Marine Security Projects Announced

OTTAWA -- New projects to enhance security at Canadian ports and marine facilities under the first round of funding from the Marine Security Contribution Program were announced today by Transport Minister Jean-C. Lapierre.

The three-year, $115-million program, which was announced in May 2004, will help Canada's ports and marine facilities to modernize and strengthen their security systems and programs. This contribution program is part of the $308-million National Security Policy announced on April 27, 2004, which sets out a six-point plan to strengthen marine security across Canada. The funding for this contribution program is, however, in addition to the funding announced in April.

"Security is one of the Government of Canada's top priorities," said Mr. Lapierre. "The projects announced today will not only enhance marine security, they will also improve the safety and efficiency of our transportation system."

This first round of funding will provide $23.6 million to 69 ports and marine facilities across the country. The funds will be used for security enhancements such as surveillance equipment, dockside and perimeter security, command, control and communications equipment, and training.

Ports and marine facilities will be able to apply for a second round of funding starting in April 2005.

Funding for these projects was provided for in the March 2004 federal budget and is therefore built into the existing financial framework.