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Archived - Harper Government Investment Delivers on Commitments to Responsible Resource Development, Innovation and Increased Opportunities for Western Businesses

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Ocean Networks Canada to Implement Smart Oceans BC Program

April 14, 2014 – Victoria, British Columbia – Western Economic Diversification Canada

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The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, was in Victoria today to announce a federal investment of $9,127,000 through the Western Diversification Program. This investment will support the development of Ocean Networks Canada’s (ONC) Smart Oceans BC program.

The project will add small scale underwater observatories, high frequency coastal radars and an Automatic Identification System to ONC’s existing marine observatory footprint including near Port Metro Vancouver, Campbell River, Kitimat, the Douglas Channel waterway, as well as Prince Rupert.

This expanded footprint will contribute to the Harper Governments commitment to responsible resource development by helping to prevent accidents, responding to situations as they arise, predicting and warning of natural hazards, and improving overall marine operational situational awareness.

As a further component of this project IBM is developing a system to monitor the data streams from the hundreds of sensors that are being expanded as part of the Smart Oceans BC program. Improved data collection will allow modeling systems to better support disaster planning. In addition, highly qualified personnel will be trained in ocean analytics.

Additionally, SMEs will gain access to technology demonstrations and commercialization assistance, as well as international business development services offered by the ONC Innovation Centre.

Quick Facts

  • This project will allow for real-time monitoring of vessel traffic, waves, currents and water quality, in areas such as the Douglas Channel, a shipping artery leading to Kitimat.
  • ONC estimates the global market for Smart Oceans Systems technology to grow from $4 billion to at least $6 billion by 2020.


"Our Government is investing in innovative technologies that create jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity for Canadians. Programs like Smart Oceans BC build the economy while supporting our Government’s commitments to responsible resource development, world-class marine safety, and technology commercialization."

- Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification

"We are very grateful to the Government of Canada for its continuing and strong support of Ocean Networks Canada. Smart Oceans BC is an exciting opportunity that will connect people in coastal BC cities and communities to crucial ocean information It will strengthen our world-leading technological position in ocean observing."

- Dr. Kate Moran, President and CEO, Ocean Networks Canada

"This substantial investment in Smart Oceans BC will also benefit British Columbia’s many ocean science and technology SME’s.  Access to ONC’s observatories and their innovative technology provides a competitive advantage to BC companies seeking to expand their export sales.  Our success in global markets also benefits from the support of the ONC Innovation Centre’s international business development services."

- David Fissel, Chair and Senior Oceanographer, ASL Environmental Sciences, Inc.

Addition Links


Emily Goucher
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State
Western Economic Diversification
Telephone: 613-954-8097

Virginia Keast
Media Relations and Communications
Ocean Networks Canada
Victoria, BC
Telephone: 250-853-3538

Leslie Plant
Media Relations
Telephone: 416-478-9840

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