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Irving Puts $2M Into Arctic Research

A total of nine projects will benefit, including one at Dalhousie University aimed at improving and monitoring water quality in Nunavut.

According to an Irving news release, 26 proposals were reviewed by an independent committee of scientists and northern experts. The projects selected involve residents of Canada’s Arctic communities in the research, and will enhance marine safety and response to marine incidents.

The projects landed another $2.3 million from other contributors based on the Irving funding.

“We are proud to be forging links with academic institutions like the Nunavut Research Institute and the selected researchers to develop a sustainable, innovative and vibrant marine industry in Canada,” said Kevin McCoy, president of Irving Shipbuilding in the release.

Dr. Graham Gagnon, lead on the Dalhousie project, told the Chronicle Herald his team, which includes four graduate students from the university, is thrilled to be able to build on previous work in Pond Inlet, Nunavut.

“We were (recently) involved in a wastewater initiative in Pond Inlet, and the community brought forward concerns about water and that they needed to have a risk management framework for evaluating drinking water safety,” Gagnon explained.

Gagnon said his team will also train officials there to make their own assessments.

“It’s not like we’re going to do the work and then walk away,” he said.

Gagnon said his project was a great match for the funding in that the community of Pond Inlet wants to be able to prioritize their decision making and the Irving request for proposals specifically sought out projects that help community members making decisions based on environmental risk

Irving’s contribution comes from a commitment under the National Shipbuilding Strategy to spend 0.5 per cent or about $12 million of contract revenue over the life of the program to help create a sustainable marine industry across Canada.

Half of this amount has already been committed to organizations involved in research, education and growth of Canada’s shipbuilding and marine industries.