ARCHIVED - 2  Fleet Operations and On-Water Program Delivery

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Fleet clients include the operational Coast Guard programs, which are developed and managed by the Maritime Services directorate. These programs are: Search and Rescue, Environmental Response, Marine Communications and Traffic Services, Aids to Navigation, Icebreaking Services, and Waterways Management.

Fleet also supports its Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) clients, which include the Ecosystems and Fisheries Management, specifically Fisheries Management as well as Conservation and Protection, and the Ecosystems and Oceans Science (formerly known as Fisheries and Oceans At-Sea Science) sectors. Finally, as the federal government's only civilian fleet, Coast Guard vessels provide on-water support for the mandates of other government departments and agencies. Among these organizations are: the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Department of National Defence, Public Safety Canada, Canada Border Services Agency, Transport Canada, Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada and many more.

CCG employees at work on an Offshore Fishery Science Vessel
CCG employees at work on an Offshore Fishery Science Vessel

Program Delivery

Each year, a significant amount of work is put into the creation of the Integrated Fleet Operations Plan. This plan represents the backbone of Fleet's operations and on-water program delivery. Its creation involves consultation with Fleet clients, both internal and external to DFO, in order to determine demand for Fleet vessel and helicopter support in the execution of programs at sea. Based on available resources and client requirements, a schedule of planned operational days1 is allocated to each client and is agreed upon by both parties.

Graph 1 illustrates the distribution of Fleet's clients for fiscal year 2010–2011. It shows that Fleet dedicated most of its service to Coast Guard programs. At 69.1 percent, this represents an increase of over three percentage points since 2009–2010. The largest proportion of service was delivered to the Search and Rescue (SAR) program. Other Coast Guard programs include Environmental Response (ER), Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS), Aids to Navigation and Icebreaking Services. In 2010–2011, Fleet dedicated slightly less to DFO programs administered by the Ecosystems and Oceans Science (Science), and the Ecosystems and Fisheries Management (EFM) sectors, which received 12.7 percent each, compared with 13 percent for Ecosystems and Oceans Science and 13.4 percent for Ecosystems and Fisheries Management in the previous year. Finally, the remaining Fleet resources were allocated to other government departments and agencies (OGD) and to the Maritime Security Enforcement Teams, with 2.6 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively, which also represent a reduction from the 2009–2010 levels.

Graph 1: Distribution of Fleet Clients, 2010–2011
(% of Total Operational Days)

Graph 1 represents the distrubtion of Fleet clients in 2010 to 2011.  Following are the percentage of Total Operational Days per Fleet client: Marine Communications and Traffic Services 0.3%; Search and Rescue 76.8%; Environmental Response 0.3%; Aids to Navigation 13.3%; Icebreaking 9.3%; Maritime Security 2.9%; Ecosystems and Fisheries Management 12.7%; Science 12.7%; Other Governement Departments and Agencies 2.6%.

Effective Delivery

Effectiveness is a concept used to assess the extent to which an organization is meeting its expected results. Fleet has developed various measures to evaluate its effectiveness, including the comparison of services planned against services delivered, as well as operational delays.

CCGS Cap Breton, SAR Lifeboat
CCGS Cap Breton, SAR Lifeboat
Photo: S. Boniecki

By comparing the actual services delivered with what was originally planned, Fleet is able to measure the performance of service delivery. Where actual services delivered exceed 100 percent, it means either the demand was higher than expected or unforeseen events required more days to be delivered. Values under 100 percent indicate that Fleet underdelivered relative to the plan; potential causes include vessel unavailability due to breakdowns and unforeseen events, such as being diverted to Search and Rescue responsibilities, that prevent the delivery of services as planned. The normal tolerance range is plus or minus 10 percent, given operational, environmental and program fluidity.

Overall, Fleet delivered 95 percent of the originally planned number of days, down from 103 percent in 2009–2010. As displayed in Graph 2, there have been significant variances between individual programs. Services delivered to Search and Rescue, Maritime Security and Oceans Science programs were all within the tolerance range. Service delivered to Icebreaking and Ecosystems and Fisheries Management fall within the reasonable tolerance level. Time spent delivering other government department programs was significantly higher than normal this year, which can be explained by the federal government's increased emphasis on its Northern Strategy.

Graph 2: Service Delivered versus Service Planned by Fleet Clients, 2010–2011

Percentage of Plan Delivered. Search and Rescue :101%; Aids to Navigation: 82%; Icebreaking: 86% Marine Security: 91%; Environmental Response: 67%; Marine Communications and Traffic Services: 248%; Ecosystems and Fisheries Management: 86%; Science: 94%; and, Other Government Departments 122%.

Because of factors such as inclement weather, equipment breakdown, delays related to equipment or personnel, and administrative reasons, time at sea occasionally can be lost. This lost sea time is referred to as "operational delays," which Fleet measures to assess its overall effectiveness in providing operational on-water resources.

