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Canadian Coast Guard Integrated Business and Human Resource Plan 2024 to 2025 through 2026 to 2027

Table of contents

Commissioner’s message

On behalf of the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG), I am pleased to present the 2024-25 to 2026-27 Canadian Coast Guard Integrated Business and Human Resource Plan (IBHRP). We learned valuable lessons from the previous three-year cycle of the IBHRP, and this next iteration presents the new objectives and commitments that will guide the CCG in realizing its vision.

Each new objective was designed in close alignment with the CCG’s strategic long-term goals, and each new commitment reflects a concrete and measurable outcome. In addition, this plan provides a new risk profile with risk statements that are ranked based on their impact to the delivery of the CCG’s mandate over the next three years. The highest organizational risk we face continues to be the trained personnel we need to crew our ships, work in our operational centres, maintain our shore‑based assets, and support the program management and the administration of the CCG in regional and national offices. The global maritime sector is facing labour shortages, and we are also challenged by this. In the coming years, we will need to renew our efforts to attract, train, and retain a skilled and representative workforce.

Having the right personnel to deliver our services and programs is more important than ever as we are welcoming new and more modern ships into our fleet. Work under the National Shipbuilding Strategy is advancing steadily. The CCG took delivery of two search and rescue lifeboats in 2023, and the offshore oceanographic science vessel is on track to be delivered ahead of schedule in late 2024. Steel was cut in August 2023 on the first of two Arctic and offshore patrol vessels. In line with our efforts to reduce fleet emissions, work is progressing on the first diesel-electric hybrid propulsion near-shore fishery research vessel. Furthermore, the construction of a prototype block for the polar icebreaker was completed in January 2024 allowing the shipyard workers to familiarize themselves with the advanced techniques and methods required to build Canada’s largest icebreaker. The CCG College is already modernizing its training to prepare the officer cadets, now and in the future, and to upskill our current crews as they will operate larger and more complex vessels.

We will also progress on our Reconciliation journey by engaging and collaborating with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit partners. This includes welcoming Indigenous knowledge and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, Inuit and Indigenous participation in decision-making, and focusing on attracting, developing, and retaining First Nations, Inuit, and Métis talent. We will continue to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, planning and delivering the CCG’s Reconciliation commitments in collaboration and cooperation with Indigenous partners.

Like all other industries, the marine sector is going through a period of rapid digitalization. To ensure Canadian ports and trade corridors remain secure, reliable, and competitive, it is critical for the CCG to adopt modern tools. Over the coming years, we will make strategic investments in digital infrastructure and new technologies to enhance service delivery and create a more networked organization that features real-time information flows across assets and operation centres. The digitalization of marine navigation services will help increase the safety of mariners, the protection of the marine environment and marine mammals, the continuity of supply chains, and stronger coordination with our partners both at sea and ashore.

As the marine environment becomes more unpredictable, the maritime industry and coast guards in Canada and around the world will face new challenges and need to adapt their planning, infrastructure, and operations. The CCG is becoming known as a leading voice in the climate resilience conversation, spearheading collaborative thematic papers with partners to share best practices on mitigation and adaptation strategies to respond to the changing climate. We will have to increase our resilience to the impacts of climate change, and continue to respond to the call to green our operations in line with federal and global commitments. There is already an increased demand for on-water incident response due to stronger and more frequent storms, shifts in icebreaking operations in the North as the Arctic continues to open up, pressure on physical assets like buoys, and more demand for marine traffic services as vessels attempt to navigate through difficult conditions. The CCG’s Roadmap to Climate Change Resilience will outline a path forward with adaptation and mitigation actions to ensure we keep delivering critical services in an increasingly complex operating environment.

The coming decades will be ones of transition for the CCG. We will learn, adapt, and evolve as we continue to support on-water safety, security, science, environmental protection, economic prosperity, and as a recognizable presence and symbol of Canada’s sovereignty. As we plan for the future, we will also support the Government of Canada’s commitment to reduce expenditures across the public service and find new efficiencies. I am confident in our ability to hold fast through the changes that will come, and I am grateful for our enduring commitment to our motto: Safety First, Service Always.

Mario Pelletier
Canadian Coast Guard

The Canadian Coast Guard: Mission and mandate


The CCG’s mission is to ensure the safety of all mariners, protect the marine environment, and support economic growth through the safe and efficient movement of maritime trade in and out of Canada’s waters.

The CCG operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year in some of the world’s harshest maritime conditions. Its area of operations covers 243,000 km of coastline and 5.3 million km2 of ocean and inland waterways. The CCG supports Canada’s ocean economy by enabling the safe and efficient flow of nearly 250 billion dollars in international marine tradeFootnote 1, more than 346 million tonnes of cargoFootnote 2, and supporting tens of thousands of jobs in multiple industries across Canada.Footnote 3


The CCG is proud to have a highly skilled and diverse workforce including captains, engineers, deckhands, cooks, officer cadets, marine communications and traffic services officers, pollution response officers, search and rescue specialists, lighthouse keepers, technicians, community engagement coordinators, administrators, program analysts, policy advisors, and more. They fulfill the CCG’s role as the owner and operator of Canada’s civilian fleet. The CCG’s employees support key maritime services that include:

The services provided are mandated under legislation, including:

In addition to specific legislative authorities, the CCG’s activities also align with other acts:

By delivering its mandate, the CCG supports Government of Canada priorities and the Minister’s mandate letter priorities:

Government of Canada priorities:

  • Building a healthier today and tomorrow;
  • Growing a more resilient economy;
  • Bolder climate action;
  • Standing up for diversity and inclusion;
  • Moving faster on the path to reconciliation; and
  • Fighting for a secure, just, and equitable world.

Minister’s mandate letter priorities:

  • Support sustainable, stable, and prosperous fisheries;
  • Grow Canada’s ocean and freshwater economy and support the long-term sustainable growth of Canada’s fish and seafood sector;
  • Implement the Pacific Salmon Strategy and a conservation strategy to restore and rebuild wild Atlantic salmon populations and their habitats;
  • Conserve Canada’s Lands and Oceans;
  • Protect and restore Canada’s oceans and coasts by renewing and expanding the Coastal Restoration Fund, expanding the Ghost Gear program, supporting community shoreline and oceans plastic cleanup efforts, and launching the next phase of the Oceans Protection Plan;
  • Implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and work in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to advance their rights;
  • Integrate Indigenous traditional knowledge into planning and policy decisions;
  • Advance consistent, sustainable, and collaborative fisheries arrangements;
  • Invest in coastal and ocean areas that have a high potential to absorb and store carbon;
  • Modernize the Oceans Act;
  • Expand climate vulnerability work to better inform marine conservation planning and management;
  • Continue work on a plan to transition from open pen-net salmon farming in B.C. waters and work to introduce Canada’s first-ever Aquaculture Act;
  • Renew the CCG Fleet;
  • Support improvement in Small Craft Harbours; and
  • Respond to emerging incidents and hazards.

