Ottawa, Ontario – Through the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is improving marine safety and protecting Canada’s waterways and coasts for today and the future.
As part of this Plan, the Canadian Coast Guard and Gitga’at First Nation are working together and moving forward on a new Coast Guard search and rescue station to be built in Hartley Bay, BC. Through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) the Coast Guard and Gitga’at First Nation have set the foundation for how best to approach this new marine safety infrastructure project, that is to be located within the traditional territory of the Gitga’at First Nation.
Canadian Coast Guard search and rescue stations are critical in protecting mariners, including those in near-shore areas. This new station in the strategic location of Hartley Bay will increase the capacity to respond to marine emergencies in this remote area on the coast of British Columbia, and complement the capacity of the current emergency response program that the Gitga’at people operate in their community.
This new Coast Guard search and rescue station will bring in highly-trained crews to staff the facility, and enhance the response to maritime search and rescue incidents and other potential hazards 24-hours-a-day.
By building marine infrastructure in Hartley Bay, we are moving ahead on our commitment to work in partnership with First Nation leadership to improve access to services for Indigenous communities. This is a concrete example of what can be accomplished through co-lead decision-making and when a government is committed to advancing meaningful Reconciliation and building a relationship with Indigenous Peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership.
“A new search and rescue station and its highly trained Canadian Coast Guard personnel, in partnership with the Gitga’at First Nation, will make waters in this area safer for mariners. This community knows these waters better than anyone, and have already been first to respond to local marine emergencies. This agreement to build a new Coast Guard search and rescue station is an important step toward providing enhanced response to marine emergencies in the area.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“The Gitga’at First Nation is very pleased with this MOU and the working partnership between our Nation and the Canadian Coast Guard. This Coast Guard lifeboat station to be built in Hartley Bay, will definitely increase the emergency response capacity for the north coast of British Columbia.”
Chief Arnold Clifton, Gitga’at First Nation
The Canadian Coast Guard is opening three additional search and rescue stations in British Columbia as part of the Oceans Protection Plan to improve marine safety, protect Canada’s marine environment and coastal communities, and to support economic growth. These three stations are being located in Nootka Sound, Port Renfrew and Victoria.
Three additional search and rescue stations are also being opened in Newfoundland and Labrador.