Environmental Response barge at a marina
Environmental Response barge at a marina

Graph 3 shows that services were delivered in a very effective manner in 2010–2011, with operational delays at the lowest point of the past five years at only 2.1 percent (607 days) of overall availability. In 2010–2011, the majority of lost time was attributed to weather delays, which accounted for 59 percent (361 days) of the total; this figure is lower than the five-year trend. Fleet clients most affected by delays were Aids to Navigation (29 percent, 174 days), Ecosystems and Fisheries Management (28 percent, 172 days) and Ecosystems and Oceans Science (28 percent, 170 days).

Graph 3: Service Time Lost Due to Delays, 2006–2007 to 2010–2011
(% of Total Operational Days)

Percentage of Total Operational Days. 2006-2007: 2.5%; 2007-2008: 2.6%; 2008-2009: 2.7%; 2009-2010: 2.6%; and, 2010-2011: 2.1%.

Efficient Delivery

The Coast Guard fleet as a whole operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. However, each individual vessel rarely operates at that capacity because of various factors such as planned maintenance, vessel breakdown, crew change or lack of program demand. Fleet is always focusing on maximizing the number of days our ships are assigned to clients by delivering services in an efficient manner. Efficiency is about how well Fleet uses its time and resources to deliver services. It uses vessel availability and multi-tasking as performance indicators to determine how efficiently services are delivered.

Vessel Availability

At any given time, a vessel may be available or unavailable for operations. When a vessel is available, it can be assigned to a client, multi-tasked, engaged in administrative or other tasks such as community and visitor relation activities, or simply unassigned. A vessel may be unavailable due to winterization, laid up due to lack of funds or undergoing extended refit or maintenance.

As indicated in Graph 4, of all operational days in 2010–2011, Fleet spent 65 percent (29,439 days) of its time assigned to clients, which is a decrease of two percentage points from the 2009–2010 level. Fleet vessels were also ready to deliver services but remained unassigned to clients 1 percent (515 days) of the time.

Graph 4: Utilization of Vessels by Operational State, 2010–2011
(% of Total Operational Days)

Vessel Available: Assigned to clients 65%; Unassigned/ Direction and admin: 1%. Vessel Unavailable: Lay-up: 20%; Maintenance Planned: 10%, Maintenance Unplanned: 2%; Other-Vessel Unavailable: 2%.

Fleet vessels spent 20 percent (8,919 days) of total operational days in 2010–2011 in lay-up or winterization status, 10 percent (4,594 days) in planned maintenance, 2 percent (803 days) in unplanned maintenance and were unavailable for any other reason 2 percent (810 days) of the time.

Vessels Unavailable Due to Time Spent in Planned and Unplanned Maintenance

One of the most important elements of delivering efficient service to clients is maintaining its fleet of vessels in good operating order. To achieve this, strategic maintenance periods are identified for each vessel and are combined to create a schedule of planned maintenance. Even though the schedule is in place and every effort is made to follow it, unplanned breakdowns occur, resulting in an average loss of 3 percent of operational time every year.

A CCG vessel under construction
A CCG vessel under construction

As illustrated in Graph 5, the number of days spent in planned (4,594 days) and unplanned (803 days) maintenance has decreased in 2010–2011 from 4,805 days planned and 876 days unplanned in 2009–2010. This can be attributed to the fact that a number of older vessels were taken out of service during 2010–2011 and were replaced by new ships. In addition, large amounts of money were invested in Fleet through the Fleet Renewal Plan and Economic Action Plan in recent years, resulting in Fleet vessels that are slightly more reliable and less at risk for breakdown.

Graph 5: Vessel Unavailability Due to Maintenance/Refit, 2006–2007 to 2010–2011
(Total Number of Operational Days)

Operational Days. 2010-2011: 5,397; 2009-2010: 5,681; 2008-2009: 5,689; 2007-2008: 5,486; and, 2006-2007: 5,056.

Fleet Performance

Under the Treasury Board Secretariat's Management, Resources and Results Structure, government departments are required to measure and report on their performance. Fleet's performance is based on the Integrated Fleet Operations Plan's planned operational days relative to the actual number of days delivered. As a continuously improving organization, Fleet uses these performance results to better serve its clients.

Internal Coast Guard Clients

Coast Guard is responsible for the management and delivery of major civilian on-water Government of Canada programs. The Maritime Services directorate is responsible for the identification and management of these program requirements, while Fleet acts as the on-water service delivery provider.

CCGS Cap Tourmente, SAR Lifeboat
CCGS Cap Tourmente, SAR Lifeboat
Photo: P. Dionne, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Search and Rescue

Disasters and emergencies can occur anytime and anywhere. When they happen on the water, they can quickly become life threatening. Coordinated efforts from Fleet and Coast Guard on-shore and at-sea personnel, in concert with the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (a volunteer organization), provide on-water essential services, which saved approximately 3,600 lives at risk in 2010–2011. Canadian Search and Rescue coordination centres have the immediate control and tasking of all Fleet vessels and aircraft to provide the best possible response to maritime incidents 365 days a year.

