Government to announce Arctic marine park

By Administrator
Fri, 2009-12-04 (All day)

OTTAWA — The Canadian government is expected to announce a deal next week to create a protected marine area at the eastern gates of the Northwest Passage. Environment Minister Jim Prentice will make an announcement relating to the long-term protection of Lancaster Sound on Tuesday, a statement released Friday said. Money for the protection of Lancaster Sound, which extends between Baffin Island and Devon Island, was outlined in the Conservative government's 2007 budget. A total of $19 million over two years was slotted for improving the health of Canada's oceans, including creation of six marine protected areas and increased enforcement and surveillance to prevent pollution from ships. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has made Arctic sovereignty a key point of the Tory government's agenda, visiting the region every summer since becoming prime minister in 2006 as part of a "use it or lose it" strategy. Lancaster Sound is home to a wealth of wildlife, including polar bears, beluga whales, narwhals and walrus. © Copyright (c) Canwest News Service