Feds earmark money for new search and rescue boats in three Nunavut communities

“Auxiliary members are better equipped and prepared to respond to marine emergencies”

Pond Inlet and Arviat can look forward to having search and rescue boats similar to the MV Kruger, seen here in 2019 in Cambridge Bay. The MV Kruger was bought with help from the federal government’s Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Pilot Program. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

Canadian Coast Guard auxiliaries in three Nunavut communities are slated to receive new search and rescue boats and equipment.

Ottawa announced on Tuesday, Oct. 13, that the following communities would receive money to boost their search and rescue readiness.

  • Arviat—$305,326 to purchase a search and rescue boat and related equipment
  • Pond Inlet—$313,167 to purchase a search and rescue boat and related equipment
  • Clyde River—$57,319 to purchase a boat shed for an existing boat in the community

“Through new equipment and training, 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,” a news release said.

The response from the communities was positive.

“[For] many years Pond Inlet SAR struggled to find boats for search and rescue missions, now with the Indigenous boat funding program, we got funding, we now have a boat and will no longer need to look for a boat for missions,” said Eric Ootoovak, a member of the Pond Inlet CCG auxiliary, in the release.

And Steve England, Arviat’s senior administrative officer, said, “The Mayor/Council of the Hamlet of Arviat are very excited with the ongoing support from Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary in moving towards a dedicated search vessel for the community and area.

“Support like this continues to promote safety and professionalism to all marine traffic in the area. Without this type of support, it is very difficult to deliver this very valuable service.”

The Canadian Coast Guard launched the Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Pilot Program in 2017 as part of the federal government’s $1.5-billion Oceans Protection plan.

Through this program, communities would receive money to purchase boats and equipment to improve their marine safety capacity as members of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.

In 2019, three Nunavut communities—Rankin Inlet, Gjoa Haven and Cambridge Bay—shared $1 million through this program.

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