CCG Fast Rescue Craft out on patrol for the Inshore Rescue Boat Service of the Search and Rescue program
CCG Fast Rescue Craft out on patrol for the Inshore Rescue Boat Service of the Search and Rescue program

In 2010–2011, 15,333 operational days were planned for the Search and Rescue program according to the Integrated Fleet Operations Plan, and Fleet delivered 15,445 days. These days represent a slight reduction from the 2009–2010 level for Newfoundland and Labrador, Maritimes, Central and Arctic, and Pacific regions. The Québec region, however, saw a slight increase in the number of days spent on Search and Rescue. Overall, the total delivery rate was 101 percent, slightly less than the 103 percent recorded in 2009–2010.

Because of the high level of maritime activity in the Pacific and Maritimes regions, the majority of Search and Rescue services in Canada are delivered in these areas. Additionally, Pacific's Search and Rescue coverage area is one of the largest in Canada and is ice-free year-round.

Graph 6: Service to Search and Rescue by Region, 2006–2007 to 2010–2011
(Total Number of Operational Days)

Operational Days. 2006-2007: Quebec, 1,819.73; Newfoundland and Labrador, 2,421.52; Central and Arctic, 2,639.23; Maritimes, 3,672.24; and, Pacific, 5,553.00. 2007-2008: Quebec, 1,752.88; Newfoundland and Labrador, 2,365.42; Central and Arctic, 2,649.76; Maritimes, 3,850.74; and, Pacific, 5,807.55. 2008-2009: Quebec, 1,795.09; Newfoundland and Labrador, 2,318.79; Central and Arctic, 2,582.71; Maritimes, 3,888.24; and, Pacific, 5,461.83. 2009-2010: Quebec, 1,762.15; Newfoundland and Labrador, 2,427.98; Central and Arctic, 2,620.52; Maritimes, 3,705.99; and, Pacific, 5,273.58. 2010-2011: Quebec, 1,839.32; Newfoundland and Labrador, 2,439.55, Central and Arctic, 2,439.55; Maritimes, 3,680.97; and, Pacific, 5,127.29.

CCG Fast Rescue Craft
CCG Fast Rescue Craft

Because the nature of the Search and Rescue program involves saving lives, Fleet provides on-water essential services and, like police, fire and emergency medical services, must be ready to respond to calls at all times and in all places.

Because of that, 89.3 percent of the 15,445 days delivered in 2010–2011 were in "vessel readiness" status, ensuring that vessels are able to respond to Search and Rescue calls at a moment's notice. When in "vessel readiness" status, vessels are available to support other Coast Guard activities and DFO/other government department clients on a multi-tasked basis. Other notable Search and Rescue activities include 361.35 days spent on Search and Rescue incident response and 969.10 days on Search and Rescue patrol and training.

Graph 7: Service to Search and Rescue by Activity, 2010–2011
(% of Total Operational Days)

Vessel Readiness: 89.31%; General Support Activities: 1.30%; Search and Rescue Patrol and Training: 6.27%; Response to Search and Rescue Incidents: 2.34%; Delays or Awaiting Daylight: 0.04%; and, Other: 0.74%.

Environmental Response

The environment is a key priority of Coast Guard and the Government of Canada. Through the Environmental Response program, Fleet takes the lead in responding to any ship-source or mystery spills in waters under Canadian jurisdiction. Fleet and specialized Environmental Response personnel are on standby 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to investigate and respond to pollution incident reports received regionally, nationally and internationally, and to work with commercial partners to monitor and manage cleanup efforts.

CCG ships conducting an environmental response exercise
CCG ships conducting an environmental response exercise
Photo: Integrated Business Management Services

In 2010–2011, although 100 days were planned for Environmental Response, only 67 days were delivered. This represents a significant improve­ment over the 2009–2010 level. The increase is largely due to effort made by Fleet and Maritime Services to address recommendations in the report of the Auditor General designed to significantly improve Environmental Response capacity. The increase can also be attributed to an increase in the number of incidents in 2010–2011 over those of previous years.

Graph 8: Service to Environmental Response, 2006–2007 to 2010–2011
(Total Number of Operational Days)

Operational Days. 2006-2007: 44 planned days, 68 delivered days. 2007-2008: 84 planned days, 37 delivered days. 2008-2009: 60 planned days, 30 delivered days. 2009-2010: 64 planned days, 33 delivered days; and, 2010-2011: 100 planned days, 67 delivered days.

Marine Communications and Traffic Services

The Marine Communications and Traffic Services program provides distress and safety communications, conducts screening, regulates vessel traffic movement, and provides inform­ation systems and public correspondence 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Although the program is delivered and managed by Maritime Services on shore, Fleet provides support to Marine Communications and Traffic Services. Each year, a number of operational days are planned in the Pacific region to support equipment-servicing activities in 14 of the region's remote locations on the Queen Charlotte Islands and central coast area, which are accessible only by helicopter. With 69 days delivered in 2010–2011, Fleet's contribution to the program increased significantly over the levels of previous years. Although time is planned only in the Pacific, Fleet has delivered days to the Marine Communications and Traffic Services program in every region except the Maritimes, for similar reasons. Of the 69 days delivered, 40 were in Pacific, 20 were in Québec and the remaining nine were in the Central and Arctic regions.

