Defence Minister Jason Kenney and Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced a series of measures that will help strengthen the SAR system, including investment in a satellite system to improve detection of activated emergency beacons.
The measures to further modernize and improve Canada’s world-class integrated SAR capacity include investment in the Medium Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (MEOSAR) satellite capability of up to $249 million, as identified in the 2015 Defence Acquisition Guide, and the transfer of the National Search and Rescue Secretariat from the Department of National Defence to Public Safety Canada. These measures complement other recent steps which have been taken to enhance the SAR capacity of both the Canadian Armed Forces and the Canadian Coast Guard.
Transport Canada also announced new initiatives designed to improve “Places of Refuge” planning and to support safer travel through the Arctic, all part of a whole-of-government approach to strengthened Search and Rescue capability from coast to coast to coast.
“The Government is making sure that Canada’s search and rescue capabilities continue to improve and keep up with the times. I am confident the measures we announced today will help keep Canadians safe and will allow SAR professionals and volunteers do their jobs even more effectively.” The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defence
“I am pleased to welcome the National Search and Rescue Secretariat to Public Safety Canada portfolio. The transfer is an opportunity to leverage Public Safety Canada’s expertise and leadership in coordinating among government institutions and in cooperation with provincial and territorial organizations and other non-government stakeholders on emergency management matters. We look forward to continue pursuing our common goal of building a safe and resilient Canada.” The Honourable Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
“The Government of Canada proudly supports the National Search and Rescue (SAR) Program. In particular, Canada’s commitment to improving “Places of Refuge” planning will unquestionably help those vessels in need of assistance on the water. Furthermore, the work and forward thinking being developed to support safe Arctic voyages is necessary to ensure safe passage under unique conditions.” The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport