Research vessel RV David Thompson will make its maiden voyage to Alaska from Victoria. (Anna James/VICTORIA NEWS)

RV David Thompson unveiled in Victoria’s Inner Harbour

Parks Canada research vessel part of billion-dollar environmental investment

While anxiously waiting for summer, every now and then, there’s a perfect blue-sky day in Victoria.

Friday was one of those days – a perfect time to announce the government’s efforts to preserve Canada’s natural beauty.

Parks Canada’s new research vessel, RV David Thompson, was launched at the Inner Harbour. The ship is part of the historic $1.3-billion investment in nature and conservation, announced in the 2018 federal budget.

Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, highlighted the federal government’s efforts toward protection of nature, parks and wildlife, with a focus on research.

“This historic investment in nature will help protect and preserve Canada’s natural legacy for our children and grandchildren to experience, enjoy and learn from. It will help protect our lands and wildlife, promote biodiversity and healthy ecosystems, and improve our resilience to climate change,” said McKenna.

“I am also proud of the steps we are taking to protect and restore whales and other threatened species, and to invest in science and research so we can better understand the world around us, our place in it, and the role we can play in solving today’s environmental challenges.”

The 228-tonne steel-hulled ship is 29 metres long, and contains valuable work and lab space for Parks Canada research. It is equipped with a crane, work boat, fresh water maker, a sewage treatment plant, and satellite communications. The ship can accommodate nine researchers and five crew.

“RV David Thompson will expand Parks Canada’s capacity to conduct marine science and underwater archaeology work, such as sea floor mapping, research on the impacts of climate change, and the investigation of other shipwrecks and archaeological sites in all three oceans and the Great Lakes,” read a statement by Parks Canada.

The vessel is considered an integral part of landmark underwater explorations, namely the shipwrecks of the 1845 Franklin Expedition. Additionally, “Parks Canada’s upcoming work on HMS Erebus and HMS Terror will be one of the largest and most important underwater archaeological undertakings in Canadian history,” read the statement.

The ship is named for David Thompson, the Canadian explorer and cartographer initially employed by the Hudson’s Bay Company, then rival Northwest Company. He is often described as the “greatest land geographer that ever lived” given his contribution to the field.

anna.james@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Saanich’s provisional police budget under fire

Grumpy Taxpayer$ of Greater Victoria question why budget requests are rising as crime drops

Victoria Guard Commander leads group of snowmen after ceremony cancelled

Lt.-Cmdr. Michael Irwin wasn’t going to let a bit of snow strip him of his duties

Number of adults living with parents has doubled since 1995

9 per cent of the adult population living with one or more parent

Beauty Day spreads ‘brightness’ at Our Place

Volunteer hairdressers, estheticians, even a tarot card reader took part in the Victoria event

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Man in Vancouver Island hotel shooting pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Brandon Tyler Woody, from Victoria, to be sentenced in late March in B.C. Supreme Court

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Most Read