Graph 9: Service to Marine Communications and Traffic Services, 2006–2007 to 2010–2011 (Total Number of Operational Days)

Operational Days. 2006-2007: 35.00 planned days, 36.71 delivered days; 2007-2008: 28.00 planned days, 24.83 delivered days. 2008-2009: 28 planned days, 43.25delivered days. 2009-2010: 28.00 planned days, 53.66 delivered days; and, 2010-2011: 28.00 planned days, 69.34 delivered days.

Aids to Navigation

Coast Guard's Aids to Navigation program helps reduce the marine navigation risks faced by industry and pleasure craft alike by providing support to some 17,000 marine aids. These include short-range aids such as visual aids (lighthouses and buoys), audible aids (fog horns), radar aids (reflectors and beacons) and long-range aids such as the Differential Global Positioning System.

Fleet supports this program by providing vessels and crews to place, lift, check and maintain an extensive system of floating and fixed navigation aids, both on-water and shore-based, and by carrying out surveying operations. A variety of large and small multi-taskable and specialized vessels maintain this network. Some aids are required year-round, while seasonal aids are lifted out of the water for the winter season to prevent ice damage. Seagoing personnel also deploy, recover and maintain aids, verify the position and operation of floating aids, keep records of operation, and update positions and characteristics of aids as required.

In 2010–2011, although 3,262 days were planned for dedication to Aids to Navigation, only 2,683 days were actually delivered in support of the program. Because of other government priorities such as reassignment to Search and Rescue, the Aids to Navigation program received less time than originally planned in the Integrated Fleet Operations Plan.

Graph 10: Service to Aids to Navigation, 2006–2007 to 2010–2011
(Total Number of Operational Days)

Operational Days.  2006-2007: 3,357.50 planned days, 2,688.51 delivered days; 2007-2008: 3,261.50 planned days, 2,468.85 delivered days. 2008-2009: 3,319.50 planned days, 2,864.64 delivered days. 2009-2010: 3,077.00 planned days, 2,707.10 delivered days; and, 2010-2011: 3,262.00 planned days, 2,683.17delivered days.

Having said that, all of the Aids to Navigation-related jobs were completed, not taking into consideration the program's targeted timeframes. As Graph 10 shows, the service is consistent with the actual versus planned service delivery for the past five years.

CCG employees performing buoy work
CCG employees performing buoy work


Fleet's icebreakers are powerful vessels capable of performing in heavily frozen waters. Icebreaking services in Canada are crucial to the marine industry and the economy as a whole, ensuring the safe passage of goods and people through icy waters. Fleet responds to approximately 1,500 requests a year for icebreaking support, mainly to aid commercial vessels in conducting their trade. Working in partnership with Environment Canada's Canadian Ice Services, the program, administered by Maritime Services and Fleet, provides for the safe and timely movement of maritime traffic in Canada's waters by:

  • freeing trapped vessels and escorting ships in ice;
  • maintaining open tracks through ice firmly attached to the shore;
  • resupplying isolated northern settlements;
  • providing ice information and ice routing information to assist vessels navigating through or around ice-covered waters;
  • conducting harbour breakouts; and
  • reducing the risk of flooding on the St. Lawrence Seaway and other inland waterways by monitoring, preventing and breaking up ice jams.

CCGS Amundsen, Medium Icebreaker, in the Arctic
CCGS Amundsen, Medium Icebreaker, in the Arctic

Icebreakers also carry Coast Guard helicopters that conduct ice reconnaissance flights. It is these reconnaissance flights that locate open water and guide the vessel for more efficient, effective and economical icebreaking.

Arctic and Southern Icebreaking

Icebreakers are on duty year-round through Canada's two icebreaking seasons: December to April in the south from the Great Lakes to the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, and June to November in the Arctic. After completing winter season operations in May or June, six icebreakers are deployed from the southern regions to the Arctic for the summer season. Of note is that one of these vessels, CCGS Amundsen, is fully dedicated to Arctic Science.

Year over year, DFO ice reports have noted that Canadian winters are becoming milder, with a downward trend in the amount of multi-year ice in the Arctic region. As a consequence, less ice is forming on the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence Seaway and Gulf and around the east coast. This also contributes to later freezing of Arctic waters in the fall and earlier thawing in the spring/summer, so Fleet vessels spend more time in the Arctic.

CCGS Sipu Muin and CCGS Mamilossa, Air Cushion Vehicles
CCGS Sipu Muin and CCGS Mamilossa, Air Cushion Vehicles

The Government of Canada's Northern Strategy is another contributing factor for the increasing number of days spent on Arctic icebreaking. More vessels are deployed in the Arctic to support scientific research, map the Arctic seabed, escort commercial vessels through ice and bolster Canada's sovereignty over the Arctic by providing a federal presence.

Graph 11 clearly illustrates this phenomenon. As can be seen, the number of days spent on southern icebreaking has been on a downward trend for the past four years, while Arctic icebreaking has been slowly increasing in each of the past five years.

