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The following subsections outline the services provided to each client in terms of planned and actual days provided. These planned days of service for clients are part of an annual planning cycle culminating in the development of the Fleet Operational Plan which outlines the schedule for each vessel, client program and mission requirements, and other details. It is important to note that the number of operational days planned and delivered is a function of various factors, including availability, budget, breakdowns, priority overrides, weather conditions and unforeseen events.

The information represents the support provided to these clients by the Fleet only and should not be interpreted as representative of the entire suite of services that a particular client receives.

For example, in some cases it is more efficient for aids and waterways services to be delivered by contractors, and these services are not included in the information provided here. The planned and delivered days contained in this report reflect the use of Fleet assets only. It is also important to note that client program effectiveness information is not included, as this is a program performance function.

Finally, none of our programs and services would be possible without the dedicated and professional women and men who work behind the scenes to maintain our equipment and provide the administrative and planning support that enables front-line staff members to do their jobs safely and efficiently.

SAR Exercise with CCGS Cap Tourmente
SAR Exercise with CCGS Cap Tourmente


Disasters and emergencies can occur anytime, anywhere. And when they happen on the water, they can quickly become lifethreatening. Each year, CCG teamwork between on-shore and at-sea personnel - as well as with DND and with the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (a volunteer organization) - saves about 2,900 lives at risk. Five Canadian Search and Rescue (SAR) coordination centres have the immediate use of all Fleet vessels and aircraft to provide the best possible response to maritime incidents around the clock, 365 days a year. Additionally, 41 specially designed SAR vessels are stationed throughout the country to support search and rescue efforts.

Alain Morissette - Commanding Officer on the CCGS Cap Tourmente
Alain Morissette - Commanding Officer on the CCGS Cap Tourmente

Fleet Performance

In 2009-2010, a total of 15,790 days were delivered to SAR. This is a slight decrease from the previous year. However, more than 100% (103%) of service was delivered as compared to the original plan, which is consistent with the five year average. The majority of SAR service is planned for and delivered in the Pacific Region (33% of original plan and service delivered). This is primarily due to the West Coast’s yearlong boating and ice-free season, as well as the larger geographical area being covered.

Graph 3: Service to SAR per Region, 2005-2006 to 2009-2010 (# of Operational Days)

Graph 4 demonstrates that the majority of the 15,790 days delivered to SAR in 2009-2010 can be attributed to vessel readiness. This means that a vessel is available and ready to respond at a moment’s notice to calls for assistance. This readiness stance is available to support other activities and clients on a multi-tasked basis. Other notable SAR activities include 360 days spent on SAR incident response and 998 days on SAR patrol and training.

Graph 4: Service per SAR Activity, 2009-2010 (% of Total Operational Days)

Baby on Board

Ships are often named after people who have made their mark, but in Ari Edan Shaw Schiek’s case, the opposite is true. In October 2009, his mother Nalia Barkman of Lasqueti Island, British Columbia, went into early labour. With no ferry to the mainland scheduled for two days, Barkman and her husband boarded the Canadian Coast Guard SAR Lifeboat CCGS Cape Edensaw while it was tied up at French Creek, hoping for a quick transfer to hospital. It quickly became evident that Ari had other plans, sending the Canadian Coast Guard crew running for towels and boiled water to assist the family’s midwife, who luckily met the boat in time to supervise the birth.

In honour of the Canadian Coast Guard crew, the new parents researched the origin of the vessel’s name: a cape on the Queen Charlotte Islands named for First Nations chief and artist Charles Edan Shaw. Since Edan means little fire in Gaelic and Ari means little lion in Hebrew, both names seemed fitting for a baby who came into the world making quite a splash. The Cape Edensaw’s crew has inscribed Ari’s name on the ship's bell, a nautical tradition when a baby is born on board.

Baby Born Onboard CCGS Cape Edensaw – Pacific Region
Baby Born Onboard CCGS Cape Edensaw – Pacific Region
By Gordon Lafleur Photography

Canadian Coast Guard During a SAR Case
Canadian Coast Guard During a SAR Case

Rescue on the Ice

It was a beautiful spring day on May 4, 2009 in St. Lunaire, NL when Rex Saunders set out in his 19-foot open boat towards Cape Bauld on the tip of Newfoundland’s Northern Peninsula. After an afternoon on the water, the 66 year old sealer decided to head for home but soon struck a small ice pan, causing his cargo to shift and the boat to capsize. He suddenly found himself in the water unable to climb atop the overturned hull of his boat, and finally managed to clamber onto a nearby ice pan.

