; private ports; port terminal operators; marine
facilities; the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation; commercialized and
private ferry terminals; ferry vessels; municipalities; and provinces may
apply for funds to assist with new security equipment and programs required
under their security plans. These funds not only assist participants in
completing their initial work to meet the requirements of their plans, but
also help them to extend and build on these security enhancements in the
future.
    The program allows for the reimbursement of eligible expenses for the
period of April 2004 to November 2007 for Canada Port Authorities, April 2004
to November 2009 for marine facilities and June 2006 to November 2009 for
domestic ferry services.
    Projects eligible for funding include:

    - installation of surveillance equipment, including cameras and closed-
      circuit TV systems;
    - improvements to dockside and perimeter security and access control,
      such as fencing, gates, signage and lighting;
    - acquisition of command, control and communications equipment, such as
      portable and vessel-to-shore radios;
    - training; and
    - security design studies.

    Canada's commitment to meet - and exceed - the International Maritime
Organization's security requirements is helping to ensure that Canada's marine
transportation system remains one of the most secure in the world.

                                                                 January 2009
    




For further information:

For further information: Chris Day, Press Secretary, Office of Transport
Minister John Baird, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700; Media Relations: Transport
Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca.
Subscribe to news releases and speeches at  www.tc.gc.ca/e-news and keep up to
date on the latest from Transport Canada. This news release may be made
available in alternative formats for persons with visual disabilities.


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