Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut November 04, 2011 - 5:10 am

Coast Guard to beef up Iqaluit comms centre

Five jobs to move from Inuvik to Iqaluit

SARAH ROGERS
Here a Coast Guard icebreaker keeps an eye on marine traffic in Iqaluit. The Coast Guard’s marine communications and traffic services centre, now based in both Inuvik and Iqaluit, will roll into one main centre in Iqaluit by 2013. (FILE PHOTO)
Here a Coast Guard icebreaker keeps an eye on marine traffic in Iqaluit. The Coast Guard’s marine communications and traffic services centre, now based in both Inuvik and Iqaluit, will roll into one main centre in Iqaluit by 2013. (FILE PHOTO)

Within two years, the Canadian Coast Guard’s Arctic communications headquarters will call Iqaluit its home.

The move will see five positions move from Inuvik to Iqaluit.

The Coast Guard plans to roll services under the Coast Guard’s Marine Communications and Traffic Services Centre, now based in both Inuvik and Iqaluit, into a single “modernized and state-of-the-art communications centre” in Iqaluit by 2013, said Kevin Hill, a spokesperson for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

From June to November, southern-based Coast Guard workers staff the communications centre in Inuvik, and they’re not as busy as their counterparts in Iqaluit.

The numbers of calls to the Inuvik centre have dropped slightly over the last few years, while calls to the Iqaluit centre have increased, Hill said.

That’s likely due to a new mandatory ship reporting system, NORDREG, which monitors ships’ locations and verifies they’re equipped to withstand ice conditions.

“This state-of-the-art radio facility will improve the Coast Guard’s ability to monitor traffic activity in the region,” Hill said.

The new centre won’t bring any changes to the length of time — June to November — when the Coast Guard monitors Arctic waters, or the agency’s emergency response time, he said.

In the Northwest Territories, the Coast Guard will maintain a base at Hay River, the home port of the Coast Guard vessels Dumit and the Eckaloo.

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