Graph 11: Service to Southern and Arctic Icebreaking, 2006–2007 to 2010–2011
(Total Number of Operational Days)

Operational Days. Arctic Icebreaking: 2006-2007: 420.4; 2007-2008: 481.3; 2008-2009: 464.1; 2009-2010: 626.0; and, 2010-2011: 617.0. Southern Icebreaking: 2006-2007: 1,385.1; 2007-2008: 1,713.6; 2008-2009: 1,520.7; 2009-2010: 1,403.6; and, 2010-2011: 1,242.9. Total Icebreaking: 2006-2007: 1,805.5; 2007-2008: 2,194.9; 2008-2009: 1,984.8; 2009-2010: 2,029.6; and, 2010-2011: 1,859.9.

Other Internal Clients

As the owner, manager and operator of Canada's only civilian fleet, Coast Guard plays a crucial role in supporting the DFO mandate. The fleet is equipped with a variety of multi-taskable and specialized vessels dedicated to the delivery of the on-water programs of the Ecosystems and Oceans Science as well as the Ecosystems and Fisheries Management sectors. In order to achieve the highest possible level of service and efficient use of resources, service level agreements have been negotiated between Fleet and these DFO sectors, clearly stating the obligations and expectations of both parties. Due, in large part, to the fact that Fleet is not provided with the annual funding to support DFO client requirements, all services provided to Ecosystems and Fisheries Management as well as Ecosystems and Oceans Science sectors are done on a cost-recovery basis.

Science in the North
Science in the North

Ecosystems and Oceans Science

Scientists conducting hydrographic, oceano­graphic and scientific research are hosted aboard Fleet's vessels and are supported in their work by specialized crews. While science-related activities are conducted on many of Fleet's multi-taskable vessels, 17 vessels in the fleet are solely dedicated to the scientific endeavours of DFO and other public institutions and organizations. Vessels used for scientific missions include research trawlers, fishing vessels, hydrographic survey vessels, oceanographic vessels and icebreakers.

Since 2006–2007, the number of planned operational days allocated to Ecosystems and Oceans Science clients has decreased; however, there was a significant increase in the 2010–2011 planned days. Overall, 95 percent of the services planned were delivered in support of Ecosystems and Oceans Science. The primary reasons for this 5-percent underdelivery were vessel breakdowns, weather delays and changes in client priorities. Graph 12 below shows the five-year trend for services delivered versus services planned for Ecosystems and Oceans Science.

Graph 12: Service to Ecosystems and Oceans Science, 2006–2007 to 2010–2011
(Total Number of Operational Days)

Operational Days. 2006-2007: 4,201.50 planned days, 4,028.82 delivered days; 2007-2008: 4,083.50 planned days, 3,954.88 delivered days; 2008-2009: 3,910.20 planned days, 3,910.20 delivered days; 2009-2010: 3,532.50 planned days, 4,072.81 delivered days; and, 2010-2011: 3,912.00 planned days, 3,694.47 delivered days.

As evidenced by Graph 13, the majority of service days delivered to Ecosystems and Oceans Science were in support of scientific research (76.45 percent), followed by Waterways Management (11.31 percent), Hydrography (10.47 percent) and Habitat Management and Environmental Science (1.77 percent).

Graph 13: Service to Ecosystems and Oceans Science by Activity, 2010–2011
(% of Total Operational Days)

Ecosystems and Oceans Science: 76.45%; Waterways Management: 11.31%; hydrography: 10.47%; and, Habitat Management and Environmental Science: 1.77%.

Ecosystems and Fisheries Management

In collaboration with Conservation and Protection officers, Fleet supports the Ecosystems and Fisheries Management sector by carrying out enforcement and surveillance activities in Canadian waters for the Conser­vation and Protection program. Fleet also provides an enhanced presence at sea in the regulatory areas of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization in order to help stop illegal fishing by foreign fleets in the 282,500 square kilometres of jurisdictional waters off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and in international waters.

Fisheries patrol vessels are used in near-shore and offshore fisheries ocean patrols in Canada. Multi-taskable vessels and helicopters are also provided by Fleet, as required. Fleet seagoing personnel support DFO officers in performing enforcement duties that help ensure compliance with Canadian law in Canadian jurisdictions. These duties include:

  • monitoring and patrolling vast areas of coastline and providing a federal presence in Canadian waters, thereby deterring threats and illegal activities;
  • patrolling closed and boundary areas and conducting inspections at sea;
  • serving as a command platform and secure communication hub for Conservation and Protection enforcement activities;
  • conducting general and covert surveillance and monitoring of various fisheries;
  • recovering, seizing, storing and transporting illegal fishing gear; and
  • checking licences, logbooks, catch and fishing gear including inspection of fixed and mobile gear types, and disclosure of poaching and/or other means of illegal fishing.

CCGS Louis M. Lauzier, Mid-Shore Patrol Vessel
CCGS Louis M. Lauzier, Mid-Shore Patrol Vessel

As displayed by Graph 14, services delivered to Ecosystems and Fisheries Management decreased slightly in 2010–2011 relative to service in previous years. This could be due to multiple factors including lack of vessel availability and federal government fiscal restraint.