Departmental core responsibilities:

  • Fisheries – managing Canada’s fisheries, Indigenous fisheries programs, and aquaculture activities, and providing support for commercial fishing harbours while applying relevant legislation;
  • Aquatic Ecosystems – managing, conserving, and protecting Canada’s oceans and other aquatic ecosystems and species from human impacts and invasive species;
  • Marine Navigation – providing information and services to facilitate navigation in Canadian waters; and
  • Marine Operations and Response – providing marine response services and operating Canada’s civilian maritime fleet.

Organizational structure

The CCG is a Special Operating Agency within the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). The CCG is led by a Commissioner, who is supported by two Deputy Commissioners (DC), the Director General (DG) of Operational Personnel, the DG of Planning, Engagement, and Priorities, and the Assistant Commissioners (AC) of each region: Atlantic, Arctic, Central, and Western.

The DC of the Shipbuilding and Materiel Sector is responsible for the planning, oversight, and delivery of the full life cycle of CCG’s service-critical assets, including:

The DC of the Operations Sector is responsible for setting program policy and providing functional direction to ensure CCG programs and services are delivered safely, consistently, and in a cost-effective manner across the country.

The DG of the Operational Personnel Branch is responsible for ensuring that the CCG has the diverse and skilled workforce it needs to deliver its current and future mandate. The CCG College is the national centre of operational marine training for the CCG, and its executive director reports to the DG of the Operational Personnel Branch.

The DG of the Planning, Engagement, and Priorities Branch ensures the alignment of budget allocations, commitments, and investments with the CCG’s long-term strategic goals. The Branch provides national direction on Reconciliation priorities including partnerships and engagement with Indigenous peoples, and advances relations with domestic and international stakeholders.

The ACs in the regions are responsible for delivering the portfolio of CCG programs and services as per guidance and procedures set out by the National Headquarters. ACs represent the CCG on behalf of the Commissioner in their respective region, and lead regional engagement with provincial and territorial governments, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis partners, and industry stakeholders.

Figure 1: The organizational structure of the Coast Guard and the senior management reporting relationships

Figure 1 described below
Text description of Figure 1: The organizational structure of the Coast Guard and the senior management reporting relationships

The following chart depicts the organizational structure of the Canadian Coast Guard and the senior management reporting relationships. The Canadian Coast Guard is led by the Commissioner who is supported by the Deputy Commissioner of Shipbuilding and Materiel, the Deputy Commissioner of Operations, the Director General of Operational Personnel, and the Director General of Planning, Engagement, and Priorities. The Canadian Coast Guard is comprised of four regions: the Arctic Region, the Atlantic Region, the Central Region, and the Western Region. Each region is led by an Assistant Commissioner who reports to the Commissioner.

Budget: Daily operations and long-term investments

The CCG’s budget is determined annually. The Agency’s budget of $2.392 billion (for 2024-25) includes $753 million for day-to-day operations and $31 million for grants and contributions. These funds are primarily allocated to regions to deliver frontline services to mariners in lakes, rivers, and ocean areas, as well as to grants and contributions for eligible parties to build capacity and support service delivery.

The remaining amount includes a capital budget of $1.608 billion, which supports the CCG’s five-year integrated investment plan. This includes investments in:

Canadian Coast Guard strategic pillars

This Integrated Business and Human Resource Plan is broken down in four strategic pillars, which support the delivery of core responsibilities, and ensure that the CCG’s mandate is achieved while maintaining service excellence.


People are the CCG’s most important resource. The CCG is proud of its people. It attracts individuals who want to pursue a long‑term, fulfilling career. Their strong commitment is at the core of the organization, and there is great pride in CCG employees who deliver the CCG’s essential programs and services to Canadians 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

The CCG has knowledgeable, experienced, and motivated people across its ranks. They work on vessels, at bases, in stations, in operations centres, at the CCG College, in regional offices, and at the National Headquarters. However, the CCG continues to face challenges to attract, train, and retain a diverse and representative workforce with the wide range of skills needed to deliver its current and future mandate. The marine industry is also faced with a labour shortage.

Initiatives are in place to address the growing impacts of labour shortages, improve the skills of the workforce, develop future leaders, increase intercultural competency, and expand the CCG College’s role as a learning hub and leading institution in maritime education. The CCG is also working with staff and bargaining agents, and collaborates with DFO People and Culture to update human resource practices to increase operational agility and foster inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility for all employees.

The new ships and state-of-the-art equipment that are being delivered through Fleet Renewal are of little value without skilled personnel to operate and maintain them. Without qualified crews, the CCG is unable to fulfill its mandate. The lack of personnel is the greatest risk the CCG is facing. This is the reason significant efforts are being made to attract, train, and retain the highly specialized personnel required to continue delivering services and programs.

The 2024-25 CCG Personnel Operations Plan is a framework centralizing strategies, priorities, and concrete deliverables related to the full employee life cycle. It provides a consolidated and scalable workplan to guide the CCG workforce towards a sustainable future over the short, medium, and long term.


The CCG owns and operates the federal government’s civilian fleet. Strategically deployed across the country, these assets support a wide range of marine programs and services, and provide platforms for at-sea science and conservation and protection of the oceans. The CCG fleet also serves as a nationally recognized federal presence and a symbol of service, safety, and sovereignty.

The CCG’s approach to effective and efficient service delivery is seen in the fleet, with many vessels capable of accomplishing multiple types of missions, and versatility being at the core of fleet renewal efforts. All vessels are crewed with professionally trained mariners capable of delivering a wide range of on-water programs. For instance, a vessel and its specialized crew can be optimized to support a science mission while at the same time deploying navigational buoys and serving as a secondary search and rescue vessel. This multi-mission operating philosophy offers significant economies of scope and provides the Government of Canada with a diverse fleet capable of operating in all marine areas of the country during the navigation season.

While the fleet is undoubtedly the CCG’s most recognizable asset, the CCG also relies on a complex network of shore-based assets such as communications towers, lights, and channel markers to deliver critical services to Canadians. The CCG ensures its assets’ operation, maintenance, repair, and eventual replacement at the end of their useful service life, and approaches asset renewal with a focus on lowering emissions and making operations greener.

