Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

August 20, 2010 14:28 ET

Government of Canada Supports Research and the Environment in the Beaufort Sea

INUVIK, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES--(Marketwire - Aug. 20, 2010) - On behalf of the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, Senator Daniel Lang (Yukon) today announced support for increased research to inform potential offshore exploration activities in the Beaufort Sea.

The Beaufort Regional Environmental Assessment (BREA) is a multi-stakeholder initiative to sponsor regional environmental and socio-economic research that will gather new information vital to the future management of the Beaufort Sea.

"This initiative demonstrates Canada's proactive approach to sustainable economic development and will assist in generating science required for regulatory decision making in Beaufort Sea oil and gas exploration and development," said Senator Lang. "It will address regional concerns and provide information to assist in the planning of oil and gas activities in the region. And, most importantly, it will provide a vehicle for the Inuvialuit, Northerners, industry and regulators to advance research priorities."

"These new funds will provide an important tool to ensure the health and safety of Canada's ecosystems. The Beaufort Regional Environmental Assessment will contribute to increased knowledge to assist in planning and decision-making by governments, Inuvialuit, regulators, and industry," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health and Minister Responsible for the North. 

Inuvialuit Regional Corporation Chair and CEO Nellie Cournoyea indicated her strong support of the announcement. "The issuance of hydrocarbon exploration authority in the Beaufort Sea must be guided by a comprehensive understanding of the individual and cumulative impacts of such developments on the sensitive Arctic ecosystem. This funding commitment by the Government of Canada will provide for a significant acquisition of knowledge in several critical areas that have been collectively identified in recent years by government departments, Inuvialuit organizations and other parties holding regulatory authority or other interests in the Beaufort Sea area."

BREA will address research priorities complementary to the National Energy Board's (NEB) current review of Arctic Safety and Environmental Offshore Drilling Requirements.

The Government of Canada will provide the BREA initiative with $21.8 million over five years. These funds will support the delivery of a targeted science program to address spill preparedness and response, geotechnical and biophysical priorities, engineering requirements for safe operations, cumulative effects monitoring and assessment, climate change, waste management, and information management.

This release is also available on the Internet at

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    Office of the Honourable John Duncan
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