As night fell, the alarm was raised at the Canadian Coast Guard Maritime Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) in St. John's. CCGS Ann Harvey was tasked to search for Mr. Saunders, who had recently undergone open heart surgery. After the second day, CCGS George R. Pearkes joined in the search effort.

As the sun began to rise on day three, the CCGS Ann Harvey’s crew grew increasingly concerned that their rescue mission may turn into a recovery effort. Fortunately, a crewmember spotted Mr. Saunders in his orange floater suit sitting on the ice pan where he had spent the last two nights. The CCGS Ann Harvey’s FRC team quickly transported the severely hypothermic and hallucinating man to the vessel where Rescue Specialists attended to Mr. Saunders’ condition and alerted MRSC to his successful rescue. CCGS Ann Harvey transported Mr. Saunders to St. Anthony, NL where he made a full recovery thanks in large part to the keen eyes of the vessel’s crew.

(Submitted by: Meghan Carew – NL Region)

CCGS Cap Tourmente, SAR Lifeboat
CCGS Cap Tourmente, SAR Lifeboat


Since September 2001, CCG has been a core partner in Canada’s multi-agency approach to maritime security. While we remain an unarmed organization in the law enforcement sense (except for support provided to EFM), CCG has a broad mandate to provide support to other federal government departments and agencies. The federal government, like all Canadians, expects that the Canadian Coast Guard will be ready and able to respond in support of other departments’ security mandates. As a result, CCG has received dedicated national security funding to deliver specific maritime security activities. CCG provides vessels, shore-based infrastructure, and other services to the entire Canadian security and enforcement community.

A key aspect of our increased role in supporting the federal maritime security agenda is the Fleet’s enhanced participation in the joint RCMP-CCG Marine Security Enforcement Team (MSET) program in the St. Lawrence–Great Lakes region. Four of our vessels patrol the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes. Their crews assist with border integrity and security in waters where ships naturally cross the border between Canada and the U.S. as many as 23 times during a voyage from Beauharnois, Quebec to Sault Ste Marie, Ontario.

Fleet crews work closely with armed onboard law enforcement personnel, and are exposed to risks and hazards not experienced in traditional programs. To mitigate risks, Fleet employees assigned to MSET vessels receive additional personal protective equipment, law enforcement familiarization training, and police defensive tactics training. This training helps improve employee safety and boosts the on-water effectiveness of MSET through enhanced onboard integration of CCG and law enforcement personnel.

Vancouver 2010

From February 12-28th, 2010, Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, showcasing to the world our beautiful country and its citizens, as well as the men and women who serve both proudly. The Canadian Coast Guard provided much appreciated support to several government departments during these exciting events. The most significant contribution was related to maritime services in support of the security aspects of the Games, managed by the RCMP. In addition, CCG enhanced some of its usual programs, such as Search and Rescue and Environmental Response, for the duration of the Games. In order to ensure continuity and effective communications in the event of an incident, CCG headquarters and DFO Safety and Security (S&S) jointly established and staffed the Fisheries and Oceans Co-ordinated Olympic Support (FOCOS) Centre in Ottawa.

Various CCG activities supported the Games. CCG accelerated the integration of the Automatic Identification System (AIS) and Long Range Identification & Tracking (LRIT) system to the Department of National Defence (DND) to provide enhanced vessel identification and tracking and greater maritime domain awareness. CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier provided thirty-three days of service in support of the Canadian Forces’ Joint Task Force (JTF 2) as platform support for any necessary on-water operations. CCGS Vector provided forty-six days of perimeter security services around the three RCMP accommodation vessels in Burrard Inlet. Various security personnel were housed on cruise ships during the Olympic and Paralympic period and CCG provided on-water perimeter surveillance via random patrols. The hovercraft CCGS Siyay provided five days of service in support of laying and retrieving buoys marking security zones, and another four days supporting the laying and retrieving of buoys to mark a clear channel through False Creek. One additional CCG Fast Rescue Craft, with additional crew, operated out of CCG Station Kitsilano as an enhancement to existing Search and Rescue (SAR) and other CCG operations.

