Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Further to Mr. O'Brien's question yesterday on the Keewatin resupply proposal and hydrographic survey, I would like to provide some additional information. I am pleased to provide my colleagues from the Kivallivik region with an update on the initiative to provide hydrographic charts in the approaches to the communities of Arviat, Whale Cove, Chesterfield Inlet and Baker Lake. The existing navigation charts for these communities were completed almost 50 years ago. Experienced navigators consider these charts to be inadequate to support safe and effective navigation to Keewatin communities by efficient, deep draft vessels.
Recognizing the need to find the most cost effective means of resupplying Keewatin communities and to support resource development in the region, the Government of the Northwest Territories has worked with the Canadian Hydrographic Service and the Canadian Coast Guard to rechart the Keewatin coastline over the past several years. In 1995 modern accurate charts were completed for the deep draft approaches to Rankin Inlet.
I have been advised by the Minister of Transportation that his officials were presented with the new preliminary charts for approaches to the communities of Arviat, Whale Cove, Chesterfield Inlet and Baker Lake. These comprehensive and very accurate new charts have confirmed the presence of viable deep draft shipping corridors. These corridors offer a safe route for larger vessels to visit Keewatin communities in the future. I was informed that next summer the final surveys will be completed of the approaches to Coral Harbour and of a new intercommunity shipping corridor along the west coast of Hudson Bay.
Mr. Speaker, we and our federal partners have finally removed all doubt of the availability of safe deep draft passages to these Keewatin communities, and I look forward to testing the competitiveness of the shipping community in utilizing this new information to provide the people of the Keewatin region with the most cost effective, efficient and safe shipping in the future.