Government of Canada makes Quebec ferries more secure



    QUEBEC, Jan. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Ferry operators across Quebec will benefit
from an investment by the Government of Canada to enhance security at marine
facilities. The Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Intergovernmental
Affairs, President of the Queen's Privy Council, Minister for La Francophonie
and Minister responsible for Quebec City, made the $1.3 million announcement,
on behalf of Canada's Transport Minister, John Baird, in Quebec City today.
    La Société des traversiers du Québec will receive funding for specific
security enhancements, such as surveillance equipment, dockside and perimeter
security, command, control and communications equipment, and training.
    "This round of funding for la Société des traversiers du Québec is a
great example of what our Government is doing to improve the security of all
our citizens and to stimulate our economy," said Minister Verner. "These funds
will contribute to the security of our ferry system while encouraging trade
and tourism across Quebec."
    The Marine Security Contribution Program has helped Canada's ports,
marine facilities and domestic ferries to modernize and strengthen their
security systems.
    Under this round of funding, la Société des traversiers du Québec will
receive up to $1,336,176 and this amount will be allocated in the following
regions:

    
    - Bas-Richelieu-Nicolet-Bécancour/Berthier-Maskinongé will receive up to
      $597,739.50;
    - Québec/Lévis-Bellechasse will receive up to $191,092.50;
    - Montmorency-Charlevoix-Haute-Côte-Nord will receive up to $129,795.00;
    - Berthier-Maskinongé will receive up to $210,046.50; and
    - Quebec City will receive up to $207,502.50.

    The Marine Security Contribution Program is a five-year, $115-million
commitment to assist ports and other marine facilities with security
enhancements. The 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 $115-million Government of
Canada commitment to assist ports and marine facilities with security
enhancements. The program is application-based and provides funding on a
cost-shared basis - 75 per cent government / 25 per cent recipient.
    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 required 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.
    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 could
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 funding has helped recipients meet the requirements of the
International Ship and Port Facility Security Code and will now help key
domestic ferry operators to strengthen security.
    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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