Recognizing the significant impacts of climate change on programs and services, the CCG also makes it a priority to build resilience into the design and use of its assets. This will allow for new and replacement assets that are capable of meeting both current and emerging program and operational requirements.


The CCG delivers a broad range of mandated maritime services to Canadians and those using Canadian waters. Those services are aimed at saving lives, enhancing maritime safety, supporting maritime commerce and supply chains, and protecting the marine environment.

As a horizontal, multi-mission, multi-tasking organization, the CCG leverages the people, fleet, and shore-based assets to provide valuable platforms to other government departments and Government of Canada initiatives. The CCG remains committed to:

  • Supporting the ocean economy
  • Sustaining partnerships with provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, and with Indigenous governments, communities, and organizations
  • Implementing the Oceans Protection Plan renewal
  • Supporting the Greening Government Strategy
  • Assisting partners in the science, environment, and enforcement communities

As marine traffic in Canada is projected to grow by 50 percent by 2030Footnote 4 and trade volume is also expected to increase, it will be critical to modernize the delivery of navigation services in order for Canada to remain a destination of choice and to comply with international standards. The CCG is preparing to make information and services more readily accessible and integrated not only for marine safety and navigation, but also for environmental and marine mammal protection, increased maritime domain awareness, and in support of local, regional, and national economies. This requires exploring new ways of doing business with technological innovations such as e-navigation and digitalization, and enhancing partnerships for program and service delivery.

Since the successful implementation of digital services requires a coordinated and collaborative approach from multiple departments and industry stakeholders, the CCG continues to engage with partners and industry through various fora. Internally, the CCG is working to advance work at the project level, and to ensure that requirements are clear and that concepts of operations are updated.


The CCG believes that good governance is participatory, consensus-oriented, transparent, responsive, equitable, and inclusive.

Over the 2024-25 planning cycle, the CCG will continue to strengthen national policies, processes, procedures, and systems to enhance decision-making, preparedness, delivery, and accountability. This work will also enable the CCG headquarters, the four regions and the College to function smoothly and seamlessly through the intradepartmental governance interdependencies.

The CCG will support the implementation of United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act action plan measures, providing subject matter expertise specific to the marine safety system. The CCG will also further explore governance approaches to collaborate and cooperate with Indigenous partners on the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, the Inuit Nunangat Policy, and Reconciliation Framework agreements.

Stakeholder and partner interests, including the interests of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis partners, are at the forefront of CCG decision-making, and strengthening partner and stakeholder engagement both internally and externally will continue to be a priority in all governance undertakings.

Each of the above strategic pillars has associated objectives to be achieved, and each objective is linked to specific, measurable, short-term, and action-oriented commitments. These objectives and commitments are designed to help address the greatest organizational risks identified in the CCG risk profile found in Annex B, and will hold the CCG on a steady course towards fully realizing its long-term vision.

The section below provides a description for the objectives and the commitments associated to each strategic pillar. Additional details on all commitments, such as expected completion date, can be found in Annex A.

Strategic pillar 1: People

Objective 1: Attract a diverse workforce to deliver programs and operate the future fleet

Establishing a diverse workforce remains a critical priority for the CCG. In a context where worldwide labour shortages in the marine sector are causing increased competition and more stringent regulations, the CCG has reached a crucial juncture with regards to sustaining an increasingly larger and more complex fleet.

As the centre of excellence for operational training, the CCG College will continue to support attraction efforts by partnering with various community colleges, universities, and organizations across the country to promote the CCG as a meaningful career option.

The CCG will also continue to deliver a proactive national strategy, along with focused regional plans that consider the specific needs of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples, and enhance their representativeness within the CCG’s workforce. To support these efforts, new national platforms and tools continue to be implemented to facilitate inclusion and optimize administrative processes.


Showcase item: The Community Engagement Coordinator Program

Delivering services in the Arctic requires an understanding of the North, and a workforce that reflects its inhabitants. However, northern recruitment is complex and hindered by different barriers than those encountered in southern regions, such as geographical remoteness, infrastructure gaps, and limited connectivity. The Community Engagement Coordinator (CEC) program was created by the CCG and DFO Arctic regions to address these challenges.

Through the CEC program, DFO and the CCG collaborate to strengthen relations and partnerships with northern communities, enhance the Department’s presence in the North, support the inclusion of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and Indigenous knowledge into program and service delivery, and build a more representative northern workforce. The program, initially launched in 2020, was renewed in 2023. This new phase builds on community engagement to advance Reconciliation commitments and support the implementation of the Inuit Nunangat Policy and the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

In 2024-25, eight local CECs will work in various communities across the Arctic Region, including in Nunavut, Nunavik, Nunatsiavut, the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, the Northwest Territories, and Hudson Bay and James Bay regions. The CECs facilitate meetings and engagement, and share information about DFO and CCG programs and services. They also share information about community priorities, support regional recruitment activities on the ground, develop and facilitate training on Inuit, First Nations, and Métis cultures, ways of life, and histories, and provide input on the development of the DFO-CCG Northern Recruitment and Retention Strategy.

The CEC program reflects a clear commitment to diversity, inclusivity, Reconciliation, and effective community engagement, and it serves as an inspiring model for other organizations seeking to establish positive relationships with Inuit, First Nations, and Métis communities, and build a representative workforce in the Arctic.

By continuing to build connections across the Arctic and addressing the unique challenges of the North, DFO and the CCG will be better equipped to fulfil their respective mandates, and contribute to a more unified, secure, and inclusive Canada in alignment with legal employment obligations under the terms of Modern Treaties and Land Claims Agreements.

Objective 2: Train and develop a skilled workforce that is adaptive to new and evolving demands

The CCG is an operational organization, and its personnel must continually perfect their skills and develop new ones to excel at their jobs and adapt to evolving requirements. Many operational positions require individuals to obtain and maintain specific certifications. The CCG provides technical, skill‑based, managerial, safety, and team training, and a constant focus is kept on training products, quality assurance, and methodologies.

The CCG will continue to expand and enhance the role and capabilities of the CCG College as the centre of training excellence that develops and delivers unique and specialized training to all of the CCG. The CCG College is responsible for the development of national standardized training curricula supporting the transitions to new technologies intended under the Fleet Sustainability Initiative. In collaboration with the new Compliance and Enforcement program, the CCG College will launch new training for response officers and enforcement officers in 2024-25.

