News Release Article from  Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Harper Government Launches First of Two Scientific Surveys to Complete Canada's Arctic Continental Shelf Submission

August 8, 2014 - David Wells, Senator for Newfoundland and Labrador, today witnessed the departure of the CCGS Terry Fox from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, as it headed out on a six-week scientific survey to collect data needed for Canada’s Arctic continental shelf submission. It will be joined by the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, which departs from the same location tomorrow. A second survey, to collect additional data, will be conducted in 2015.

“As demonstrated by these planned surveys, our government is committing the resources necessary to ensure that Canada secures international recognition of the full extent of its continental shelf, including the North Pole,” said Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.

The CCGS Terry Fox will break ice so that the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent can collect high-quality data about the shape and composition of the seabed. The Geological Survey of Canada, part of Natural Resources Canada, and the Canadian Hydrographic Service, part of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, are responsible for the scientific work. The CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent was equipped with state-of-the-art multi-beam sonar technology in the spring of 2014 to ensure that Canada has the latest technological capacity to carry out this important mission.

“Our government is proud of the Canadian Coast Guard’s and Canadian Hydrographic Service’s contributions to this scientific mission,” said the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. “The expertise and professionalism of the men and women of these two organizations will maximize our chances of success in this challenging environment, and we thank them for their contribution.”

“Scientists with the Geological Survey of Canada have a long history of exploring our vast country and advancing knowledge of our mineral resources,” said the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of Natural Resources. “Their work on this survey is a continuation of our government’s efforts to ensure that the natural resources of this country support the long-term prosperity of Canadians.”

The two vessels will be surveying an area in the Eurasian Basin on the eastern side of the Lomonosov Ridge. If ice conditions permit, this survey will include areas in the vicinity of the North Pole.

“Our government is securing our sovereignty while expanding our economic and scientific opportunities by defining Canada’s last frontier,” said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council. “This is important to Canadians, especially those in the North, as this is their future and prosperity at stake.”

“I was proud to hear of the work of these great Canadians, who are helping draw the final lines on the map of Canada,” said Senator Wells. “I thought it was important to go to show our gratitude for their service and wish them well on this historic expedition.”

On December 6, 2013, Canada filed preliminary information concerning the outer limits of its continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean with the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, indicating it would file a submission for the Arctic at a later date.

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