CCG Vessels and ACV at the Olympic Games in Vancouver
CCG Vessels and ACV at the Olympic Games in Vancouver

Service delivery by the CCG in the Pacific Region, at the FOCOS, and the CCG National Co-ordination Centre (NCC) (both in Ottawa) as well as the Olympic Marine Operations Centre (OMOC) in Vancouver was significant and can only be considered a success, much like the Olympic and Paralympic Games in general. This experience will help improve safety and security for similar future events, such as the Pan-American and Para-Pan American Games, to be held in the Toronto area in 2015.

CCGS Sir Wilfred Grenfell, Offshore Patrol Vessel Testing its Firefighting Monitors
CCGS Sir Wilfred Grenfell, Offshore Patrol Vessel Testing its Firefighting Monitors

Fleet Performance

A total of 905 operational days were delivered in support of the MSET program in 2009- 2010, representing 98% of planned time for the program. This number is higher than in past few years, mainly due to a change in how program activities are reported. The MSET program now has four dedicated vessels (up from three) - three in Central and Arctic Region and one in Quebec Region. This year’s reporting also includes time in support of Maritime security aboard other CCG vessels.

Table 8: MSET Activities, 2009-2010
(# of Operational Days)
Maritime security assistance activities 455.02
Vessel Readiness 272.24
Other (e.g. inspection, transit) 88.46
General Support Activities 25.05
CCG Delays 38.65
Client Delays 15.55
Preparedness training and exercises 0.48
Awaiting Daylight 9.65
All Activities 905.10

Table 8a: Maritime Security - Support to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, 2009-2010 (# of Operational Days)
Delivered Days 131.02

In addition to the work performed for the MSET program, additional days for maritime security were delivered in support of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games. A total of 131 operational days, not including the additional SAR support that was provided, were delivered which accounted for 156% of planned time. Activities in support of the Olympic and Paralympic Games were completed before, during and after the Games, which was crucial in ensuring a strong maritime security presence.

2009–2010 Results
Provided support to multiple government departments during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games;
Worked with partners to acquire and install secure tactical communications on CCG ships in time for providing support to the security community for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic games. These and similar communications will also provide secure tactical radiocommunications in CCG’s support to the enforcement community across Canada; and
Completed installation of Automatic Identification System equipment, a surveillance and identification system of vessels approaching and operating within our waters.


It may be a messy job, but CCG steadfastly takes the lead in ensuring the cleanup of all ship-source and mystery spills into the marine environment in waters under Canadian jurisdiction. CCG also provides advisory services, technical support, and equipment for response purposes outside of Canadian waters when requested under international convention. CCG program personnel are on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to investigate or initiate a response to pollution incident reports that are received regionally, nationally, and internationally: working with commercial partners to monitor and manage cleanup efforts. Canadian law holds polluters responsible for costs associated with cleaning up spills, including CCG’s costs for monitoring and/or managing a response effort.

By its very nature, the Fleet’s service to the Environmental Response program comprises mainly of responding to unplanned events and participating in training activities. In order to ensure that both Fleet and ER personnel are able and ready to effectively respond to a marine pollution incident or emergency, service planned for ER always includes days for training and exercises. This relationship supports the ship-specific competency profiles as prescribed by the Fleet Safety Manual under International Safety Management (ISM) and maintains the ER Programs’ initial response posture critical for larger incidents. As is the case with planning, this year's report only includes the information for the large crafts and the ER activities they reported.

Marc Thibault - Navigation Officer on the CCGS Amundsen
Marc Thibault - Navigation Officer on the CCGS Amundsen

In 2009-2010, the Fleet was involved in several incidents which included standing by or escorting vessels, investigating spill reports in the marine environment or deploying response equipment. Given the size of Canada’s coastline and the numerous types of vessels and transits, marine pollution incidents can vary in size and complexity. Reliance on the flexibility and expertise of our sea-going personnel remains the critical factor in resolving these incidents successfully.

A potentially devastating incident was averted in September 2009 when CCGS Des Groseilliers stood by the disabled M/V Avataq while at anchor in Salluit, Nunavik, Quebec, until commercial tugs could arrive. Poor weather had caused the M/V Avataq to drag anchor to less than a half-nautical mile from shore and was at risk of causing a marine pollution incident by potentially going aground. Another environmental response was led by the CCGS Harp whose crew assisted in the clean-up of a spill from a fishing vessel in William’s Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador Region. And quick action by the crew of the CCGS E.P. Le Quebecois helped contain burnt debris as a result of a wharf fire at Mingan, Quebec.

