Government of Canada Partnering with Lennox Island First Nation to Enhance Marine Safety in Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island: Through the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is working in partnership with Indigenous coastal communities to improve marine safety and responsible shipping to protect Canada’s marine environment.
As part of this $1.5 billion plan, in 2017 the Canadian Coast Guard launched the Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Pilot Program. Under this program, communities are provided with funding to purchase boats and equipment to enhance their marine safety capacity as members of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, announced that a new search and rescue boat for Lennox Island First Nation on Prince Edward Island has been received. The Canadian Coast Guard provided $209,190 for the purchase of the boat and related equipment.
Through new equipment and training, Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary members are better equipped and prepared to respond to marine emergencies, helping to enhance the safety of their communities and the surrounding waters and coasts. In August, nine members of the Lennox Island First Nation successfully completed search and rescue training with the Auxiliary to respond to emergencies in waters near their community.
The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary is a national non-profit organization of 4,000 volunteer members with access to 1,100 vessels that boost the Government of Canada’s maritime search and rescue response capacity. The Canadian Coast Guard funds the Auxiliary through a contribution program totaling $7.7 million each year. The Auxiliary responds to approximately 25 per cent of maritime calls for assistance each year, providing an often life saving service.
The Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. This national plan is creating a stronger marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines and clean water for generations to come. This work is being done in close collaboration with Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities.