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May 10, 2004

Canada announces port security funding program

The Government of Canada has announced that it will assist Canada's ports with the cost of modernizing and strengthening their security systems and programs.

The Marine Facility Security Contribution Program is a three-year, C$115 million commitment to assist ports and port facilities with security enhancements. The program is application-based and provides funding on a cost-shared basis--75 percent government:25 percent recipient--for a number of clearly identified eligible expenses. This funding is in addition to marine security funding initially announced in the National Security Policy.

Under the new program, ports and marine facilities will be able to apply for funds to assist with new security equipment and programs called for under their ISPS-mandated security plans. These funds, says Transport Canada, "will not only assist participants in finalizing their initial work to meet the requirements of their plans, it will also help them to extend and build on these security enhancements in the future. Canada's commitment to meet--and, in fact, exceed--the International Maritime Organization security requirements will help ensure that our marine transportation system remains one of the most secure in the world."

Ports or marine facilities will be able to apply for funds to assist with new security equipment or programs called for under their approved security plans. Projects eligible for funding include:

* surveillance equipment, including cameras and closed-circuit TV systems;

* improvements to dockside and perimeter security and access control, such as fencing, gates, signage and lighting;

* command, control and communications equipment, such as portable and vessel-to-shore radios; and

* infrastructure security protective measures, such as security guards and arrangements with local police departments.

The program is retroactive to April 1, 2004 and is subject to all expenditure controls applicable to contribution programs.

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