Last week, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility Canada, and the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced the award of a contract that will provide Canada with a new maritime awareness information system.

Fujitsu Consulting (Canada) Inc. was selected to “develop, host, and maintain” this new system, which will be funded under the Oceans Protection Plan (OPP). This plan was developed as a national strategy to produce a world-leading marine safety system to protect Canada’s coastlines and provide clean water for future generations, while at the same time generating economic opportunities. Through the OPP, the Government of Canada is working with Indigenous partners to achieve the goals of this strategy.

Minister Qualtrough said that this contract will draw upon Canadian expertise to develop a custom solution that will allow Indigenous and coastal communities to access maritime data in near real time, helping to protect people, the environment and ecosystems.

Indigenous partners are playing a vital role within this strategy, which is evident in the selection of the winner of this recent contact. Early in February, representatives from 10 Indigenous organizations met in Ottawa to review solutions from suppliers to develop the maritime awareness information system. It was through this process that Fujitsu Consulting (Canada) Inc. was selected for the $2.5 million contract.

This system, which is a key component of the Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness Initiative (EMSA), will help to better monitor and collect data on maritime activity. It will provide coastal communities with relevant data to determine vessel routes, identify sensitive areas, increase safety on the water, and protect the environment. A pilot project is expected to be launched this spring and participating partners including Indigenous organizations are working with Transport Canada to test this new system over a one-year period.

“Collaboration is a cornerstone of the Oceans Protection Plan and this project is a great example of what we can achieve when we work together,” said Minister Garneau.

(Image: Pixabay)