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Titanic sub: Canada spent at least $2.4M on search plane



It cost at least $2.4 million to deploy a single Canadian aircraft to search for the Titanic submersible that went missing last month.

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CP-140 Aurora took off from Nova Scotia soon after Canadian authorities were notified of the incident on the evening of June 18. Over the next three-and-a-half days, crews aboard the Aurora conducted a visual search and dropped hundreds of sub-detecting “sonobuoys” to listen for the missing Titan, which likely suffered a “catastrophic implosion” before the search even began.

According to a Department of National Defence spokesperson, it costs $29,662 per hour to operate the Aurora, which logged 82.5 hours of flight time, making the total amount more than $2.4 million. The 341 sonobuoys that were used may cost more than $1,300 each, according to federal procurement records. Together, that could mean the Aurora’s role in the mission cost taxpayers nearly $3 million.

“Undoubtedly this effort will run into the multi-millions considering the specialized resources expended,” search and rescue expert Graham Newbold told after the search ended.


Newbold was a RCAF pilot as well as a search and rescue mission coordinator before becoming a professor of public safety at Algonquin College in Ottawa. Canadian assets that joined the Aurora included ships such as the Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Glace Bay and the Canadian Coast Guard’s John Cabot, Terry Fox and helicopter-equipped Ann Harvey.

“In Canada (search and rescue) operations prioritize saving lives and ensuring public safety,” Newbold said. “The focus is on rescuing individuals in distress rather than determining who will bear the financial responsibility for the operation.”


The propeller-driven Aurora is a long-range patrol aircraft that can take on a variety of roles, including search and rescue, reconnaissance and submarine detection.

While there are several types of sonobuoys, most of the ones the Aurora launched for this mission are designed to listen for signs of submarines lurking in the sea.

“Sonobuoys are equipped with a detachable flotation device with an antenna enabling data relay back to the aircraft,” the Defence Department spokesperson explained. “The hydrophones submerge on a line attached to the flotation device, and spool to an operator-selected depth.”

During the operation, hopes were briefly raised when crew aboard the Aurora detected recurring “banging” noises in the ocean, although these were ultimately determined to be unrelated to the missing submersible. A U.S. Navy sub-detecting acoustic system reportedly picked up an “anomaly” on the morning of June 18 that was likely the Titan’s fatal implosion.

The Aurora deployed three types of sonobuoys during the search, the majority of which were the AN/SSQ-53D from Ultra Electronics Maritime Systems in Dartmouth, N.S. Both the company and Canada’s Department of National Defence would not disclose a per-item cost.

While was unable to find procurement contracts that specifically mention the device, similar purchase agreements with a U.S. company in 2022 and 2013 show sonobuoys such as these can easily cost more than US$1,000, or C$1,300, per item. With 341 sonobuoys deployed, this makes it possible that an additional $443,300 were spent on the search, bringing the estimated total from more than $2.4 million to nearly $2.9 million.

“The cost of the contracts also typically includes all of the extras such as transportation, sometimes in-service support, replacement pieces,” the Canadian defence spokesperson wrote in an email. “For the cost of the Aurora, the RCAF budgets each operational fleet of aircraft’s yearly flying rate (YFR) based on assumed training and operational tasks. These tasks include missions like support to search and rescue and as such there is no additional cost incurred.”

The defence spokesperson said a total cost for the mission won’t be available until August or September. Unlike the figure calculated by, the Department of National Defence’s numbers will only include “incremental costs” and not those that fall under normal operating budgets, such as regular salaries and existing equipment like sonobuoys.


Operated by OceanGate, the Titan submersible lost contact with the surface less than two hours after it plunged into the ocean on the morning of June 18 during a tourist expedition to the infamous Titanic wreck. Reported missing nearly eight hours later, an international round-the-clock air and sea effort searched for the sub approximately 700 kilometres southeast of St John’s, N.L. until a remotely operated underwater vehicle located its imploded remnants near the Titanic on the morning of June 22. Experts say the Titan’s experimental design and carbon-fibre hull likely made it unable to withstand the immense pressure of the deep ocean where the Titanic rests at 3,800 metres below sea level. All five people aboard the Titan were killed, including OceanGate’s CEO.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is now investigating the incident. Costs associated with the U.S.-led search and rescue effort will likely be covered by American and Canadian taxpayers.

“On the high seas, international maritime law, such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), establishes obligations for nations regarding search and rescue at sea,” Newbold, the former Canadian search and rescue pilot, said. “According to UNCLOS, all states have a duty to render assistance to any person in distress at sea, regardless of nationality or status. This duty is primarily based on humanitarian grounds.”

The Defence Department spokesperson said the cost of operating the navy’s HMCS Glace Bay is about $47,000 per sailing day, and that the ship supported the mission for six to seven hours on June 22. The Canadian Coast Guard would not release similar cost estimates, and added that it does not seek reimbursement for search and rescue missions.

“Responding to incidents is part of our overall daily operations, and as a result it would be difficult to calculate and allocate costs on a case-by-case basis,” a Canadian Coast Guard spokesperson told after the operation. “We are part of the Canadian search and rescue system which operates under international conventions, agreements and domestic regulations to provide protection for all mariners who find themselves in danger at sea.”

Aldo Chircop is a maritime law expert and legal professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

“There is a humanitarian duty for states to provide assistance to persons in distress at sea,” Chircop told “It is a longstanding custom and rule of the international law of the sea, international maritime law, and international humanitarian law.”

