Marine Communications and Traffic Services Centres - Reports

Quarterly Report: February 11 to May 10, 2017


  1. 1. Canadian Coast Guard monitors the performance of the MCTS systems.

    Status: On track
    • During the period of February 11th to May 10th, 2017, the technical communities of Coast Guard across all regions have actively responded, in a timely manner, to the MCTS 345 equipment outage reports with the appropriate corrective actions in the analysis and resolution of the issues affecting MCTS services. During this reporting period, 455 independent investigations and resolutions including preventive maintenance tasks were actioned across country.
  2. 2. Coast Guard and Unifor continue to work together in monitoring and resolving technical issues.

    Status: On track
    • A working group, co-chaired by the Coast Guard and Unifor was established and a Terms of Reference (TOR) was agreed upon. The working group meetings will be held on a quarterly basis for the next 24 months.
    • The working group met on July 19, 2017 to discuss the draft of the fourth quarterly report.
  3. 3. Coast Guard is to proceed with the planned closure of the Comox MCTS centre with caution.

    Status: Completed
    • Completed May 10, 2016.

  4. 4. A risk assessment of the consolidation project will be completed on an annual basis.

    Status: On track
    • Compilation of items 4 a) to 4 d) will provide the data for the annual risk assessment.

      The annual risk assessment report will be submitted to the Minister, Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and the Clerk of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans scheduled for completion August 2017.

  5. 4. (a) An assessment of working conditions at the consolidated MCTS Centre;

    Status: On track
    • An audio analysis will be conducted during the navigation period of April to September 2017 at Victoria and Sarnia MCTS. In addition, unidirectional speakers were tested at Victoria MCTS.
    • Unfortunately, the unidirectional speakers installed and were not compatible operationally. However, ceiling baffles and console coverings were installed at each operational position. These have assisted in the reducing the audio levels at Victoria MCTS.
    • Data is being compiled by Coast Guard in order to determine the workload on operational MCTS positions for the MCTS workload analysis update at all MCTS Centres. An approved methodology will be used to complete the analysis for December 2017.
    • In the reporting period the departmental Mental Health Group has provided subject sessions at the Labrador and Port aux Basques MCTS Centres. Coast Guard welcomes these sessions as they are highly beneficial in improvements at each Centre, the Mental Health Group will visit all 12 Centres and report back to NHQ.        
  6. 4. (b) An assessment of staffing levels on all shifts, records of overtime and records of staff attrition/turn-over;

    Status: On track
    • The analysis of the staffing levels shows that two MCTS centres are in urgent need of additional staff. Following the National MCTS Officers in Charge Conference of May 2017, Halifax and Prescott MCTS Centers were highlighted as first priority in staffing. Coast Guard is working to mitigate these staffing shortages at all centres. A number of trainees are currently at centres and more will join in the coming months (see 4.(c)). 
    • Due to short notice on leave requests (sick, family related etc.) several centres experienced issues in fully staffing a number of shifts, up to 12 hours, where delivery of services had to be consolidated on the watch floor. All services were provided. Coast Guard is working to ensure centres are adequately staffed to deliver MCTS services taking into account recommendation 4.(a) on working conditions and workload variations. 
    • Overtime hours for this period saw a considerable reduction in Central and Arctic, Western Region remained status quo and Atlantic Region saw an increase due to a number of employees on leave without pay, extended sick leave and parental leave.  
  7. 4. (c) An assessment of the efficacy of the MCTS officers recruiting process;

    Status: On track
    • A national recruitment pool was created in spring 2016 now has approximately 25 candidates remaining. An inventory MCTS ab initio recruitment process can be found on the Public Service Commissions’ job website. On April 10, 2017, candidates were drawn from the inventory and evaluations are being completed. Successful candidates will be placed in a national pool for selection to attend the future MCTS officer training courses. These candidates still require a Health Canada pre-placement evaluation, a secret security clearance and a Public Service Commission’s Second Language Evaluation (SLE) for bilingual positions. PSC SLE testing availability can have a negative impact on optimizing the number of course participants as candidates have not been fully assessed to meet the essential qualifications prior to course start dates.
    • Trainees for the upcoming fall 2017 courses will be selected from the national pool.
    • There is a total of 15 trainees across all Coast Guard regions.
    • A class of 5 trainees graduated June 22, 2017 and a class of 11 trainees began on May 15, 2017.  Two MCTS officer courses at the Canadian Coast Guard College are scheduled to begin in Fall 2017 with 12 trainees each.
  8. 4. (d) An assessment of the nature, scope and causes of communications system outages, noting unique and recurring issues;

    Status: On track
    • A total of 345 equipment outage reports were filed this reporting period, of which 50 of these reports related to the MCTS Communication Control System (CCS). This averages to 16 CCS related issues per month, which is slightly elevated from the last reporting period. 
    • Coast Guard has been monitoring and responding to the equipment outages reported by MCTS Centres across the country. Over 70 per cent of site outages were caused by third party telecommunications issues. It should be mentioned that this is 10 per cent higher than last reporting period. Various routine maintenance and corrective work has been performed by Coast Guard technicians at the remote radio sites and at the MCTS Centres. Corrective measures were also applied by adjusting the system software parameters and operational mode of the radios in order to eliminate conditions and to prevent potential echo effect at the MCTS officer operational positions.
    • Data on each MCTS system is collected at the 12 centers and at regional technical service centers ensuring national monitoring and coordination of efforts on solutions.
  9. 5. Reports compiled by the post-consolidation assessments (included in Recommendation 4) to be submitted to the minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Coast Guard and the House of Commons SCOFO on a quarterly basis for the next 24 months.

    Status: On track
    • All reports will be submitted to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and the Clerk of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.

  10. 6. Fisheries and Oceans Canada establishes a mechanism for continuous feedback from stakeholders on the overall performance of the MCTS system across Canada and be part of the department's annual performance report.

    Status: On track
    • MCTS performance is a standing agenda item on the National and Regional Marine Advisory Boards. No issues have been forth for action to MCTS Operational Support within this reporting period.