Graph 14: Service to Ecosystems and Fisheries Management, 2006–2007 to 2010–2011
(Total Number of Operational Days)

Operational Days. 2006-2007: 4,707.50 planned days, 4,155.04 delivered days; 2007-2008: 4,790.00 planned days, 4,066.98 delivered days; 2008-2009: 4,704.50 planned days, 4,318.17 delivered days; 2009-2010: 4,280 planned days, 4,198.39 delivered days; and, 2010-2011: 4,285.50 planned days, 3,688.14 delivered days.

Table 1: Ecosystems and Fisheries Management Activities, 2010–2011

ActivityNumber of Operational DaysPercentage of Total Operational Days
Patrols in Canadian waters 2,117.21 57.41%
Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization patrols 1,210.67 32.83%
Resource management 180.08 4.88%
Other patrols 138.07 3.74%
Administrative 37.78 1.02%
Patrols in international waters* 4.32 0.12%
Aboriginal fisheries 0.00 0.00%
Total 3,688.13 100.00%

* Patrols off the Pacific and east coasts (excluding Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization areas).

Overall, Fleet delivered 86 percent of the total planned number of operational days for Ecosystems and Fisheries Management in 2010–2011. Table 1 illustrates the distribution of these services, showing that approximately 90 percent of delivered time was spent patrolling either Canadian waters or Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization regulatory areas. Overall, while services delivered for Ecosystems and Fisheries Management activities in 2010–2011 decreased slightly from the 2009–2010 level, operational days for Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization patrols saw a marginal increase of three percentage points.

Other Government Departments

In addition to its Coast Guard/DFO mandate, Fleet is responsible for providing on-water resources (vessels, helicopters, expertise, personnel and infrastructure) for the operations and specific maritime priorities of other government departments and agencies. Among these organizations are the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Environment Canada, Public Safety Canada, Natural Resources Canada, the Department of National Defence, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and Transport Canada.

Maritime Security Enforcement Teams

Under the Oceans Act, the Canadian Coast Guard's mandate to support other government departments and agencies has resulted in the creation of partnerships with Canada's wide variety of law enforcement agencies for a multitude of reasons, including maritime security. As national and international awareness of the maritime security domain has come closer to the front lines of global security awareness, it has become necessary for the Coast Guard Fleet to evolve in its activities and programs in order to provide the necessary support to its partner agencies. As such, Coast Guard has received dedicated national security funding to assist Fleet in delivering specific maritime security activities.

CCGS Cape Hurd, Specialty vessel
CCGS Cape Hurd, Specialty vessel
(Maritime Security Enforcement Team Program)

A key aspect of Fleet's increased role in supporting the federal maritime security agenda is its involvement in the joint Royal Canadian Mounted Police/Coast Guard Maritime Security Enforcement Team program. This program dedicates four Coast Guard vessels to enforcement patrols on the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes system. Coast Guard crew and Royal Canadian Mounted Police personnel work closely together to investigate potential criminal activities, ensure border integrity, and in general carry out the delegated duties of a peace officer of Canada. Work of this nature exposes Fleet personnel to risks and hazards not usually experienced in other Coast Guard programs. To mitigate these risks, Fleet personnel assigned to Maritime Security Enforcement Team vessels receive additional personal protective equipment, law enforcement familiarization training and police defensive tactics training.

In 2010–2011, 936 days were planned in support of the Maritime Security Enforcement Team program, while 854 days were delivered. This represents a delivery rate of 91.2 percent, a slight increase relative to the 2009–2010 level. As shown in Graph 15, time delivered to this program has been fairly consistent over recent years (except fiscal year 2006–2007) at around 850 days per year. With the delivery of four new Mid-Shore Patrol vessels over the next four years to replace the existing vessels currently assigned to the Maritime Security Enforcement Team program, it can be reasonably expected that the increased capabilities of the new vessels will enable Fleet to increase the number of planned operational days dedicated to the program.

Graph 15: Service to Maritime Security Enforcement Teams, 2006–2007 to 2010–2011
(Total Number of Operational Days)

Operational Days. 2006-2007: 1,898.09; 2007-2008: 874.86; 2008-2009: 821.10; 2009-2010: 905.10; and, 2010-2011: 853.85.

Table 2 displays the details of the support provided by Fleet to the Maritime Security Enforcement Team program.

Table 2: Maritime Security Enforcement Team Program Activities, 2010–2011

ActivityNumber of Operational Days
Maritime Security assistance activities 457.01
Vessel readiness 323.22
Other (e.g., inspection, transit) 44.20
General support activities 15.03
Coast Guard delays 2.61
Client delays 6.01
Preparedness training and exercises 2.82
Awaiting daylight and weather delays 2.95
Total 853.85

Additional Government Departmental Programming

As a very high-profile program in the federal government's agenda, the Maritime Security Enforcement Team program constitutes over 50 percent of all services delivered to other government departments. However, Fleet provides a significant amount of vessel days to other government departments and agencies each year.