Environmental Response Services Program Exercise
Environmental Response Services Program Exercise

Fleet Performance

In 2009-2010, while 64 days were planned for ER, only 33 days were delivered. This is mainly due to a lack of vessel capacity to perform some of the planned ER training exercises. Of the service delivered, 1.5 days was for emergency preparedness and the remainder for ER related activities. 69% of service delivered was to carry out training and exercises related to the program, 26% for responding to incidents, and 5% for related tasks such as loading and unloading pollution equipment.

Graph 5: Service to Environmental Response, 2005-2006 to 2009-2010 (# of Operational Days)

Environmental Response Training on CCGS Tanu

Conducting spill response training aboard the ships recently provided ER personnel with an opportunity to become familiar with shipboard operations while providing the officers and crew an opportunity to receive training at sea. Last July, Daniel Reid, regional training officer for the CCG ER program in Pacific Region and Al Molenkamp, from CCG ER Victoria, joined CCGS Tanu at Port Hardy to provide basic oil spill response training while the ship was on SAR standby in the North Island/ Central Coast area. Specialized pollution countermeasure equipment including containment boom and an oil skimming system – normally staged at the Port Hardy SAR Lifeboat station – was loaded aboard the ship to provide the crew with a hands-on training opportunity.

Basic oil spill response training provides the officers and crew with the knowledge and skills required to safely and effectively participate in spill response operations. Spill volume estimation, booming techniques and skimmer operation are a few of the skills developed through the course. “My time on Tanu has been a great learning experience for both me and the crew. Shipboard training is great as we can go directly from the classroom to the deck where participants can apply what they have learned. I look forward to doing more courses aboard fleet vessels in the near future,” said Reid.

(Source: Shorelines, Vol. 13, Issue 1)

CCGS Tracy Approaching a Buoy on the St-Lawrence River, QC
CCGS Tracy Approaching a Buoy on the St-Lawrence River, QC


CCG’s Aids to Navigation program helps reduce marine navigation risks by providing support to some 17,000 short-range marine aids. These include visual aids (lighthouses and buoys), sound aids (fog horns), radar aids (reflectors and beacons), and long-range marine aids such as the Differential Global Positioning System (GPS).

The Fleet supports this program by providing vessels and crews to place, lift, check, and maintain an extensive system of floating and fixed aids to navigation, both on water and on shore, and by carrying out surveying operations. A variety of large and small multitasked vessels and helicopters maintain this network. Some aids are required yearround, while seasonal aids are lifted out of the water for the winter season to prevent them from ice damage.

Seagoing personnel also deploy, recover, and maintain aids, verify the position and operation of floating aids, keep records of operations, update data on positions and characteristics of aids as required, and conduct maintenance on fixed and floating aids.

CCG’s Aids to Navigation program continues to evolve in a world of technological change and now benefits from a lighting system relying almost exclusively on LED technology. In addition, where practical, buoys are now made of plastic, which reduces maintenance costs and should result in a reduction in the number of operational days dedicated to this service.

Fleet Performance

In 2009-2010, 2707 operational days were delivered in support of the Aids to Navigation program. As illustrated in Graph 6, from 2005- 2006 to 2009-2010, both the planned days and the actual operational days are on a downward but converging trend. The decrease in planned days is driven by service efficiency improvements and the introduction of new technology. In this way, the Fleet Operations Plan reflects the required amount of time for each program in an effort to meet the target of 100% service delivery. Fleet delivered 88% of its planned service this year for this program, the highest service delivery rate in five years. As in past years, the majority of time spent on Aids to Navigation was in the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway area.

Graph 6: Service to Aids to Navigation, 2005-2006 to 2009-2010 (# of Operational Days)

CCG Employees Performing Buoy Work
CCG Employees Performing Buoy Work


Canada’s waters are bustling with activity, with more than 100,000 commercial vessel transits annually. Millions of recreational boaters also use our commercial waterways each year. Our Waterways Management program ensures vessels navigate safely and efficiently in our waters, helps protect our marine environment, and plays a crucial role in marine trade and commerce. The Waterways Services program sustains navigable channels in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, supports the work of the environmental protection and International Joint Commission in controlling water levels and flow volumes in the St. Lawrence River system.