The National Operational Training Plan (NOTP) was published by the Operational Personnel Branch in 2023. It ensures that the CCG’s operational personnel operating vessels and delivering operational programs is qualified, competently trained, and certified to meet all operational and regulatory requirements. The NOTP identifies the training most crucial to the fleet and operational programs. Over this planning cycle, efforts will focus on this critical training, and the CCG will empower employees to pursue learning and development.


Objective 3: Retain personnel by prioritizing career growth, safety, health and wellness, and employee engagement

The CCG values its employees and seeks to retain them by providing a rewarding and challenging career. The Operational Personnel Branch leads the life cycle management of the operational personnel, and helps the CCG become more agile and resilient in terms of the critical and diverse personnel needed to operate the fleet and deliver CCG programs.

To reinforce the CCG’s role as a strategic, informed, and proactive employer of choice, the organization must stay aware and be responsive to marine labour market trends, not only to evaluate the impact of current activities and initiatives, but to inform future activities, including those being proposed under the Fleet Sustainability Initiative and the National Shipbuilding Strategy. Data and planning will inform concrete activities and projects in the areas of talent attraction, talent development, health promotion, and morale services.

In partnership with Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services, a health promotion program was launched for operational personnel and those who support them. The program enhances the personnel’s readiness and ability to safely deliver programs by providing a support framework related to fitness, injury prevention and management, nutrition, and fatigue management.

Following the program’s rollout, the CCG is planning a pilot for the continued participation of operational personnel in the Canadian Armed Force’s (CAF) sports and fitness programs. The CCG is also working on providing access for its personnel to existing CAF education programs, where feasible.


Strategic pillar 2: Assets

Objective 1: Advance fleet renewal while maintaining operational capacity to deliver programs and meet levels of service

The CCG operates the federal government’s civilian fleet and provides essential maritime services to Canadians. However, the CCG’s aging vessels are becoming more costly to maintain and are more frequently taken out of operation for unscheduled repairs, placing further strain on the remaining fleet. As the demand for on-water work increases, the need to replace the vessels has never been greater. Through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, the CCG will continue to build large and small ships over the coming decades.

New vessels are being designed to utilize modularity, wherever feasible, to enable them to serve different functions by adding or removing equipment modules such as science laboratories. This versatility will enable the CCG fleet to continue delivering core services such as search and rescue while also accomplishing other missions, reducing the number of ships involved in certain contexts, and contributing to emissions reduction.

Several projects will move forward as part of the fleet renewal efforts throughout 2024-25, including the launch of the new offshore oceanographic science vessel and the delivery of two additional search and rescue lifeboats, bringing the total lifeboat deliveries to 18 out of the 20 under contract.

While awaiting delivery of new vessels, the CCG continues its work on vessel life extension to ensure that older active vessels are safe, reliable, and able to continue providing essential services to Canadians.


Showcase item: The Canadian Coast Guard’s first hybrid vessel

In support of the Government of Canada’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reach net-zero emissions by 2050, the CCG continues its decarbonization efforts and is transitioning to an increasingly green, low-carbon fleet.

In October 2023, the CCG awarded Chantier Naval Forillon in Gaspé, Quebec, a contract for the construction of a new near-shore fishery research vessel (NSFRV). It will be the CCG’s first diesel-electric hybrid vessel, designed to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels.

The build contract was awarded as part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy, and will create and maintain up to 90 highly skilled and well-paying jobs in the region. The vessel’s build contract includes an Indigenous participation component in support of the Government of Canada’s commitment to increase the participation of Indigenous businesses in federal procurement.

The new NSFRV will be able to accommodate 11 crew members, and will be equipped with a dry lab, a wet lab, a mud room, and an electronics room. The vessel’s design focuses on reducing power consumption and is based on a hybrid propulsion system with a battery bank and energy-efficient electrical and deck equipment systems. The vessel will emit less greenhouse gas than a non-hybrid configuration, and will be able to operate relying exclusively on its batteries for short periods of time, depending on the operation and environmental conditions. In addition, the batteries will support overnight operations and eliminate the need for generators while in harbour, reducing pollution and ambient noise.

Outfitted with cutting-edge technologies in fisheries, oceanographic, and hydrographic sciences, the new vessel will undertake critical research to collect the data and information needed to guide decision-making in relation to sustainable fisheries and healthy ecosystems in the St. Lawrence River and Gulf regions. In accordance with the multi-mission operating philosophy adopted by the CCG, the vessel will also be available for search and rescue, as well as other operations on an opportunity basis.

With the construction of this first-of-its-kind vessel, the CCG is taking concrete action to fight climate change and improve vessel design to continue providing world-class marine services while reducing environmental impacts on waters and marine ecosystems. The new vessel is expected to join the fleet in 2027.

Objective 2: Prepare for the operationalization and life cycle management of the new fleet, including identifying infrastructure requirements

The CCG needs to prepare for new ships to enter service by modernizing physical infrastructure, training personnel, and updating all policies, procedures, and regulations relevant to the new fleet.

A framework was created to help with this transformation, and one of its primary roles is to guide the work to secure the funding required to build the workforce with the advanced skill sets that will be needed to operate a larger, more modern fleet, while also focusing on diversity, inclusion, and wellness for all personnel.

As new ships transition into operation, the CCG will carefully manage ship-related costs for operational and shore-based support, and ensure the life cycle management of the new vessels, from their delivery to their transition into operations, and ultimately their decommissioning.

Over the coming years, the CCG will also work on the modernization of the fleet support structures, and ensure that the infrastructure is upgraded to match the technical requirements of the new ships. This includes bases, wharves, warehouses, and connectivity.


Showcase item: The Fleet Sustainability Initiative

The CCG is in the process of renewing its fleet, with work progressing steadily under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. The new fleet will be comprised of multi-mission vessels designed for maximum operational flexibility and equipped with the newest marine technology. The fleet renewal represents one of the greatest transformations in the CCG’s history, and it will bring the organization in line with marine industry best practices, reduce the CCG’s environmental impact, and strengthen operational capabilities.

To welcome new ships into service, the CCG needs to adapt all relevant supporting structures. This includes modernizing wharves, improving connectivity, training officers and crew, and updating policies and procedures. The Fleet Sustainability Initiative was created to guide the CCG in preparing for the future fleet by providing a way forward to secure all the policy and funding decisions required to operate the new fleet, and to establish all related infrastructure requirements.

