Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia invest in safety

HALIFAX, June 26, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister for National Defence and Regional Minister for Nova Scotia, on behalf of the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Minister for the Atlantic Gateway and Regional Minister for New Brunswick, along with the Honourable Graham Steele, Nova Scotia Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, today announced joint funding for the deployment of an inshore weather buoy at Herring Cove. The data transmitted from the buoy will be used to generate real time, high resolution weather and wave forecasting for the Halifax Port Authority that will help keep mariners safe. Data will also be used for education and scientific research.

"Helping shippers with precise weather and wave conditions will help keep mariners safe while increasing productivity, reducing costs, and moving goods through Atlantic ports more effectively," said Minister Ashfield. "Our government remains committed to our ongoing work with provincial and private-sector partners to implement the Atlantic Gateway and Trade Corridor Strategy, which will help position Atlantic Canada as a key entry point into North America."

"As a Nova Scotian, I know how important it is to have timely information about the weather on the ocean," said Minister MacKay. "This investment will help keep our mariners safe and keep our shipping industry running productively."

"The ocean plays an important role in the lives of Nova Scotians, and in the growth of our economy," said Minister Steele. "This smart buoy will have significant benefits for many of our province's ocean-related industries, ranging from commercial shipping to tourism."

"The SmartATLANTIC Herring Cove Buoy project is a natural fit for Halifax Marine Research Institute (HMRI)," said Jim Hanlon, CEO of HMRI. "As a facilitator of collaboration between industry, government agencies, and academic researchers, we are excited to see scientific research being applied to real world challenges faced by marine industries and are looking forward to the educational and research opportunities that this project will create."

"The Canadian Marine Pilots' Association (CMPA) is very pleased to see the realization of the SmartATLANTIC Inshore Weather Buoy Network, of which the Herring Cove Buoy is the first to receive funding", said Captain Andrew Rae, Vice President Atlantic, CMPA. "We sincerely appreciate the strong support this project has received from Minister Ashfield and the Canadian Coast Guard, Minister Lebel and Transport Canada, the Province of Nova Scotia Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, the Atlantic Pilotage Authority, the Halifax Port Authority, Halifax Marine Research Institute and the Marine Environmental, Observation, Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR)."

The total cost of this project is estimated at $366,000, with the federal government contributing up to $171,000 under the Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program and the Province of Nova Scotia providing an investment of $150,000. The Atlantic Pilotage Authority and the Halifax Port Authority have committed to fund annual operating and maintenance costs (estimated at a total of $120,000 per year) for a period of 10 years.

The SmartATLANTIC Herring Cove Buoy project is the result of a 10-year effort by the Canadian Marine Pilots' Association. This project is also made possible by the following in-kind funding partners: Halifax Marine Research Institute, MEOPAR and the Canadian Coast Guard.

The three-metre Ocean Data Acquisition System buoy will be manufactured in Canada by AXYS Technologies and deployed by the Canadian Coast Guard this coming fall.

Under the ITS Strategic Plan for Canada, En Route to Intelligent Mobility, the Government of Canada committed to advancing the development and deployment of innovative technologies across Canada.  To date, about 200 technology projects have received funding under this plan, totalling over $30 million.

Technology and innovation is also a key component of the joint federal-provincial Atlantic Gateway and Trade Corridor Strategy.  More information on Canada's Atlantic Gateway can be found at www.atlanticgateway.gc.ca.

SOURCE: Transport Canada

For further information:

Barbara Mottram
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Keith Ashfield
Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, Ottawa
613-992-3474

Megan Tonet
Nova Scotia Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism
902-424-8922
E-mail: tonetme@gov.ns.ca

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to e-news or stay connected through RSSTwitterFacebookYouTube and Flickr to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.

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