Arctic shipping initiative gets $91M federal grant

By Corey Larocque, Nunatsiaq News - May 8, 2023

Project aims to address Inuit shipping priorities, environmental sustainability.

The Qanittaq Clean Arctic Shipping Initiative has received $91 million in research funding over seven years, the federal government announced last week. The project is a partnership between the Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada and Memorial University to study Arctic shipping sustainability and support Inuit communities’ shipping needs. (File photo)

A project supporting sustainable Arctic shipping has received a $91-million research grant from the federal government.

The money will support the Qanittaq Clean Arctic Shipping Initiative, announced François-Philippe Champagne, the federal minister of innovation, science and industry, on April 28.

It will be allocated over seven years.

The grant comes through the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, which is also funding 11 other large-scale projects from post-secondary institutions across the country.

The Qanittaq Initiative is being co-developed by Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada and Memorial University in Newfoundland and Labrador.

It aims to address the increase in Arctic shipping, the related environmental impacts affecting Arctic communities, and to support Inuit communities’ needs for safe and cost-efficient resupply, a description on the project’s website explains.

The project goals include:

  • Build a knowledge base to address Inuit shipping priorities, promote the safety of ships operating in the Arctic, and protect Arctic environments;
  • Create the tools and solutions needed for responsible ship design and to improve the affordability, sustainability and efficiency of the Arctic fleet;
  • Deliver evidence to effect national and international policy change for ships operating in the Arctic;
  • Enhance the quality of life for Inuit and reduce regional food insecurity.

“The initiative will create transformational change and enhance Canada’s position as a world leader in Arctic shipping,” a message from Qanittaq Initiative said.