Auditor general finds aging icebreakers, aircraft hamper monitoring of Arctic waters

Canada's auditor general says the federal government doesn't have a good handle on what's going on in its Arctic waters.

In a report tabled today, Karen Hogan says the agencies responsible for safety and security in the North don't have a clear picture of traffic in the region.

She says Transport Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard aren't ready for the challenges that will come as climate change opens those waters to increasing shipping and economic development.

She says the issues include poor surveillance and vessel tracking, ineffective information sharing and aging icebreakers and patrol aircraft.

Hogan says the Nanisivik naval facility on the northern tip of Baffin Island has done little to improve the situation.

Her report says the inconsistent Canadian presence in those waters opens them to unauthorized access, accidents, illegal fishing and marine pollution.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 15, 2022.

The Canadian Press