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All foreign vessels entering Canadian Arctic waters should register with authorities says report by Senate Fisheries and Oceans Committee

Controlling Canadian Arctic Waters:
Role of the Canadian Coast Guard


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William Rompkey, P.C.

Ethel M. Cochrane

James Cowan

Roméo Dallaire

Elizabeth Hubley

Michael L. MacDonald

Fabian Manning

Dennis Glen Patterson

Vivienne Poy

Nancy Greene Raine

Fernand Robichaud, P.C.

Charlie Watt

Contact Information

Ceri Au
Communications Officer
Toll-free: 1-800-267-7362

Danielle Labonté
Committee Clerk
Toll-free: 1-800-267-7362

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Recommendation 1

The Committee recommends that all foreign vessels that enter Canada’s Arctic waters be required to report to NORDREG, regardless of vessel size or tonnage.

Recommendation 2

The Committee recommends that, as a precautionary measure at least in the interim period before the new naval Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) are built and deployed, the Government of Canada:

  1. arm Canada’s Coast Guard icebreakers with deck weaponry capable of giving firm notice, if necessary, to unauthorized foreign vessels for use in the Northwest Passage; and
  2. provide on-board personnel from appropriate government agencies that have the authority to enforce Canadian domestic laws with small arms.

Recommendation 3

The Committee recommends that the Government of Canada proactively engage the United States in bilateral discussions to resolve their dispute over the Northwest Passage.

Recommendation 4

The Committee recommends that a Cabinet committee on Arctic affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister and comprising the Ministers of Indian and Northern Affairs, Fisheries and Oceans, National Defence, Environment Canada, Natural Resources, Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and Transport Canada, be created to further develop national Arctic policy, in cooperation with the three territorial governments, and to ensure that attention to northern issues and Arctic policy is maintained.

Recommendation 5

The Committee recommends that until the CP-140 Auroras are replaced by new patrol aircraft in 2020, the Government of Canada consider expanding maritime air surveillance in Canada’s North either by increasing Canadian Forces capability or contracting specially equipped aircraft from the private sector.

Recommendation 6

The Committee recommends that the “Arctic Vision” include the notion of the Coast Guard, along with the Canadian Forces, having a year-round northern operation administered in the North to demonstrate that Canada is serious about protecting Canadian interests and the interests of Canada’s northern residents.

Recommendation 7

The Committee recommends that Canada develop a long-term plan and provide the funding necessary for the acquisition of a suitable number of new multi-purpose polar icebreakers capable of operating year-round in its Arctic Archipelago and on the continental shelf.

Recommendation 8

The Committee recommends that the Canadian Coast Guard identify areas in the Arctic at high risk of a major cargo or oil spill, assess current response capabilities, and communicate the results of the assessment to Canada’s northern communities. The Government of Canada should provide funding to train northern residents in the use of oil spill containment equipment for oil spills close to shore.

Recommendation 9

The Committee recommends that additional federal funding be provided to the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary for the purchase of tangible assets directly related to the provision of search and rescue services.


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