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'ET Canada' cancelled by Corus Entertainment, blames 'challenging' advertising market – CTV News



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Entertainment Tonight Canada to end after 18 seasons



A woman wearing a large pink dress holds a microphone and speaks to a camera while attending a red carpet event.
Cheryl Hickey, longtime host of ET Canada, speaks to the camera on the red carpet of the 2019 Canadian Country Music Awards at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary. ET Canada will end on Oct. 6 after 18 seasons. (Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Canadian media company Corus Entertainment has announced it is ending flagship entertainment program Entertainment Tonight (ET) Canada after 18 seasons.

“The costs of producing a daily entertainment newsmagazine show in a challenging advertising environment have led to this decision,” read a statement posted on the company’s website on Wednesday.

“We recognize the impact this decision has on the dedicated team who have worked on the show and we thank them for their meaningful contributions over the years.”

The show’s final episode will air on Oct. 6, with reruns airing in the same time slot on Global TV until Oct. 31, a Corus spokesperson told CBC News.


The cancellation won’t impact Corus’s obligation to produce Canadian content under the rules set out by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the spokesperson said.

ET Canada’s website and social media platforms will also be shut down. The spokesperson declined to comment on how many people had been laid off as a result, but said the program’s hosts were impacted.

The network said it has no plans for another entertainment news show.


An hour-long, magazine-style show that focused on entertainment, celebrity, film and TV news, ET Canada began airing in 2005 on Global TV, which is owned by Corus Entertainment.

The program has been hosted by Canadian media personality Cheryl Hickey since its launch, with regular appearances by entertainment reporters, including Sangita Patel — a co-host since 2022 — plus Carlos Bustamante, Keshia Chanté and Morgan Hoffman.

The cancellation leaves ETalk, CTV’s weeknight show, as Canada’s lone major entertainment news program.

Andrea Grau, founder and CEO of entertainment publicity firm Touchwood PR, said ET Canada offered a Canadian perspective that made it stand out in the U.S.-dominated entertainment landscape.

“There was this great Entertainment Tonight brand that was going on in the U.S. — we all watched. And the idea of a Canadian arm of it was very special because it could give a different slant,” she said.

ET Canada’s demise comes during a major shift in the industry, she said, as publicists struggle to find entertainment outlets that can shine a spotlight on emerging Canadian artists and projects.

“Even though we share a language with the U.S. and we share pop culture, we are still Canadian and we have a different perspective,” Grau said, noting that ET Canada’s hosts were a mainstay on the U.S. press circuit.

“You see those relationships that have been built over the years of having Sangita [Patel] standing on a red carpet interviewing someone, or Cheryl Hickey interviewing someone. They’re recognizable to [celebrities] after all of these years, too,” she said. “They’ve created such a strong brand.”


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Canada just had its lowest number of births in 17 years. What’s behind it?



The number of babies born in Canada dropped to a 17-year-low last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a declining fertility rate, data shows.

A Statistics Canada report released Tuesday showed there were 351,679 births registered across the country in 2022, which was a five per cent decrease from the previous year. This was Canada’s sharpest drop recorded since 2005.

Before 2022, the lowest number of births recorded was in 2005, with 345,044 babies born nationwide.


While the number of births in all provinces and territories declined last year, Nova Scotia was the notable outlier with a 12.8 per cent increase in live births.

The biggest decrease was in Nunavut, with the number of births dropping 11.8 per cent compared with 2021.

Canada, like many other developed countries, has been seeing declining birth trends over the past several years, but the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many people’s plans to have kids, said Kate Choi, an associate professor of sociology at Western University.

“Although the fertility decline was indeed part of a larger trend of fertility decreases that have been occurring in Canada, the magnitude of the decrease is larger than what we would have anticipated in the absence of COVID-19,” she told Global News in an interview.

Click to play video: 'Infertility: Shedding light on a common problem'

Infertility: Shedding light on a common problem

The high cost of living has magnified the size of the drop in births, Choi said.

“It’s very expensive to have children and right now, when everything is expensive, it’s very hard for young adults to be able to have the type of lifestyle that allows them to have children, which is contributing to delayed and forgone fertility,” she added.

It’s a concerning trend for Canada, according to Choi, who said decreasing birth rates have the potential to exacerbate population aging issues.

Canada is considered a low-fertility country and its fertility rate has been declining over the past decade.

The latest Statistics Canada data from 2021 reported a fertility rate of 1.44 children per woman that year — marking a slight increase following a steady decline since 2009.

The fertility rate is an estimate of the average number of live births a female can be expected to have in her lifetime, according to StatCan.

As some couples delay their plans to have kids for a variety of reasons, egg freezing and other fertility treatments are on the rise in Canada.

Click to play video: 'More IVF babies born after summer egg collection: study'

More IVF babies born after summer egg collection: study

Lifestyle changes and work decisions are contributing factors, with a shift toward smaller families, said Mark Rosenberg, an expert in geography and professor emeritus at Queen’s University.

“I think mainly the factors we should focus on are first and foremost women’s decisions around the labour force and delaying birth until they’re in their 30s,” he told Global News in an interview.

There is also an increasing number of younger people living in single-person households, Rosenberg added.

Despite the drop in births, Canada’s population has been growing at a “record-setting pace,” surpassing the milestone of 40 million people earlier this year, due to a focus on increasing immigration.

Meanwhile, the StatCan report Tuesday also showed a rise in the proportion of babies who were born with a low birth weight — less than 2,500 grams.

Seven per cent of all babies had a low birth weight in 2022 compared with 6.6 per cent the year before.

Babies with a low birth weight are at an increased risk of complications, such as inhibited growth and development and even death, according to StatCan.

“When we see higher rates of low birth weight babies or higher rates of babies that are born who are overweight, those are issues that we should be concerned about because they reflect on people’s health,” Rosenberg said.

— with files from Global News’ Katherine Ward


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