Fleet Performance

Fleet provides support to this program using the CCGS F.C.G. Smith and CCGS GC-03, which are small twin-hull sounding vessels designed to conduct depth survey operations of the main shipping channel in the St-Lawrence River, usually between Isle-aux-Coudres and Montreal. These vessels are in service every year from spring break-up to the end of November. The graphs and tables pertaining to this program are included in the At-Sea Science section (4.8.1).

CCGS Terry Fox – Heavy Icebreaker, in the Arctic
CCGS Terry Fox – Heavy Icebreaker, in the Arctic


CCG’s icebreakers are its workhorses. They are on duty year-round, through Canada’s two icebreaking seasons: December to April in the south - from the Great Lakes to the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador - and June to November in the western, eastern, and high Arctic. After completing their winter season operations in May or June, seven icebreakers are deployed from the southern regions to the Arctic for the summer season. One icebreaker, the CCGS Amundsen, is dedicated to Arctic Science.

CCG’s icebreaking and related services are crucial to the industry and to the Canadian economy, ensuring the safe passage of goods and people through ice-infested waters. The CCG responds to about 1,500 requests a year for icebreaking support, mainly to help commercial vessels conduct their trade. Working in partnership with Environment Canada’s Canadian Ice Service (CIS), the Program 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;
  • Re-supplying 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 by monitoring, preventing and breaking up ice jams.

Icebreakers also carry helicopters that conduct ice reconnaissance flights and locate open water and leads for more efficient and effective icebreaking operations, as well as to provide general logistics support to the ship.

Fleet Performance

Due to a relatively mild winter, fewer days were required for icebreaking services in the South in 2009-2010, resulting in a decrease of 8% in services delivered to icebreaking as compared to 2008-2009. Planning for these services on an annual basis can be challenging, namely due to unpredictable winter ice conditions.

On the other hand, Arctic Icebreaking services required more time than planned. This led to an increase of approximately 163 days from last year. Although this may seem high, it can partially be explained by changes made in the reporting of program activities. Beginning in 2009-2010, pre-and post-arctic vessel mobilization and time transiting to and from the Canadian Arctic are now attributed to the icebreaking program. Taking these changes into consideration, the actual time spent on icebreaking operations in the Arctic is relatively consistent with the five year trend.

Graph 7: Service to Southern and Arctic Icebreaking, 2005-2006 to 2009-2010 (# of Operational Days)

4.6.1 CCG Fleet in the Arctic

CCG has a long and proud history of providing service in the Arctic and to Northern Canadians, and is playing an expanding role in Canada’s Arctic. By its very presence, it is strengthening Canada’s sovereignty throughout the country, particularly in the Arctic.

Sébastien Cadieux - Navigation Officer on the CCGS Tracy
Sébastien Cadieux - Navigation Officer on the CCGS Tracy

From late June to mid-November, the Fleet operates seven icebreakers in the Arctic, with one icebreaker dedicated to Arctic Science. The Fleet’s icebreakers are generally the first vessels to arrive in the region and the last to leave. Icebreakers escort commercial ships, breakout harbours, conduct SAR missions, respond to environmental concerns, manage aids to navigation, activate and de-activate communication towers, and support research, maritime security and Canadian sovereignty efforts. The Fleet’s vessels and helicopters are often the only Government of Canada marine presence for thousands of miles. As such, they can be called upon to answer any pressing need in this often harsh environment. The presence of Canadian Coast Guard personnel and assets in Canada’s North helps to protect and secure Canada’s Arctic sovereignty, advance the government’s Northern Strategy, and keep Arctic waterways open, safe, and clean.

Signs of climate change in the Arctic are becoming more apparent. Measurable shrinkage in the multi-year ice cover, shifting ice formations including increased movement and variability of dangerous multi-year ice, reduced summer ice extent in the summer and heightened inter-seasonal variability are making the demands for CCG services in the Arctic more frequent and more diverse. Typically CCG icebreakers are used by scientists to measure, explore, and study these changing Arctic ice conditions.