The following chart displays the number of operational days spent in support of all government department programs other than the Maritime Security Enforcement Teams. As illustrated, the number of dedicated days varied significantly over the past five years. For 2010–2011, this can be attributed to the fact that some special projects requiring dedicated vessel time were completed the previous fiscal year plus there was a slight decrease in Government of Canada demand for Fleet services.

Graph 16: Service to Other Government Departments and Agencies, 2006–2007 to 2010–2011 (Total Number of Operational Days)

Operational Days. 2006-2007: 724.00; 2007-2008: 1,144.19; 2008-2009: 1,356.40; 2009-2010: 1,331.33; and, 2010-2011: 766.62.

Other Events or Federal Government Initiatives — Highlights of 2010–2011

As part of its day-to-day activities, Fleet is required to respond to, support or participate in many types of events. In 2010–2011, Fleet was called upon to host the 2010 North Pacific Coast Guard Forum, to help intercept a ship carrying refugee claimants and to rescue the passengers of the grounded cruise ship MV Clipper Adventurer. Additionally, the officers and crew of CCGS Leonard J. Cowley were honoured for the rescue of 22 members of the Spanish fishing vessel FV Monte Galineiro.

North Pacific Coast Guard Forum

The North Pacific Coast Guard Forum was established in 2000 by the coast guards of Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States as a venue to foster multilateral cooperation by sharing information and establishing best practices in the North Pacific Ocean. Canada joined the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum in 2001 at the request of Japan and the United States. China joined the forum in 2001 as an observer and became a member in 2004. Coast Guard leads a multi-departmental Canadian team at the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum, which includes the Canada Border Services Agency, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Transport Canada.

Fleet, Pacific region, continues to be actively involved in the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum, which brings together the operational arms of coast guards and marine border services agencies of its member states. The Regional Director, Fleet, Pacific region, is the Canadian delegate to the combined operations working group, which actively plans and conducts international interagency operations and training exercises. In 2010–2011, Canada hosted both the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum experts working meeting and summit meetings, where the heads of each nation's agencies met and approved the following year's plan.

North Pacific Coast Guard Forum
North Pacific Coast Guard Forum

Role of Fleet in the Interception of the MV Sun Sea Carrying Refugee Claimants in the Pacific Region

This multi-agency interdiction occurred off the coast of Vancouver Island in August 2010, and saw the successful boarding and detainment of the migrant ship MV Sun Sea, which was carrying approximately 500 individuals seeking refugee status in Canada. Fleet personnel in the Pacific region were involved in the preparation and planning for the arrival of the vessel, and were integral in the operations centre that directed the multi-agency operation. This action highlighted Fleet's role as Canada's civilian fleet, providing support to national and international agencies in a host of activities on Canadian waters. For their efforts, three Fleet employees will receive the Operational Ribbon from United States Coast Guard Commander, Pacific.

Grounding of the Vessel MV Clipper Adventurer

After the cruise ship MV Clipper Adventurer was driven hard aground on a shoal in the Coro­nation Gulf located between Victoria Island and mainland Nunavut in the summer of 2010, Coast Guard crews took quick action to ensure that all 128 passengers were safely evacuated from the disabled ship, and helped to protect the fragile Arctic environment from the risk of any potential discharge from the 280 tonnes of fuel onboard the disabled ship.

As is the case in all such instances, the ship owner remains responsible for the vessel's salvage plans, but the crew of CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier also swung into action monitoring and ensuring the safety of the entire salvage operation. With the aid of Canadian Hydrographic Service teams from DFO onboard CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier, surveys were made around the MV Clipper Adventurer to ensure the area was safe for navigation for the four commercial tug boats participating in the salvage operation. A potential environmental incident was avoided and the pristine Arctic landscape remained undisturbed because of the hard work of Coast Guard crews, contractors, cruise ship crew members, Transport Canada and Transportation Safety Board inspectors, and the Canadian Hydrographic Service survey team aboard CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

Coast Guard, Fleet Rescue of Crew of the FV Monte Galineiro (Fleet Employees Honoured)

In the summer of 2010, the officers and crew of CCGS Leonard J. Cowley received the J. J. Kinley award from the Coast Guard Assistant Commissioner, Newfoundland and Labrador region, John Butler, and Regional Director, Fleet, Stephen Decker. The award was presented in recognition of their outstanding efforts and success in rescuing all 22 members of the Spanish fishing vessel FV Monte Galineiro under challenging conditions after it sank suddenly into the frigid Atlantic in February 2009.

Officers and crew of CCGS Leonard J. Cowley received the J. J. Kinley Award.
Officers and crew of CCGS Leonard J. Cowley received the J. J. Kinley Award. Pictured are CCG Assistant Commissioner, John Butler; Commanding Officer, Jim Chmiel; and Regional Director of Fleet, Stephen Decker.

