Canso Canal Reopens for 2012 Shipping Season

AULD’S COVE, NOVA SCOTIA – The Canso Canal will reopen for the 2012 shipping season on April 14 at 7:30 a.m. Atlantic Time.

The canal closes annually in December due to ice buildup in the Northumberland Strait.

In 2011, there were 1,670 ship passages through the canal carrying over 500,000 tonnes of cargo. The bulk of the cargo was quarried materials and fish products.

The canal was opened in 1955 to allow for vessel traffic through the Canso Causeway, which links Cape Breton Island and mainland Nova Scotia. The canal, the only one operated by the Canadian Coast Guard, is an essential navigation component of the federal-provincial transportation agreement signed in 1953 which approved construction of the causeway and associated structures.

The Canal is comprised of lock approach structures and one tidal lock. The tracks upon which the north and south lock gates open and close were recently replaced as part of a $6 million refurbishment to the canal The north gate track was replaced in 2009-2010 and the south gate in 2010-2011.

For broadcast:
The Canso Canal will reopen for the 2012 shipping season on April 14 at 7:30 a.m. Atlantic time. The canal, the only one operated by Canadian Coast Guard, had more than 1,600 ship movements last year carrying over 500,000 tonnes of cargo.

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For more information:

Stephen Bornais
Communications Manager
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
902-426-6987
Stephen.bornais@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

NR-MAR-12-04 E