Pierre Asselin - Engineering Officer on the CCGS Tracy
Pierre Asselin - Engineering Officer on the CCGS Tracy

Over the last few years, Fleet has provided support to a number of Federal Government Arctic operations. For example, CCG is participating with several other Federal Government departments in the Canadian Forces-led "Operation Nanook", the largest northern operation to exercise Arctic sovereignty and exercise preparedness for missions such as humanitarian and environmental emergencies in northern Canadian communities. Additionally, as part of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) ratification process, Fleet is supporting a Geological Survey of Canada (GSC/NRCan), Canadian Hydrographic Service (DFO), and Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) joint initiative to gather data and develop seismic/bathymetric survey plans, in the Arctic Ocean, in order to delimit the boundary so as to gain international binding agreement on the boundary to which our current rights extend.

In August 2009, Bill C-3, An Act to Amend the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act, received royal assent, extending Canada’s jurisdiction to enforce environmental laws and shipping regulations up to 200 nautical miles from its shores in Arctic waters. This in effect doubles the previous area of jurisdiction, meaning that CCG may have to adjust its efforts and increase support as needed.

Throughout 2009-2010, CCG continued to make progress on the polar icebreaker project, including the completion of the mission profile, stakeholder consultations, and validation of the vessel's operational requirements. Conceptual design work is currently ongoing, with delivery scheduled for 2017.

2009–2010 Results
Continued to provide icebreaker support to Government of Canada science priorities related to Canada’s obligations regarding seabed mapping associated with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); and
Continued to make progress on the polar icebreaker project, with delivery of the vessel planned for 2017.

Canada – United States Collaboration in the High Arctic 

Since 2006, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has been a client of Canadian Coast Guard – Fleet, utilizing heavy icebreaker ship time to carry out the required bathymetric and seismic research required to delineate the outer limits of the continental shelf in Canada’s Arctic. A project with national significance, NRCan’s submission to the UNCLOS Commission will help confirm the full extent of the area over which Canada has sovereign rights. This sovereignty is a major piece of the Government of Canada’s Northern Strategy and could give Canada rights to the resources both on and below the seabed in the defined area.

In 2009-2010, the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent once again completed a 42 day mission in the Beaufort Sea which enabled NRCan scientists to collect another season’s worth of seismic and bathymetric data. This mission represents the continuation of a collaborative program which has been in place between Canada and the United States since 2008 whereby both countries simultaneously collect mutually-beneficial data. During 2009 Arctic Operations season, the Louis completed its second mission in partnership with the United States Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB-20). The amount and quality of the data collected was outstanding according to the scientists. The mission exceeded the planned amount of data collection and the ships surpassed mission objectives.

The Louis and Healy met up on August 12, and the Healy took the lead as the icebreaker in the Beaufort Sea, escorting the Louis as its crew conducted seismic surveys to help determine the composition of the seabed. On August 27, the roles were reversed. On September 6, the Louis and Healy completed the joint operations portion of the 2009 UNCLOS survey and the Louis continued with seismic work for the program until September 12.

(Submitted by Renee Pope, NL Region with acknowledgement to Commanding Officers McNeil and Rothwell for input provided from the 2009 LSSL Arctic Voyage Report)

Officer on Duty in a NL Region MCTS Centre
Officer on Duty in a NL Region MCTS Centre


The Marine Communications and Traffic Services program (MCTS) provides maritime distress and safety communications, conducts vessel screenings, regulates vessel traffic movement and provides information systems and public correspondence on a 24/7 basis.

This service is delivered through a network of 22 centres supported by a network of communications towers across Canada.

Graph 8: Service to MCTS, 2005-2006 to 2009-2010 (# of Operational Days)

Fleet Performance

In 2009-2010, some 54 operational days were delivered in support of MCTS. While the Fleet’s involvement in MCTS is generally limited, each year activities must be planned in the Pacific Region to service fourteen of the region’s remote sites on the Queen Charlotte Islands and central coast areas that are only accessible by helicopter. While MCTS activities were exclusively planned for the CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier in the Pacific Region, vessels from Newfoundland and Labrador, Central and Arctic, and Quebec regions also completed activities related to maintaining coastal radio systems, and remote communications site activation/deactivation accounting for an additional 23 operational days for MCTS. While it is common to see actual operational days exceed the amount of planned days, this year Pacific Region delivered 111% (31 days) of its planned services, which is the highest service delivery rate in the past five years (see Graph 8). This is due to additional unplanned support activities carried out by other vessels in the region, and the Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s five day delay due to weather.


