ARCHIVED - Canadian Coast Guard Business Plan 2010-2013

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Section 1: Who We Are and What We Do

On an average day, CCG:

  • Saves 8 lives;
  • Assists 55 people in 19 search and rescue cases;
  • Services 55 aids to navigation;
  • Handles 1,547 marine radio contacts;
  • Manages 2,325 commercial ship movements;
  • Escorts 4 commercial ships through ice during the ice season;
  • Carries out 11 fisheries patrols;
  • Supports 3 hydrographic missions;
  • Supports 8 scientific surveys;
  • Deals with 3 reported pollution events; and
  • Surveys 5 kilometres of navigation channel bottom.

The Canadian Coast Guard has a direct and important impact on the lives of Canadians. We help ensure the safe use of Canadian waterways, and we facilitate the smooth functioning of the Canadian economy.

A nationally recognized symbol of safety, Coast Guard serves on three oceans, the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes, and other major waterways. Often CCG is the only federal presence in many remote, Aboriginal, and Arctic communities. Operating along the longest coastline in the world and in some of its most difficult weather conditions, CCG operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year (for information on what we do every day, please refer to Section 5).

Legal Mandate

Coast Guard's mandate derives from the Constitution Act, 1867, which gives the federal government exclusive legislative authority over navigation, shipping, beacons, buoys, lighthouses, and Sable Island.

The Oceans Act gives the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans responsibility for services for the safe, economical, and efficient movement of ships in Canadian waters through the provision of aids to navigation, marine communications and traffic management services, icebreaking and ice management services, and channel maintenance.

The Oceans Act also gives the Minister responsibility for the marine component of the federal search and rescue program, marine pollution response, and support to other government departments, boards, and agencies through the provision of ships, aircraft, and other services.

The Canada Shipping Act, 2001 gives the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans responsibilities, powers, and obligations with respect to aids to navigation, Sable Island, search and rescue, pollution response, and vessel traffic services.

Under the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act (AWPPA), a Ministerial Order may be signed for and issued on behalf of the Governor-in-Council by the Minister of Transport, to provide support and visible written authority for actions taken on their behalf by a designated On-scene Commander of an Arctic spill incident. Subject to regulations under AWPPA and to applicable inter-agency agreements, the Canadian Coast Guard has lead-agency responsibility for ensuring responses to ship-source spills, mystery-source spills, and ship-source pollution incidents that occur as a result of loading or unloading to or from ships or oil-handling facilities in Arctic waters of Canadian interest.

Who We Serve and What We Do

Operating as Canada's only national civilian fleet, we provide a wide variety of programs and services to Canadians on four equally important levels: delivering CCG's own programs; supporting Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) programs; supporting other government departments; and supporting government decisions, priorities and the broader federal agenda.

CCG plays a critical role in the lives of Canadians by operating along the single longest coastline in the world, the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence Seaway system, and the Mackenzie River. We provide services to commercial shippers, ferry operators, fishers, recreational boaters, ports, coastal communities, and the general public. For example:

  • We are mission-ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and operate in almost all conditions. When extreme weather hits and other vessels are being called into port, Coast Guard vessels are often asked to head out to sea to save lives, to break ice to free trapped vessels, or to provide whatever assistance is needed to enable safe passage

  • We are a visible symbol of federal presence and provide the capacity to assert Canadian sovereignty, especially in the Arctic

  • We support on water safety and security by responding to mariners in distress, disasters and emergencies with one of the most effective maritime search and rescue systems in the world, supported by the air assets of the Canadian Forces and the volunteers of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary

  • We contribute to Canada's overall economic prosperity by providing essential support for our country's $160 billion global and domestic marine trade industry. For instance, we maintain and service about 17,500 buoys of all sizes that mark safe passages through our waterways. We also provide essential icebreaking services that enable shipping to move safely and efficiently through ice covered waters in Eastern Canada and the Great Lakes throughout the winter, and in the Arctic throughout the summer. Icebreaking services keep most Canadian ports, especially Montreal, open for business year-round, prevent flooding along the St. Lawrence River, and support ferry operators, fishers, and coastal communities

  • We are the lead federal agency for all ship-source and mystery-pollution spills in waters over which Canada has jurisdiction, with enhanced responsibilities in the Arctic

  • We support science activities by providing a platform for scientists from DFO and other federal government departments, Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. We facilitate important scientific activities and research such as science surveys essential for determining biomass and stock assessments leading to fisheries allocations; charting to enable safe navigation; freshwater research in the Great Lakes; seabed mapping to help establish Canada's claims under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; and research to assess the changing ocean conditions and the impacts of climate change

  • We support the security and enforcement activities of DFO with vessels dedicated primarily to fisheries enforcement to ensure an orderly and sustainable fishery that complies with fisheries regulations. We also support the maritime security activities of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) by participating in joint programs on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, as well as maritime security activities of the Department of National Defence, the Canada Border Services Agency, and Public Safety Canada

  • We support other non-military activities of other Canadian government departments such the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Health Canada, and Transport Canada.

