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Natural Resources Canada
2010/75
September 20, 2010

Government of Canada Expanding Polar Continental Shelf Facilities


OTTAWA — The Government of Canada is celebrating an important milestone in the High Arctic: the expansion of Natural Resources Canada’s Polar Continental Shelf Program (PCSP) facility in Resolute Bay, Nunavut, is now underway. The expansion, scheduled to be completed by March 31, 2011, will see the addition of modern laboratories and upgraded living quarters designed to significantly boost the capacity of the facility, which supports field research throughout Canada’s Arctic.

Modules for the new construction, built in Matane, Quebec, have arrived in Resolute and will be assembled on site. Funding for the $11-million project comes from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada’s Arctic Research Infrastructure Fund, which received $85 million under Canada’s Economic Action Plan to maintain and upgrade key Arctic research facilities.

“Our Government is building on over 50 years of experience in Arctic research and exploration,” said the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Natural Resources. “This is essential if we’re to improve our knowledge of the region and better position us to ensure that the limitless potential of the North is realized — for the benefit of not just Northern communities, but all Canadians.”

With Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s recent announcement of a new Canadian High Arctic Research Station to be located in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, the Government of Canada continues to demonstrate a commitment to its Northern Strategy to assert and defend Canada’s sovereignty, to protect the unique and fragile Arctic ecosystem, to develop a strong northern economy, and to encourage good governance and greater local control and opportunity.

“The Government of Canada funded the expansion of the Polar Continental Shelf Program not only to strengthen one of the premier Arctic research facilities in the world but also to ensure that PCSP can play an integral role in the network of research infrastructure that the new Canadian High Arctic Research Station will anchor,” said the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs.

Natural Resources Canada’s PCSP has built an international reputation for its work to support researchers working in the extreme climatic conditions of the Far North. Each year, PCSP provides ground and air support to over 165 research projects involving over 1,100 researchers from Canadian universities, federal government departments, territorial government departments, independent groups and foreign agencies conducting scientific activities in isolated areas throughout the Canadian Arctic. Two of those projects are Natural Resources Canada’s United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals programs.

“The Polar Continental Shelf Program has been a vital part of the community since it first started working out of our High Arctic community in 1959,” said Ludy Pudluk, Mayor of Resolute Bay. “We are pleased to see the facility expand and improve as it is a significant part of our local economic development. Hosting more scientists and supporting future research in this region will showcase our wonderful community to even more of our fellow Canadians.”

The logistics support provided by the Resolute Bay facility and the research to be conducted out of Cambridge Bay will assist in realizing the Government of Canada’s vision for the Arctic as a stable, rules-based region with clearly defined boundaries, dynamic economic growth and trade, vibrant northern communities, and healthy and productive ecosystems. The PCSP will continue to build on its ability to support the field requirements of researchers working from these and other science facilities throughout Canada’s Arctic.

For more information on the Polar Continental Shelf Program, visit our Web site at www.polar.nrcan.gc.ca.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

Natural Resources Canada’s expansion of the Polar Continental Shelf Program facility in Resolute Bay, Nunavut, is now underway. The $11–million expansion will see the addition of modern laboratories and upgraded living quarters designed to significantly boost the capacity of the facility, which supports field research throughout Canada’s Arctic.

Media may contact:

Richard Walker
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-996-2007

or

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Natural Resources Canada
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