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Canada's New Government and University of Manitoba Launch Canada's Largest International Polar Year Research Project

July 11, 2007
NR-HQ-07-36E

WINNIPEG - Today the Honourable Vic Toews, President of the Treasury Board, joined the University of Manitoba for the official launch of the Circumpolar Flaw Lead System (CFL) Study, the largest project in Canada's International Polar Year research program.

The CFL Study is based aboard the Canadian Coast Guard research icebreaker, CCGS Amundsen, and includes project team leaders from the University of Manitoba, the Université Laval, the Université du Quebec, the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), and DFO.

"The Circumpolar Flaw Lead System project will provide us with vital scientific knowledge regarding the interactions between climate change and the ocean ecosystem," emphasized Minister Toews, on behalf of the Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. "Our new government's support for this initiative is part of our ongoing commitment to Canada`s Northern region. This project will help us make informed decisions to protect our oceans, the environment and the well-being of all Canadians."

The CFL Study will receive a total of $20.5 million from the Government of Canada Program for IPY, including $6 million in research funding and $14.5 million in logistical ship support. Over the next four years, the project team will also receive $768,000 in research funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and $4.2 million in infrastructure support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Manitoba Research and Innovation Fund. The study is led by Dr. David Barber, Canada Research Chair in Arctic System Science, and Director of the Centre for Earth Observation Science at the University of Manitoba, and co-led by Dr. Gary Stern, DFO / University of Manitoba and Dr. Jody Deming, University of Washington, USA.

"Canada's New Government is proud to take a leading and fundamental role in this important international Arctic research initiative," said the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for NSERC and CFI. "This project will help us manage the wealth of the North in a sustainable way. This wealth can be used as a springboard to create a vibrant, diversified northern economy."

"The flaw leads that Dr. Barber studies are valuable sources of knowledge because they are among the most biologically productive areas of the Arctic ecosystem," noted Dr. Suzanne Fortier, President of NSERC. "I am also very pleased that NSERC's component of the funding for this project will support a very large number of graduate students, thus ensuring that a new generation of Canadian researchers will be in place in future years to build on the work being done now."

"The CFL study is a tremendous undertaking that will provide vital new insight into the effects of global climate change on the environment and peoples of the circumpolar Arctic," said Dr. Joanne Keselman, Vice-President (Research) at the University of Manitoba. "We are extremely proud of Dr. Barber and his team, and we congratulate every one of the more than 200 researchers who will play a part in this unprecedented collaboration."

To learn more about the Circumpolar Flaw Lead System Study, please visit the project's Web site .

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Leah Janzen Phil Jenkins
Communications Manager Media Relations
University of Manitoba Fisheries and Oceans Canada
204-474-8034 Ottawa
  613-993-5413
Andrew Hannan  
Media Relations  
Industry Canada  
Ottawa  
613-943-2502  

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