From left: The Honourable Peter MacKay (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and MP for Central Nova), Capt. Anthony McGuinness (CEO, Halifax Pilotage Authority), Jim Hanlon (CEO, Halifax Marine Research Institute) and Neil Gall (Executive Director, Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response Network – MEOPAR).

Group photo

New on-line weather and wave forecasting tool enhances safety at the Port of Halifax

The Government of Canada, Province of Nova Scotia, and partners celebrate the completion of the SmartATLANTIC Herring Cove Buoy project

January 20, 2014                                             Halifax, Nova Scotia                                              Transport Canada

 The official launch of the SmartATLANTIC Herring Cove Buoy website took place today in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Nova Scotia Regional Minister and MP for Central Nova, on behalf of the Government of Canada, along with the Honourable Labi Kousoulis, Nova Scotia Minister of the Public Service Commission, on behalf of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson, today announced the launch of the SmartATLANTIC Herring Cove Buoy website which will help keep mariners safe while increasing productivity, reducing costs, and moving goods through the Port of Halifax more effectively.

This new website provides real time data from the inshore weather buoy that was originally deployed in the waters off Herring Cove, Nova Scotia on November 7, 2013. The data includes high resolution weather and wave forecasting for the Halifax Port Authority and will be used for education and scientific research.

Its purpose is to provide real-time weather and directional wave information, online, for shipping operations and recreational boaters. With accurate data, shipping companies will have additional information to safely navigate their vessels through the waterways leading into the Port of Halifax. This technology improves the port’s reliability, and supports better planning and more efficient operations by shippers and others using it. 

Quick Facts

  • Transport Canada will contribute $171,000 of the total cost of $366,000 under the Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program (SHIP) Intelligent Transportation Systems.
  • The Province of Nova Scotia provided $150,000 in start-up funding.
  • Annual operating and maintenance costs will be funded for a period of 10 years by the Atlantic Pilotage Authority and the Halifax Port Authority.
  • Marine pilots carry out about 3,100 transfers to the port each year, which will be made safer through the accurate weather information provided through the SmartATLANTIC technology.
  • About 200 technology projects totaling over $30 million have received funding so far under the Intelligent Transportation Systems Strategic Plan for Canada, En Route to Intelligent Mobility.


“Our Government is proud to support this smart technology that will improve safety, reduce costs, and increase the efficiency of the Port of Halifax – a crucial link in the Atlantic Gateway. This initiative is the latest in a long list of Atlantic Gateway improvements we have made since 2006, putting Atlantic Canada in an excellent position to capitalize on our Government’s new trade agreement with Europe.”

The Honourable Peter MacKay
Minister of Justice, Attorney General of Canada, Regional Minister for Nova Scotia and MP or Central Nova, Government of Canada

“We are pleased to support this project, along with the federal government and the many partners involved. This sophisticated tool will provide significant benefits for our position as a transportation and trade gateway, and help improve safety for mariners and the flow of marine commerce in and out of the Port of Halifax.”

The Honourable Labi Kousoulis
Nova Scotia Minister of the Public Service Commission

“For the first time in Halifax, real-time high resolution weather and wave forecasting is available online to mariners, fishers and recreational boaters, enhancing not only the safety and efficiency of port operations, but also Canada’s oceanographic and meteorological research capabilities.”

Jim Hanlon
Chair, Halifax Marine Research Institute (HMRI)

“The SmartATLANTIC Herring Cove Buoy will provide invaluable forecasting data and therefore will enhance safety from an overall perspective, while improving the efficiency of commercial activities at the port.”

Karen Oldfield
President and CEO, Halifax Port Authority

“For marine pilots, this new technology will provide data to greatly assist in safely and effectively serving our clients. The more information we have about weather and sea conditions, the safer those transfers will be.”

William Rooney

Acting Chair, Atlantic Pilotage Authority


Associated Links


– 30 –


Marie-Josée Paquette
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and
Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Media Relations

Transport Canada, Ottawa


Tina D. Thibeau

Media Relations Advisor

Nova Scotia Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism



Transport Canada is online at Subscribe to e-news or stay connected through RSS, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.

This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.

MELAW Lecture

You are invited to attend “The Common Heritage of Mankind and the Law of the Sea: the legacy and the future”, public lecture on January 15th. The guest speaker is Prue Taylor from New Zealand.  For more information, please click the link below.

MELAW-IOI lecture JAN15-14

Date: January 15, 2014

Room: 104

Location: Weldon Law Building, Dalhousie University

3-Day Course: Data Mining with R

The Institute for Big Data Analytics will be presenting a 3-day course by Luís Torgo February 17-19 based on his book, “Data Mining with R”. The main goal of this 3-day course is to introduce participants to the use of R for Data Mining. The course follows a hands-on approach and topics are introduced using concrete case studies. No prior knowledge is assumed on data mining and/or R, though some basic knowledge of data analysis and programming concepts is advantageous for being more productive during the course. All code and data used throughout the course will be given to participants to ensure that complete replication of the case studies is possible on their own computers.

The course will start with a brief introduction to Data Mining and the basic concepts of the R environment and programming language. Following this introductory material, two case studies will be addressed. These case studies will teach participants how to use R for handling several key tasks in data mining, namely: i) data summarization and visualization; ii) basic data pre-processing tasks; iii) predictive analytics; iv) model evaluation and selection; v) handling time-dependent data; vi) approaches to big data in R.

Time: 9:30am – 5:30pm each day

Date: February 17, 2014 – 9:30am

Speaker: Luis Torgo

Venue:  Teaching Lab 2, Goldberg Computer Science Building, Dalhousie University, 6050 University Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Registration Fee:  $250

To Register

Please send the following information to  :




and a brief paragraph describing your interest in Big Data

We also require a $100 non-refundable deposit.  Please send a cheque, payable to ‘Dalhousie University’ to David Langstroth, Institute for big Data Analytics, Dalhousie University, 6050 University Avenue, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2.  Your place on the course is not secure until we receive the deposit.  The remaining $150 will be due at the beginning of the course, payable by cash or cheque.

OERA ‘Student Research Travel Program’

Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA) is pleased to announce that the OERA ‘Student Research Travel Program’ is once again open for applications.  The Student Research Travel Program is available to *full-time senior honours & graduate students* conducting thesis research at a Nova Scotia based university and undertaking research in marine renewable energy or geosciences.  Please see the attached ‘Student Research Travel Program Application Guideline’ for more information.  Interested applicants must complete the attached ‘Student Research Travel Program Application Form’.  OERA will consider applications to a maximum amount of $5,000 (CAD), inclusive of applicable taxes, per student per fiscal year.

Deadline for application submission: January 31, 2014 by 4:00 pm AST

Applications should be sent electronically to the following secure FTP site:

The objective of the program is aimed at cultivating collaborations between Nova Scotia researchers and Canadian and international research facilities or laboratories, where longer term, will contribute to the advancement of the offshore energy sector in Nova Scotia.  The student travel fund is available for short-term research activities for full-time honours and graduate students to collaborate with a researcher in their field at another research lab or other facility.  Applications will be reviewed by OERA Management with a decision made and communicated within five (5) days after the deadline.

The funds cannot be used for travel to conferences, forums, workshops, and other types of meetings. 

Should you have any questions regarding this program, please do not hesitate to contact me.  For more information on the Student Research Travel Program, please visit our website at