Harper Government Strengthens Canada's Weather and Warning Systems

TORONTO, Jan. 20, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of the Environment, announced that the Harper Government is investing $78.7 million over the next five years to strengthen weather monitoring infrastructure, ensuring Canadians continued access to world-class weather, water and climate monitoring data.

"Canadians understand the impact that weather, particularly severe weather, has on all of us," said Minister Kent. "This investment in Environment Canada's weather monitoring infrastructure will result in improved weather forecasts and warnings to better protect Canadians."

The infrastructure upgrades will strengthen the Department's core weather monitoring networks including the weather radar network, which is the backbone of Canada's severe weather warnings service. The upgrades will also modernize the monitoring infrastructure and help Environment Canada's weather service keep pace with the rapid evolution of new science and technologies.

"Since 1871, Environment Canada's Meteorological Service has been our nation's official source for weather, water and climate forecast information and the only official source for severe weather warnings. This is no simple task with Canada's weather being some of the most diverse on Earth," added Minister Kent.

The areas of weather and climate monitoring infrastructure that will be upgraded include: Canadian Weather Radar Network ($45.2M), Canadian Weather and Climate Observing Networks ($18.8M), Canadian Aerological Network ($4.2M) and the Canadian Lightning Detection Network ($10.5M).

This new funding complements the Meteorological Service of Canada's ten-year strategic plan that addresses critical infrastructure, scientific advancements, life-cycle management strategies and important services delivered to all Canadians.

Each year, Environment Canada's Meteorological Service issues (on average) 1.5 million public forecasts, 15 000 severe weather warnings, 500 000 aviation forecasts, and 200 000 marine, ice and sea-state forecasts.

For more information and to view the backgrounders on this announcement, please visit the Web site of Environment Canada at http://www.ec.gc.ca/ and the Web site of Weather forecasts at http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca.

(Également offert en français)

SOURCE Environment Canada

For further information:

For more information, please see the attached backgrounders or contact:

Adam Sweet  
Press Secretary  
Office of the Minister of the Environment  
Media Relations  
Environment Canada  
Environment Canada's Twitter page: http://twitter.com/environmentca
Environment Canada's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/environmentcan


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