Operating a larger and more modern fleet calls for a larger workforce with advanced skill sets. The Fleet Sustainability Initiative will help the CCG attract, train, and retain this workforce while ensuring that diversity, inclusion, and wellness remain at the core of every initiative. The CCG’s national attraction plan leverages technology and social media to attract candidates, and training programs are based on new vessel technology. Career management is also integrated into the Fleet Sustainability Initiative, with leadership training providing personnel with continuous development opportunities.

As new ships transition into operation, the CCG needs to manage related costs for operational and shore-side support. The Fleet Sustainability Initiative provides an approach for the implementation of a careful life cycle management for the new vessels, from their delivery to transition into operations, and eventually their decommissioning. A vessel availability framework allows to plan for operational missions, as well as vessel refit and maintenance, surge capacity, crew training, and community engagement.

The CCG must upgrade its infrastructure to match the technical requirements of the new ships. This includes bases, wharves, warehouses, and connectivity. The Fleet Sustainability Initiative helps the CCG remain proactive in the identification of infrastructure requirements by planning proactively. Safety procedures will evolve in parallel to ensure that the new infrastructure is developed and used in a responsible and optimal manner.

Shaping the future of the CCG is a collaborative effort, and the Fleet Sustainability Initiative serves as a hub, with involvement from all sectors and regions, to ensure there are plans in place to efficiently operate and support the new fleet. It will support the CCG for years to come by helping it maintain a line-of-sight on the transition to the new fleet, monitor and adjust funding, and keep pace with developments that support climate resilient programs, services, and operations.

Objective 3: Advance climate adaptation and mitigation activities through innovation and partnerships to increase climate resilience and to meet greening government targets

As an organization that operates largely in coastal regions, the CCG is experiencing increasingly severe impacts to personnel and overall program delivery due to the environmental impacts caused by climate change. Whether in the form of extreme storms, changes in Arctic sea ice, coastal erosion, flooding, or wildfires, climate change has become a major challenge for the CCG to tackle. The CCG must adapt to those impacts by adjusting its program service delivery while also reducing its contribution to national greenhouse gas emissions and putting measures in place to protect the marine environment and marine life.

The CCG recognizes that decarbonization is an essential step towards meeting federal and international climate commitments. While some operations are extremely energy intensive, such as icebreaking, the CCG will endeavour to take advantage of novel technologies and innovations to reduce emissions, both on shore and on water. The CCG is already working on decarbonization solutions, such as trialling low-carbon fuels and implementing more environmentally sound operational practices.

To adapt to climate change, the CCG is evolving the way it operates to meet the call for support and continue to deliver on its mandate. Even with significant emissions reductions, many climate change impacts will worsen into the future, and the CCG must be prepared to continue operations in challenging environments. The CCG is actively planning for this by identifying the greatest challenges and setting the groundwork for tackling them, through transforming programs and services, training, updating operational procedures, and applying a climate lens to decision-making.


Showcase item: The Canadian Coast Guard advances low-carbon fuel adoption

As part of ongoing efforts to make operations more environmentally friendly, the CCG completed fuel trials involving pure biodiesel to power a vessel and confirmed the viability of using higher concentrations of renewable diesel in the fleet.

Although the CCG had already begun evaluating and analyzing various alternative marine fuels to support decarbonizing operations, previous trials in 2022 were limited to a maximum blend of 20 percent biodiesel. In the fall of 2023, the CCG successfully operated the CCGS Caribou Isle using pure, 100 percent biodiesel. The vessel operated in Ontario and demonstrated routine operational performance without any biofuel-related issues.

Expanding on its commitment to adopt more low-carbon fuels, the CCG is also increasing the use of renewable diesel in the fleet. In summer 2023, the CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier travelled north for its Arctic programs powered by a blend of 30 percent renewable diesel, illustrating the CCG’s commitment to exploring various biofuel alternatives across diverse operational environments. A CCG-funded study by the National Research Council is ongoing to determine the optimal low-carbon fuel blend rates that the CCG could use for maximum operational efficiency and life cycle emission reductions.

With these trials, the CCG is demonstrating that it’s not only feasible to integrate biofuels with existing fuel delivery systems, but also that only minimal vessel modifications are required. The trials also delivered on the promise of significantly reducing life cycle greenhouse gas emissions. Prevailing biodiesel market prices also lead to marginal cost savings when compared to using conventional ultra-low sulphur diesel to operate vessels.

The CCG is the federal leader in the transition to low-carbon fuel, and the first to leverage the Treasury Board’s Low-carbon Fuel Procurement Program, which offsets incremental costs for low-carbon fuels. The fleet consumes approximately 60 million litres of fuel annually, and the CCG is clearly signaling to producers and distributors that it’s committed to low-carbon fuel, and that demand for low-carbon fuels will only grow in the future.

The adoption of low-carbon fuels is pivotal in the CCG’s efforts to mitigate climate change, and the organization is committed to leading by innovating and driving progress on that front. The ongoing trials not only strengthen the CCG’s understanding of alternative fuels, they also position the organization as a key player able to share expertise and foster sustainable practices, and they set a precedent for collaboration across the entire maritime industry.

Objective 4: Ensure that shore-based assets are available, capable, and reliable

The Shore-Based Asset Readiness (SBAR) program is responsible for ensuring that non-fleet assets are available, capable, and reliable to deliver the CCG programs, including the Aids to Navigation and Marine Communications and Traffic Services programs. It manages assets through life cycle investment planning, engineering, acquisition, maintenance, and disposal services.

The CCG’s shore-based and ship-based assets include fixed and floating aids to navigation, aural and radar aids, and long-range marine aids. They also include the electronic communication and navigation systems delivered through a network of radar, microwave dishes, radios, as well as information technology tools relying on more than 300 remote installations. Marine environmental and hazards response physical assets used for spill containment, collection, and storage, bases, and search and rescue stations are also part of the assets managed by the SBAR program.

The CCG is currently assessing its asset management system with the objective to improve asset and maintenance management across the organization and is developing business requirements aligning with stakeholder needs to deliver measurable improvements in asset management. In addition to supporting the optimization of the current asset management approach, this strategic assessment will help clearly define the scope of future projects, so that the CCG can efficiently implement similar management systems in the future.


Strategic pillar 3: Services

Objective 1: Protect the marine environment and mariners by taking on a leadership role in the management of on-water incidents in a multi-partner landscape

The Environmental Response and Vessels of Concern programs were consolidated into one national program called the Marine Environmental and Hazards Response (MEHR) Program. This new program aims to foster the CCG’s leadership role in the national network of marine environmental and hazards responders by maintaining a high degree of preparedness and readiness to respond to marine pollution emergencies, and to mitigate the risks posed by hazardous vessels in Canadian waters. Through the MEHR program, the CCG works with polluters and partners, including Indigenous and coastal communities, provinces and territories, response organizations, and other government departments at all levels to coordinate responses to marine pollution incidents and other hazards posed by vessels.

