Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

March 02, 2005 14:02 ET

Fisheries Minister Announces Details of Budget Funding for Canadian Coast Guard and Oceans Action Plan


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: FISHERIES AND OCEANS CANADA

MARCH 2, 2005 - 14:02 ET

Fisheries Minister Announces Details of Budget Funding
for Canadian Coast Guard and Oceans Action Plan

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - March 2, 2005) - The
Honourable Geoff Regan, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, visited the
Coast Guard Kitsilano Base today to give further details of the Coast
Guard funding announced in last week's federal budget and what it will
mean for the Pacific Coast.

"The Canadian Coast Guard needs a modern and efficient fleet of vessels
to be able to provide its valuable services to Canadians," said Minister
Regan. "I am very pleased that the Canadian Coast Guard will be
receiving $276 million over the next five years to acquire 6 new
vessels. The current plan is to base three of those vessels - a science
research trawler and two mid-shore fisheries patrol vessel - on the
Pacific Coast."

The Minister was joined at the announcement by David L. Emerson,
Minister of Industry, and co-senior Minister for BC, and Senator Jack
Austin.

"The Coast Guard plays a vital role in the lives of British Columbians,"
said Mr. Emerson. I'm extremely pleased to see the federal budget has
recognized this fact and allocated significant new funds to upgrade the
fleet on the Pacific Coast."

The Government of Canada announced in the Budget that the Canadian Coast
Guard will receive $276 million over the next 5 years to begin the
modernization of its fleet. Nationally, this will involve the
acquisition of 2 fisheries-research vessels and 4 mid-shore fisheries
patrol boats. Although plans could change based on shifting regional
requirements, the current plan is to locate a science trawler and patrol
vessel in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia; a patrol vessel in Quebec City, and
the three new vessels on the West Coast.

In addition to the $276 million for the six new vessels, the Coast Guard
is also receiving funding for the acquisition and operation of four new
mid-shore patrol vessels that will be used for security on the Great
Lakes and St. Lawrence River. The vessels will be jointly operated by
the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. This funding is part of the $222
million (on an accrual accounting basis over 5 years) allocated to
federal security agencies to increase security on the Great Lakes and
the St. Lawrence River system and will provide the means for the federal
security partners to work together more effectively on these waterways.

The new funding will benefit Canadians by allowing the Coast Guard to
better carry out its mandate of saving lives, supporting marine
security, protecting fisheries, enhancing maritime safety, facilitating
marine commerce and protecting the marine environment. It also enables
the Coast Guard to fulfill its commitment toward the government's Oceans
Action Plan including at-sea fisheries research and enforcement
activities.

Further details of the Oceans Action Plan were also discussed by
Minister Regan at Kitsilano Base today. The Plan, which focuses on
improving the management, health and productive capacity of Canada's
oceans, will receive an investment of $28 million over the next two
years.

"Our aims are to develop Canada's ocean resources for the benefit of
coastal communities while protecting the marine environment," Minister
Regan explained. "We will work with Canadians to develop integrated
management plans in all three oceans that touch Canada, protect fragile
marine ecosystems and species by moving forward with a national network
of marine protected areas, and carry out marine ecosystem science to
make better ocean management decisions."

The Oceans Action Plan today consists of targeted actions over two years
while Canada completes a long-term oceans management agenda. It is
consistent with directions to pursue sustainable development, integrated
management, marine protected areas and marine ecosystem science set out
in the Oceans Act and Canada's Oceans Strategy.

The Oceans Action Plan also responds to specific commitments made by
Canada and the Province of British Columbia when they signed a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the implementation of Canada's
Oceans Strategy in September 2004. The Government of Canada wishes to
explore similar MOUs with other provinces and territories.

Backgrounders on the proposed new Coast Guard vessels as well as the
Oceans Action Plan are available on the DFO website at:
www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca.

The September 2004 announcement of the Canada-BC MOU is also available
at: http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pages/default_e.htm.

More information on the Canadian Coast Guard is available at
www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca.


-30-

Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Ottawa
    Phil Jenkins
    Manager, Media Relations
    (613) 998-0625
    or
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Ottawa
    Brian Underhill
    Director of Communications, Office of the Minister
    (613) 992-3474
    www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca