Government of Canada Welcomes State-of-the-Art Arctic Mapping Technology

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- Sep 22, 2009 -- The Government of Canada, in collaboration with Defence Research and Development Canada, today welcomed the delivery of two Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, which will further help to establish Canada's Arctic sovereignty.

"These vehicles are further proof of our Government's commitment to the North, as well as to the ingenuity of Canadian industry," said John Weston, MP for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, on behalf of the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Natural Resources. "Canada is the first country in the world to use this type of technology for Arctic research."

"I am pleased Defence Research and Development Canada can contribute both its scientific and technological expertise to make deployment of this technology possible for a unique Arctic mission," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway. "This is another fine example of federal ingenuity working together in support of a key priority for Canada."

The unmanned submersible vessels, manufactured by International Submarine Engineering Limited of Port Coquitlam, B.C., will operate under the ice in Canada's high-Arctic waters, where surface operation is not feasible, to collect data supporting Canada's United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) submission.

Under the UNCLOS submission, Canada has until 2013 to prepare a submission to delineate the outer limits of its continental shelf beyond the 200-nautical-mile-from-shore limit.

"The capabilities of these AUVs will help ensure Canada puts forward the strongest possible submission to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in 2013, demonstrating the full extent of its continental shelf," said the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs.


The federal government has acquired two unmanned submersible vessels to help map the Arctic seabed to establish the limits of Canada's extended continental shelf. The high-tech, Canadian-made vessels will be used to collect data in support of a submission to be made to the United Nations in 2013 on the extent of Canada's sovereign rights in the North.

The following media backgrounder is available at

Government of Canada Investments in the North

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at




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