The Response Branch is responsible for the delivery and continuous improvement of the CCG’s maritime response capability, as well as activities aimed at enhancing operational readiness and the overall efficiency of responses to all-hazard maritime incidents. The Branch engages with key federal, provincial, territorial, and Indigenous partners, as well as with coastal communities and private industry partners, to progress emergency management initiatives and advance improvements to delivery and interoperability.

This year, the CCG will continue to enhance preparedness, readiness, sustain the application of the Incident Command System and the broader incident management structure, conduct outreach and engagement activities with external partners, and provide support to incident response activities and projects across the country.


Objective 2: Ensure program readiness by adapting in an evolving operating context to continue providing services that support economic competitiveness, marine safety and security, and the protection of our oceans

The CCG is mandated to provide programs and services to support the safe, economical, and efficient movement of ships in Canadian waters. To ensure operational readiness in the entirety of its area of responsibility, the CCG needs the right resources at the right place and the right time.

The CCG will continue to support safe and efficient vessel traffic by ensuring program readiness of marine navigation services such as Marine Communications and Traffic Services, Aids to Navigation, Waterways Management, and Icebreaking.

The CCG maintains contribution agreements with CCG Auxiliary organizations, which include 4,000 volunteers who support the readiness of incident response programs. Those auxiliary organizations have access to vessels and training and contribute to the safety of Canadian waters by responding to search and rescue incidents and marine spills.

The CCG is committed to further strengthening program readiness by engaging more Indigenous partners in marine spill response operations. Over this business planning cycle, the CCG will work to identify coastal and Indigenous communities interested in participating in various initiatives related to marine spill response planning and operations, and will develop their capacity to do so.


Objective 3: Advance digitalization across the organization and modernize marine navigation services to increase efficiency of vessel traffic, enhance marine safety, and facilitate data and information sharing with partners and stakeholders

There is a pressing need for Canada to modernize marine navigation services. To conform with the International Maritime Organization requirement for states to implement electronic exchange of documents by 2024, the CCG is committed to help push forward the digitalization and modernization of marine navigation services for Canada, along with key partners such as Transport Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency. Modernization will not only help the ocean economy improve its resilience to external shocks, it will also bolster Canada’s maritime domain awareness and its ability to maintain its sovereignty over the growing economic activity happening in its exclusive economic zone.

This includes advancing initiatives like:

By fulfilling its commitments over the coming years, the CCG will progress towards a state where all marine navigation data will be integrated into a single window, where Canada will meet all international standards and will be internationally recognized as a port of choice.


Strategic pillar 4: Governance

Objective 1: Strengthen national processes, procedures and systems to support decision-making and the efficient and effective delivery of programs and services

The CCG has a strong response duty, and as such fleet and regional front-line personnel often need to take quick action in the field. Having nationally consistent standards, methods, procedures, and systems provides clarity around decision-making, enhances the effectiveness of program and service delivery across the country, and provides a framework that fosters future-looking strategic thinking.

Consistent with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Policy on Results, the CCG has established a governance structure to promote clear accountability. Internal executive boards and subcommittees have been established in line with mandated outcomes to report to the CCG Management Board, which is the highest-level CCG committee, chaired by the Commissioner.

The CCG continues to work with other government departments to deliver on the Oceans Protection Plan renewal and Transmountain Expansion projects and initiatives. There is a requirement to monitor and report on their performance and risks and the CCG works with its partners to ensure this is complete.

The CCG also continues to improve its financial management practices in collaboration with the Chief Financial Officer. This will allow budget management throughout the fiscal year, aligning funding with priorities and making investments in line with long-term strategic goals.


Objective 2: Engage and collaborate with internal and external partners and stakeholders to advance the Canadian Coast Guard’s mandate and Government of Canada priorities

The CCG serves many different groups, organizations, and stakeholders with varied priorities. It collaborates internally and externally with partners and stakeholders through several engagement mechanisms to advance its mandate and Government of Canada priorities.

The National Marine Advisory Board serves as a permanent forum for discussion between the CCG’s Commissioner and Canada’s shipping industry. Discussions are focused on the needs of the marine transportation sector, the CCG’s strategic plans and priorities and the services that the CCG provides.

The Regional Marine Advisory Boards bring together the CCG and industry to discuss issues related to operations, planning, and services in specific regions. The discussions are co-led by Assistant Commissioners and representatives from the industry.

Within Canada, the regulatory framework supporting the marine safety regime is built on domestic and international agreements and commitments. This framework led to the creation of interdepartmental working groups supporting marine safety and security, such as Transport Canada’s Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group and the Northern Interdepartmental Intelligence Working Group, in which the CCG is an active member.

The CCG participates internationally in three regional coast guard fora and one global forum, namely the Arctic Coast Guard Forum, the North Atlantic Coast Guard Forum, and the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum, as well as the Coast Guard Global Summit. These multilateral fora bring together coast guard and maritime organizations from relevant regions to share expertise and best practices in support of a safer and more secure marine environment. The CCG also contributes to other multilateral fora by serving as Canada’s head of delegation to the Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response Working Group of the Arctic Council, where it serves the role of vice-chair until spring 2025.

As Canada is the head of delegation for the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities, the CCG is also the national representative advocating for all matters related to Canada’s aids to navigation, vessel traffic services, and e-navigation systems. The key drivers for CCG’s participation are to establish and strengthen alliances with other nations to advance consistent approaches to marine navigation, and to share best practices in the digitalization of marine navigation services.


Showcase item: Collaborating with our British Royal Navy Partners – Captain Marriott’s experience on HMS Protector

Captain Richard Marriott, Commanding Officer on the CCGS Sir Wilfred Grenfell, has worked for the CCG for 30 years. Prior to working on the Grenfell, he spent a substantial amount of time on the CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier in the Western Arctic, where he gained significant ice experience.

In early 2023, Captain Marriott spent six weeks onboard the Royal Navy’s ice patrol ship HMS Protector in the waters of Antarctica. As part of a memorandum of understanding between the CCG and the Royal Navy, he provided British allies with polar water ship operations expertise and mentorship. Although navigators from the Royal Navy have been on board CCG vessels before, this was the first time a CCG employee was on board a Royal Navy ship to provide training and mentorship in Antarctica.

