VICTORIA, April 24, 2019 /CNW/ - The Canadian Coast Guard plays an important role in ensuring the safety of mariners and the protection of Canada's marine environment and coastal communities. Through the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is working to improve marine safety and protect Canada's waters and coasts today and for the future.
As part of this plan, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, was in Victoria, B.C. today to announce the start of construction of a new Canadian Coast Guard search and rescue station in Victoria, and the delivery of new emergency tow kits that will enhance the Coast Guard's capacity to prevent and respond to on-water incidents in Canadian waters.
The new search and rescue station will be located off Dallas Road on the Coast Guard's Victoria base, and will include office and meeting space, as well as living quarters. The Coast Guard has been delivering services from a temporary location since 2018 on a 24-hours-a-day basis.
The station enhances marine search and rescue capacity in southern British Columbia and in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It also supports the Coast Guard's longstanding partnerships with the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, Royal Canadian Navy, RCMP, and local first responders.
Minister Garneau also announced the delivery of new emergency tow kits that will be installed on 25 large Coast Guard vessels across Canada, including two based in Victoria: the CCGS Wilfrid Laurier and the CCGS Bartlett. The emergency tow kits are expected to be operational in summer 2019. Additionally, there will be thirteen emergency tow kits at strategic land-based locations in British Columbia.
The Coast Guard Victoria base also received two new high speed sweep systems, which are used in environmental response. This equipment is pulled along the water to collect and concentrate spilled oil so that it can be efficiently removed using skimmers and pumps.
"The Coast Guard plays a vital role in ensuring the safety of mariners and the marine environment. With investments like this, our government is demonstrating its ongoing commitment to improving the Coast Guard's response capacity to marine incidents through increasing coverage in key areas, so we can keep our oceans and coasts safer, cleaner and healthier for today and for the benefit of generations to come."
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
"The brave women and men of the Canadian Coast Guard are keeping mariners safe and protecting our marine environment. Together, they are the backbone of one of the strongest maritime systems in the world. Thanks to our Oceans Protection Plan, we are increasing our ability to respond to marine search and rescue incidents. This new Coast Guard search and rescue station, along with its professional and highly trained Coast Guard crews, will provide essential services to the Greater Victoria area."
The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport
- Since June 2018, the interim Victoria Coast Guard search and rescue crews have responded to more than 82 search and rescue incidents and have had more than 150 other assignments in support of other Coast Guard programs including environmental response activities.
- The station features a 14.7-metre Canadian Coast Guard lifeboat, the CCGS Cape Calvert, and a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat, providing 24-hour response services for search and rescue, environmental response, and other activities.
- The Canadian Coast Guard is opening three additional search and rescue stations in British Columbia as part of the Oceans Protection Plan to improve marine safety, protect Canada's marine environment and coastal communities, and to support economic growth. These three stations will be located in Hartley Bay, Nootka Sound and Port Renfrew.
- Three additional search and rescue stations are being opened in Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Canadian Coast Guard Maritime Search and Rescue
- Oceans Protection Plan
- Canadian Coast Guard Careers
- Report to Canadians: Investing in out coasts through the Oceans Protection Plan
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SOURCE Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region
For further information: Jocelyn Lubczuk, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, 343-548-7863, [email protected]; Media Relations: Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, 613-990-7537, [email protected]