The Liberal government will exceed its target of protecting 10 per cent of marine areas by 2020, according to a government source.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to make the announcement this morning in Iqaluit while unveiling the creation of a new marine conservation area off of Arctic Bay, a hamlet on northern Baffin Island.
The federal government, along with the Nunavut government and the Qiqiktani Inuit Association, will also announce that the Tallurutiup Imanga national marine conservation area in the northeastern region of Nunavut is is now complete, making it Canada’s largest marine protected area.
The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the announcement comes after the government heard directly from Inuit communities that species that depend on year-round sea ice — including belugas, narwhals, walruses, seals, polar bears — are migrating or dwindling.
The announcements feed into the Liberal government’s messaging on climate policy, destined to be a key issue on the campaign trail this fall.
Trudeau is expected to make the announcement at 10 a.m. ET. CBC News will carry the announcement live.
It will give the prime minister something to boast about when he attends a nomination meeting Thursday evening for Megan Pizzo Lyall, a former Iqaluit council member.
This is the second time Trudeau has visited Nunavut this year, and it’s his third visit to the territory during his tenure as prime minister.
In March, he visited Iqaluit to apologize to Inuit for abuses suffered during tuberculosis treatment in the mid-20th century.