HMS Protector is an 89-metre Royal Navy ice patrol ship. Its taskings include sovereignty support and surveying. While Captain Marriott was on board, the ship was tasked with supplying UK stations with supplies and aviation fuel, which included Rothera and Port Lockroy, the southernmost post office in the world, on the Antarctic Peninsula.

On board HMS Protector, Captain Marriott provided advice, led training sessions, and answered questions during operations on the bridge. While the ship was in ice, he was stationed with Captain Ingham, his British counterpart, to quickly add input to the bridge resource management decision‑making process. In turn, Captain Marriott benefited from the Royal Navy’s operational knowledge and expertise.

Both the Royal Navy and the CCG saw the partnership as a resounding success and left with tangible recommendations to be implemented in their respective organizations. The Royal Navy would like to continue this exchange and mentorship program, and is considering expanding operations in northern polar waters.

The CCG is extremely proud to be a world leader in polar navigation and icebreaking and is committed to collaborating with international partners to support polar navigation by sharing its expertise. By doing so, it contributes to keeping Arctic waters safe and secure, and to protecting global waters.

Objective 3: Uphold Crown obligations, including Treaty and legislative commitments, to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit in the domain of marine safety

Meaningful relationships, dialogue and collaboration with Indigenous partners are part of the foundation of the CCG work, particularly through national and regional governance structures that promote the ongoing exchange of information and discussion of shared objectives.

The CCG is making progress in supporting self-determination of Indigenous Peoples, improving service delivery, and advancing Reconciliation commitments. It continues to engage and collaborate with First Nation, Inuit, and Métis partners, and increase capacity to support safety and security in coastal waters. The CCG is working with the DFO and with the Department of Justice to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, which enshrines in Canada’s legislative framework the rights for the survival, dignity and well-being of Indigenous Peoples. The CCG is also committed to implementing the Inuit Nunangat Policy, endorsed by the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee, which recognizes the unique priorities and interests of Inuit across the country. This is an important step in strengthening relationships between the CCG and First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.

Consultation and collaboration with Indigenous governments, communities, and organizations is key to ensuring the safety and protection of the marine environment, including addressing concerns raised in relation to proposed major resource and infrastructure projects that will generate more maritime traffic and increase the risks of marine pollution incidents.

In 2024-25, in alignment with the DFO-CCG Reconciliation Strategy, the CCG will continue to build relationships with Indigenous partners and to prioritize actions which increase procurement of Indigenous products and services, recruitment and retention of Indigenous employees, and intercultural awareness and competency for all CCG employees.


Regional Overview

While the CCG plans and sets program policies at a national level to ensure consistency in service delivery, regional fleet and shore-based personnel deliver the CCG’s operational mandate on the ground and on the water. The delivery of programs and services takes into consideration unique regional realities such as relationships with Indigenous Peoples and marine stakeholders, as well as the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, climate, geography, and other regional factors.

Building and maintaining positive, respectful relationships with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis based on recognition of rights and support for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis self-determination is an essential component of work at all levels in the regions. The CCG operates in contexts of significant heritage, social, and ecological value, and Canada is home to ecosystems of great biological richness. The CCG takes a distinctions-based approach to engagement with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis that is guided by regional realities and considerations.

Arctic Region

The CCG’s Arctic Region encompasses all of Inuit Nunangat, the Yukon North Slope, the Northwest Territories, and the marine regions of Hudson Bay and James Bay. With 162,000 km of coastline, the Canadian Arctic represents a challenging operating environment. As CCG’s newest stand-alone region, over 120 dedicated members work to bring services to this unique region.

Domestic and international interest in the Canadian Arctic continues to rise, and the region is home to a young population living in fast growing remote communities. Often the most visible federal presence in the Arctic, the CCG supports and safeguards the expression of Canada’s enduring sovereignty in the region. To strengthen its contribution to the Arctic’s security and prosperity, the CCG continues to improve maritime domain awareness and information sharing with partners to promote marine safety in Canadian Arctic waters.

Increased activity in the Arctic not only impacts marine safety, it also affects wildlife as well as cultural and harvesting practices. The CCG works closely with Inuit, First Nations, Métis, and Northern partners to implement service delivery in a way that considers the realities and needs of Arctic communities. This includes enhancing local incident response capacity for marine environmental response and search and rescue through training, exercising, and small craft certification; leveraging assets from the Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Program and Marine Environmental and Hazards Response Program; and expanding the Arctic Marine Response Station in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

Endorsed by the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee, the Inuit Nunangat-DFO and CCG Arctic Region Committee represents the formal co-governance mechanism between the Department and Inuit. Regional governance frameworks are also being developed with Inuit, First Nations, and Métis governments and organizations to guide collaborative engagement and decision-making on program and service priorities and to provide a platform for effective communication and coordination with Indigenous Peoples throughout the Arctic Region.

Climate change is severely impacting the Arctic, changing northern landscapes and ecosystems. One of the most visible impacts is melting multi-year sea ice, causing ice unpredictability, open waterways, increased vessel traffic, and augmented risks associated with uncharted waters. With remote and culturally sensitive areas becoming accessible due to melting ice, there is a growing demand for the CCG’s programs and services, particularly icebreaking and humanitarian assistance. Changes to weather and conditions on the land are also creating food, housing, and energy security concerns.

Both the DFO and CCG Arctic regions are committed to implementing the Inuit Nunangat Policy, which recognizes Inuit Nunangat as a distinct region and ensures Inuit are considered in federal policies, programs, and services. The DFO and CCG Arctic regions are also developing the Northern Recruitment and Retention Strategy in collaboration with Inuit, First Nations, and Métis partners to address northern employment barriers and ensure hiring obligations under the Nunavut Agreement, Modern Treaties, and Land Claims Agreements are met. The strategy will reflect Northern realities and recommend short, medium, and long-term actions to be implemented.

Atlantic Region

The CCG’s Atlantic Region encompasses the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The region includes over 29,000 km of shoreline, 2.5 million km2 of continental shelf, and 5 million km2 within the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization Regulatory Zone. Over 2,100 committed CCG members support, enable, and deliver the region’s programs and services, which help ensure safe and efficient waterways.

The CCG has a strong presence in the Atlantic Region and has a long history of working with members and leaders from coastal communities and Indigenous governments, communities, and organizations. Community and stakeholder engagement remains a priority and the region participates in many decision-making tables at the regional, national, and international levels, contributing to discussions on topics such as the protection of the marine environment and the safety of life at sea.