In addition to fulfilling its primary commitment to marine safety and environmental response, the CCG Fleet plays a crucial role in fulfilling the mandate of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Scientists conducting hydrographic, oceanographic, and scientific research are hosted aboard CCG vessels. Specialized crews support them in their work. While sciencerelated activities are conducted on many of our multi-taskable vessels, 17 of our vessels are dedicated solely to the scientific endeavours of DFO and other organizations.

David Morse, Ann Miller, and Captain Smith Onboard the CCGS Hudson, Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel
David Morse, Ann Miller, and Captain Smith Onboard the CCGS Hudson, Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel

4.8.1 At-Sea Science

The Fleet supports DFO’s At-Sea Science Program by providing trained crews on board both specialized and multitasked vessels. These include research trawlers, fishing vessels, hydrographic survey vessels, oceanographic vessels and icebreakers.

As previously mentioned, Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers, such as the flagship CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, support Canadian and Canadian-led international marine research projects in the Arctic. These tasks are carried out during CCG’s regular annual Arctic deployment in support of icebreaking for commercial shipping and northern resupply. The icebreaker CCGS Amundsen also supported the ArcticNet science mission led by Université Laval researchers, reverting to its standard icebreaking duties in the estuary and the Gulf of St. Lawrence in the winter months.

CCGS Samuel Risley, Medium-Endurance Multi-tasked Vessel Working on Lake Erie, ON
CCGS Samuel Risley, Medium-Endurance Multi-tasked Vessel Working on Lake Erie, ON

The Fleet’s crews support scientists and technicians in a variety of specialized areas such as:

  • Fishing for research purposes for a variety of commercial fisheries species;
  • Conducting surveys on acoustics, hydrography, geophysics, marine species stock assessment, and benthic habitats and organisms;
  • Conducting marine mammal and seabird enumeration, identification, tracking, and bioassessment;
  • Collecting plankton, larvae and phytoplankton;
  • Collecting water samples for marine chemistry studies;
  • Taking bottom sediment samples and coring;
  • Collecting data verifying empirical models for water mass structure and circulation, currents and tidal propagation, and prediction; and
  • Conducting remote camera studies of benthic habitats and organisms.

The data collected contributes to a more comprehensive record of life in the area, and can be used to measure the impact of climate change, fishing or oil and gas activity in our waters.

Fleet Performance

From 2005-2006 to 2009-2010, planned service to DFO Science (including Waterways Management activities) has trended downwards. Actual service delivered, meanwhile, is on the rise and has now surpassed the trend line for planned days.

As Graph 9 indicates, the Fleet delivered more days than planned to DFO Science in 2009-2010. Vessel operational availability improved in 2009-2010 in comparison to previous years, translating into a relatively higher degree of success for the completion of Science programs. Contributing factors include the heightened reliability of vessels following major refit periods and the use of replacement vessels when regular Science vessels were unavailable due to unplanned maintenance or extended refit.

Graph 9: Service to DFO Science, 2005-2006 to 2009-2010 (# of Operational Days)

Additionally, at the beginning of 2009-2010, the Fleet entered into new Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with DFO Science to ensure a more structured basis for the delivery of the DFO At-Sea Science program. Every effort was also made to ensure that inyear changes to the original plan and ad-hoc requests by the client were met, acting as a driver for the increase in service delivered over the course of this fiscal year.

As illustrated in Graph 10, most of the time delivered to DFO Science in 2009-2010, was for scientific research conducted by DFO Scientists (76%), followed by services to Hydrography (12%), Waterways Management (11%), and Habitat Management and Environmental Science (1%).

Graph 10: Service to DFO Science by Activity, 2009-2010 (% of Total Operational Days)

Bayfield Institute at the Canadian Centre for Inland Waters

The Canadian Centre for Inland Waters, located in Burlington, Ontario, is home to Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Bayfield Institute, a key centre for research in aquatic biology, freshwater fisheries and navigational charting. In conjunction with DFO’s Freshwater Institute in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and the Sea Lamprey Control Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, the Bayfield Institute serves as a hub of scientific research in the Central and Arctic Region.

The Canadian Coast Guard Fleet plays an important role at the Bayfield Institute. It provides speciallyequipped vessels and launch support to the Science research programs and Canadian Hydrographic Service surveys carried out by the institute’s staff. Repair and maintenance of the smaller fleet vessels is also carried out in the marine workshop at the Institute.