This award, named after the Honourable John James Kinley, a former lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia and former national president of the Navy League, is presented annually. It recognizes employees or units of Coast Guard, DFO or the Canadian Forces who have made remarkable contributions in support of naval and maritime interests.

Arctic Events and Initiatives

With 40 percent of its territorial landmass located above the Arctic Circle — including 162,000 kilometres of Arctic coastline constituting a full 25 percent of the global Arctic — Canada is undeniably an Arctic nation. The Government of Canada is firmly exercising sovereignty over its Arctic lands and waters, sovereignty that is long-standing and well established, and based on historic title, international law and the presence of Inuit and other Aboriginal peoples for thousands of years.

CCGS Des Groseilliers, Medium Icebreaker
CCGS Des Groseilliers, Medium Icebreaker

At the same time, international interest in the Arctic region is growing. As a result, Canada is demonstrating effective stewardship and leader­ship internationally by promoting a stable, rules-based management framework for the Arctic region, where the rights of sovereign states are respected in accordance with international law and diplomacy.

Canada has long been working with its international Arctic neighbours in areas such as search and rescue, icebreaking, fish and wildlife conservation, transportation, research, energy and the environment. The Government of Canada will continue to strengthen this cooper­ation, while advancing its priorities for the Arctic region.

2010 Arctic Survey

Since 2008, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea program has been carried out through a collaborative effort between the governments of Canada and the United States. The intent is to use the capability of two heavy icebreakers, working together, to operate in the most extreme and remote Arctic conditions. CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent and the United States Coast Guard Cutter Healy began joint seismic operations on August 10, 2010. Until September 3, the vessels alternated ice escort duties so that the Louis could conduct seismic operations and the Healy could conduct a multi-beam bathymetric survey. Canada and the United States plan to continue this work in 2011.

CCGS Louis S. St. Laurent, Heavy Icebreaker
CCGS Louis S. St. Laurent, Heavy Icebreaker

Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Canada has until 2013 to prepare a submission to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to delineate the outer limits of its extended continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from shore. This will determine with precision the limits to where it can exercise its sovereign rights over the natural resources of the seabed and subsoil. Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada is responsible for preparing the submission. The National Research Council of Canada's Geological Survey of Canada and DFO's Canadian Hydrographic Service are responsible for the scientific work needed for the submission.

Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary

Fleet relies on the support provided by the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary in order to respond to search and rescue cases in areas that cannot be reached by the Coast Guard fleet.

The auxiliary is made up of close to 5,000 dedicated volunteers and over 1,500 vessels with a combined asset value of $215 million. The members are primarily pleasure craft operators and commercial fishermen who use their community-owned vessels or vessels loaned by Coast Guard to the auxiliary for safe boating education and search and rescue-related activities.

All vessels must meet strict standards in order to become part of the auxiliary fleet. Members are responsible for keeping their boats maintained and equipping them with specialized search and rescue gear, which can run into the thousands of dollars.


The Coast Guard Fleet consists of 22 helicopters that support Coast Guard government-wide, mission-critical program responsibilities including Marine Navigation Services, Marine Communi­cations and Traffic Services, Icebreaking, Environmental Response, and Search and Rescue. For the majority of the fiscal year, the fleet consisted of 23 helicopters until one of them was disposed of.

Much of the equipment that Coast Guard technological services must maintain is located on remote Canadian shorelines or on islands accessible only by helicopters or helicopter/ship combinations. Given the length and ruggedness of Canada's coastline, helicopters are the most efficient method of accessing remote sites, as they burn less fuel and take less time than surface vessels.

Coast Guard helicopter operations are driven by the need to:

  • transport personnel and supplies to locations that are otherwise inaccessible or that are very difficult and time consuming to access;
  • get to them quickly so critical services are maintained round the clock;
  • ensure the safety of personnel and the public, both while they are in transit and at the location; and
  • do all the above at reasonable cost and with minimum resources.

CCG Helicopter (MBB BO-105) preparing to land on a Coast Guard vessel
CCG Helicopter (MBB BO-105) preparing to land on a Coast Guard vessel

Service Level Agreements to Deliver Departmental Programs

Based on recommendations from the Report of the Auditor General in May 2008, Fleet committed to create service level agreements that would clearly identify the roles and obligations of Fleet and its clients, while increasing transparency and accountability.

Fleet completed service level agreements with its two DFO clients (Ecosystems and Oceans Science, and Ecosystems and Fisheries Management) in April 2009. By having these agreements in place to serve as a frame of reference, Fleet has been able to improve its ability to monitor, adjust and report on its performance with respect to services provided to these clients.

Another agreement has been created to highlight the responsibilities of Fleet and Maritime Services on the delivery of Coast Guard programs. It is expected that the new service level agreement will be implemented in 2011–2012.

1  In this report, "operational days" refers to time measured in "non-weighted operational days" or "elapsed days." Elapsed days are defined as the total number of days requested by and delivered to individual clients. Because assets may be engaged in overlapping and/or successive activities for different programs, it is possible to record more than 24 hours in any given day. However, the total time recorded in one day should exceed 24 hours only when a vessel is multitasked with one or more programs.