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Government of Canada Renews Funding for World-class Arctic Research

Québec City, Quebec, September 15, 2011 — The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture), today announced an additional $67.3 million in funding to ArcticNet—the largest funding renewal for the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program to date. The mission of this world-leading network is to help adapt the coastal Canadian Arctic to climate change and modernization. ArcticNet received its first federal grant in 2003 for almost $46 million.

"ArcticNet's work is of tremendous importance to Canadians," said Minister Paradis. "It promotes research excellence in natural resource management and it helps us understand the effects of climate change and how we can advance the sustainable development of communities in Canada's North."

ArcticNet, an independent not-for-profit organization housed at the Université Laval in Quebec City, will receive the funding over a seven-year period. It was renewed because it met the threshold of excellence after rigorous evaluation of its scientific accomplishments, future research goals, and training and knowledge-transfer activities.

"Year after year, ArcticNet researchers continue to navigate across the vast and often harsh conditions of the Canadian Arctic and sub-Arctic to gather information on the effects of climate change and how to best develop and protect northern communities," said Suzanne Fortier, Chair of the Networks of Centres of Excellence Steering Committee and President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. "This research is invaluable and has been applied by many stakeholders involved in the future of Arctic development, including industry partners and regulators, policymakers as well as local populations."

The NCE program is managed jointly by the three federal granting agencies—Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)—in partnership with Industry Canada.

From left to right: Martin Fortier - Executive Director, ArcticNet; Denis Brière - Rector, Université Laval; The Honourable Christian Paradis - Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture); Suzanne Fortier - President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; Louis Fortier - Scientific Director, ArcticNet; Jean-Claude Gavrel - Associate Vice-President, Networks of Centres of Excellence, Canada