4.8.2 Ecosystems and Fisheries Management

The Fleet supports Ecosystems and Fisheries Management (EFM), formerly known as Fisheries and Aquaculture Management (FAM), by carrying out enforcement and surveillance activities in Canadian waters for the Conservation and Protection Program. The Fleet also provides an enhanced presence at sea in the regulatory areas of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) in order to help stop illegal fishing by foreign fleets in the 282,500 km2 Grand Banks of Newfoundland and in international waters.

CCG Fisheries patrol vessels, including armed vessels with armed CCG personnel, are used in the near-shore and offshore areas of Canada. Multitasked vessels with helicopter support are also provided as required. CCG maritime professionals support fisheries officers in performing enforcement duties, including:

  • Monitoring and patrolling vast areas of coastline and providing a federal presence in Canadian waters, thereby deterring threats and illegal activities;
  • Helping ensure compliance with Canadian laws in Canadian jurisdictions;
  • Supporting fisheries interdiction activities;
  • Patrolling closed and boundary areas and conducting inspections at sea;
  • Serving as a command platform and secure communications hub for C&P enforcement activity;
  • Conducting general and covert surveillance and monitoring various fisheries;
  • Recovering, seizing, and storing and transporting illegal fishing gear; and
  • Checking licences, logbooks, catch and fishing gear, including inspections of fixed and mobile gear types, and disclosure of poaching and/or other means of illegal fishing.

Lucie Lefrançois - Navigation Officer on the CCGS Amundsen
Lucie Lefrançois - Navigation Officer on the CCGS Amundsen

Fleet Performance

In 2009-2010, some 4198 days were delivered in support of the EFM program. Approximately 98% of planned days were delivered, a 6.3% year over year increase in service delivery. This makes 2009-2010 the year with the highest percentage of service delivery for this program in more than five years. As shown in Graph 11, the actual number of operational days delivered to EFM has been fairly consistent over the past five years; however the number of planned days requested by the client decreased in 2009- 2010. The decrease in the number of planned days in the Fleet operations plan is the primary reason for this year’s successful delivery rate and shows that EFM is continuing towards a converging trend in service delivery.

Graph 11: Service to EFM, 2005-2006 to 2009-2010 (% of Operational Days Delivered Compared to Planned Days)

As Table 9 indicates, 58.1% of delivered time was spent patrolling in Canadian waters and 29.8% in NAFO regulatory areas. This is consistent with the delivery of EFM activities over the past five years.

Table 9: EFM Activities, 2009–2010
 Number of
Operational Days (#)
Percentage of Total
Operational Days (%)
Patrolling in Canadian waters 2439.46 58.1%
NAFO patrols 1249.48 29.8%
Resource management 267.10 6.4%
Other patrolling 216.60 5.2%
Administrative 21.68 0.5%
Aboriginal fisheries 2.59 0.1%
Patrolling in international waters* 1.49 0.0%
Total 4198.40 100.0%

* Patrols off the Pacific and East Coasts (excluding NAFO areas).

CCGS Vakta, a Specialty Vessel with a Fast Rescue Craft
CCGS Vakta, a Specialty Vessel with a Fast Rescue Craft


The CCG Fleet is also responsible for onwater operations (vessels, helicopters, expertise, personnel, and infrastructure) for the benefit of other federal government departments and agencies pertaining to their specific maritime priorities. These include the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada, the Department of National Defence, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and Transport Canada.

Client requirements, missions, and operational profiles dictate the type of support needed. For example, Environment Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and Natural Resources Canada require specifically designed scientific vessels to support their activities.

Fleet Performance

During 2009-2010, 1331 operational days were delivered in support of other federal government departments and agencies (OGDs). As Graph 12 indicates, this is consistent with last year’s service delivery to OGDs. That being said, service delivery has increased by nearly 25% since 2008-2009, for a service delivery rate of 150%. This can be explained by the continued and increasing demand for Fleet resources for special projects such as United Nations Convention of the Limits of the Continental Shelf (UNCLOS), ArcticNet, International Polar Year (IPY), and in-year ad-hoc requests from various OGD clients. Some changes in reporting also account for this change.

Graph 12: Service to OGDs, 2005-2006 to 2009-2010 (# of Operational Days)

CCGS Henry Larsen and a Canadian Navy Ship Working Together
CCGS Henry Larsen and a Canadian Navy Ship Working Together