How We Are Structured and Managed

The Canadian Coast Guard is a national agency with its headquarters in Ottawa (the National Capital Region) and five regional offices (Newfoundland and Labrador, Maritimes, Quebec, Central and Arctic, and Pacific). CCG is a highly decentralized organization, and the vast majority of its employees are located outside the National Capital Region.

The Commissioner is the Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, reporting and accountable to the Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada for the performance of the Coast Guard. The Commissioner has the full authority of an Associate Deputy Minister, with the exception of Section 33 of the Financial Administration Act, reflecting the intention of the Coast Guard to rely on DFO for comptroller functions. The Coast Guard has two Deputy Commissioners, both of whom report to the Commissioner: the Chief Operating Officer and the Deputy Commissioner, Vessel Procurement. The latter position was created in 2009-2010.

At headquarters, there are five directorates (Maritime Services, Fleet, Integrated Technical Services, Integrated Business Management Services, and Major Crown Projects), each led by a Director General (DG) who is responsible for policies, programs, plans, and service standards for their functional areas. Each of the five regions is led by an Assistant Commissioner (AC), who is responsible for directing the delivery of all Coast Guard services in that region, consistent with national standards, policies and practices.

This organization and governance information is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 - CCG Management Structure

Figure 1 - CCG Management Structure

* Temporary positions

Coast Guard Management Board (MB) is the Agency's senior decision-making body. The Board is chaired by the Commissioner and comprises the Deputy Commissioner, the Directors General, the Assistant Commissioners, and the Executive Directors of the Canadian Coast Guard College, Arctic Strategies and the National Labour Force Renewal Directorate. The senior human resources advisor, the senior legal advisor, the senior financial advisor, the senior communications advisor, and the Executive Advisor to the Commissioner are ex officio members of MB. MB is supported by a number of permanent and temporary sub-committees.

External Advisory Groups

National Marine Advisory Board (NMAB) and Regional Marine Advisory Boards (RMABs) - The NMAB and its six regional counterparts (RMABs) are the Coast Guard's primary interface with the marine shipping industry. They provide a forum for discussion of shared priorities and objectives, as well as for the feedback on service delivery that CCG requires as a service provider.

Additionally, at the regional level, CCG consults with a variety of stakeholders, including fishers and recreational boaters, through various local fora such as Local Marine Advisory Councils and fishers advisory groups. CCG also participates in Transport Canada-led national and regional Canadian Marine Advisory Councils and Recreational Boating Advisory Councils.

Strategic Advisory Council (SAC) - Chaired by the Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, SAC comprises Deputy Ministers from departments and agencies that receive support or services from Coast Guard. SAC's role is to provide input to strategic decisions and performance feedback on CCG service delivery.

Where We Fit: Coast Guard, Clients and Stakeholders, and the Government of Canada

CCG does not operate alone. We work with many clients and stakeholders within and outside DFO, and our activities support the results those clients and stakeholders are seeking to achieve, as well as certain government-wide objectives. These activities, linkages, and desired results are shown in the figure below.

Coast Guard provides these services:
  • Aids to Navigation
  • Waterways Management
  • Marine Communications and Traffic Services
  • Icebreaking Services
  • Search and Rescue
  • Environmental Response Services
  • Maritime Security
  • Fleet Operational Readiness
  • Lifecycle Asset Management
  • Canadian Coast Guard College

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Canadian Coast Guard

To achieve these results for Canadians…
Measured this way…*
  • Safe, economical and efficient movement of maritime traffic in Canadian waters.
  • Civilian fleet operationally ready to deliver Government of Canada requirements for an operationally ready fleet.
  • Number of vessel movements facilitated through the provision of CCG maritime safety services (maintain a 3 year average)
  • Satisfaction rate (percentage) of CCG meeting Government of Canada requirements for an operational ready fleet.
* NOTE: CCG has committed to consulting clients and stakeholders and adjusting its Performance Measurement Framework, including targets, where required. As a proxy, CCG will assess its performance against the extent to which all sub-activity targets are met.

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To help our clients and stakeholders achieve their own results and objectives:

For DFO, its three strategic outcomes:

  • Safe and Accessible Waterways (directly)
  • Healthy and Productive Aquatic Ecosystems (indirectly)
  • Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture (indirectly)

For the Government of Canada, these two government-wide outcomes:

  • Sustainable Economic Growth
  • Safe and Secure Communities

For other government departments and Agencies:

  • Their own results and objectives