The expanse and diversity of the Atlantic Region’s operational area create unique challenges for operations, such as a harsh and remote environment consisting of rocky shoals extending over 30 km out to sea, which can make navigation treacherous, as well as severe weather and sea state conditions. In addition to these challenges, the region faces the complexity of operating in multiple provinces and jurisdictions, while ensuring consistent and uninterrupted services are delivered to a broad scope of clients and partners.

The Atlantic Region plays an important role in fisheries decisions and provides vessels for the delivery of the DFO science programs. The region also plays an important role in the protection of the endangered North Atlantic right whale, and is responsible for the implementation of vessel traffic management measures. Working alongside the Central Region, the Atlantic Region monitors vessel traffic compliance in the Gulf of St. Lawrence’s speed restriction zones set out by Transport Canada.

In recent years, the Atlantic Region has experienced an increasing amount of tropical and post-tropical hurricane and storm activity. As the region continues to deliver its usual services, such as search and rescue and aids to navigation, it must also consider the heightened risks to public safety and infrastructure. Over the last few years, the Atlantic Region has coordinated relief efforts in response to numerous climatic events, including the response to Hurricane Fiona, wildfires, and flooding. The region’s employees are prepared to act quickly to support impacted communities, but more demand for CCG’s services is presenting new challenges to surmount.

Warmer temperatures in the Arctic are also having an impact on the Atlantic Region as melting Arctic ice can move southward into Atlantic Region waters. This is creating a high degree of uncertainty for the icebreaking program, and these increasing pressures emphasize the need for positive client relationships for program service delivery related to ferry services, commercial shipping, and the fishing industry. The Atlantic Region continually works with industry partners to ensure icebreaking needs are prioritized and waterways are accessible.

Central Region

The CCG’s Central Region covers the Great Lakes and their connecting channels, as well as the St. Lawrence River to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes system allows maritime movements impacting one hundred million people in this geographical area who receive goods by sea. It is a vital transportation network for goods traded between North America and more than 59 overseas markets. The region boasts more than 100 active commercial ports and wharves that represent $66.1 billion in total economic activity and 256,858 jobs in Canada and the United States. Central Region has over 1,600 members providing essential services to this critical area, many of whom are bilingual, providing services in both French and English.

The Central Region has a large number of Indigenous communities and organizations throughout Ontario and Quebec. The region is working with these communities and organizations to address a wide range of priorities and concerns related to the CCG’s mandate.

Finding candidates with the skills and qualifications required to work for the CCG is challenging in the Central Region, particularly in a context of labour shortage and high demand for qualified bilingual workers. To overcome this challenge, the region has implemented a plan to attract new talent, support knowledge transfer, and to develop and retain employees.

Climate change impacts on the Central Region include warmer winter temperatures that result in reduced ice formation and an extended navigation season, causing an increasing demand for CCG services. Water levels are fluctuating more than in the past, which poses a significant challenge for ports that support billions of dollars in trade, and increases the pressure on programs maintaining navigable waterways. As part of the federal-provincial agreement of the St. Lawrence Action Plan, the Regional Directorate of Navigational programs co-chairs a committee responsible for ensuring a sustainable use of the waterways, which integrates the climate change component into commercial navigation activities and projects.

In line with the Government of Canada’s efforts towards zero-emission shipping, Canada and the United States are also collaborating to create a green shipping corridor in the Central Region. This corridor would link the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway, promoting the use of low-carbon fuel options and other green shipping technologies along the corridor.

Western Region

The CCG’s Western Region covers a large landmass including the four western provinces and part of the Yukon Territory, including 27,000 km of rugged coastline. The climate allows for a consistently high volume of marine activity and vessel traffic, as there is not a significant change in on-water seasonality, and sea ice is non-existent. The CCG has international search and rescue obligations in a zone stretching out to the mid‑Pacific. Over 1,400 members in the Western Region are dedicated to implementing CCG programs and services.

In response to the high volume of on-water activity throughout the year, the Western Region has developed enhanced marine domain awareness to better anticipate, prepare, and respond to emerging hazards. In 2023, through the Compliance and Enforcement program, the region issued the first-ever administrative monetary penalty under the Wrecked, Abandoned and Hazardous Vessels Act in response to a hazardous vessel.

The CCG’s fleet plays an important role in the Western Region by providing platforms to support DFO’s science programs, some of which are related to the protection of the iconic Pacific salmon. A first-of-its-kind marine mammal desk was also established at the Victoria Marine Communications and Traffic Services centre to assist in the protection of the Southern Resident killer whale and other aquatic mammals.

The Western Region works closely with Indigenous and other coastal communities as partners in the marine safety system. The Western Region operates in a highly complex environment, reflecting multiple overlapping traditional territories and a large number of modern treaty and self-government agreements. The region’s planning, training, and engagement efforts with Indigenous communities have been instrumental in achieving positive outcomes during marine incidents.

Proponents are planning or implementing numerous major projects in the region, including the expansion of existing port facilities, as well as resource and infrastructure projects in the energy sector, which could significantly increase shipping on the West Coast in the next decade. The CCG continues to work with provincial and Indigenous partners to assess the potential impacts of these major resource projects.

One of the Western Region’s priorities is its people. Significant efforts are being put into attracting and retaining a diverse workforce in a very competitive environment with a high cost of living.

Climate change is impacting the Western Region with increasing occurrences of natural disasters such as wildfires and flooding, with provincial and municipal partners calling on the CCG for assistance to respond to these events. Since 2022, the region has provided assistance in suppressing wildfires by supporting the management, operations, and administrative activities of the incident command posts, by providing a maritime staging facility for firefighting equipment and helicopters, and by assisting restricted remote coastal communities. Similar demands for the CCG’s support are expected to continue in the future as the impacts of climate change intensify.

Annex A – Canadian Coast Guard commitments

Table 1: Commitments to address Strategic pillar 1: People

Table 1a: Objective 1: Attract a diverse workforce to deliver programs and operate the future fleet
Commitment OPI Due date
Conduct a second national advertising campaign targeting at-risk positions in both fleet and programs, leading to the creation of a national inventory for at-risk positions. DG, Operational Personnel Q4 2024-25
Collaborate with key marine stakeholder organizations to expand and improve outreach and attraction activities. DG, Operational Personnel Q4 2024-25
Increase awareness of the importance and value of Canada’s marine industry among youth. DG, Operational Personnel Q4 2024-25
Examine the barriers to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis enrolment at the Canadian Coast Guard College, including policies and protocols, and explore support systems that can increase retention of Indigenous employees. DG, Operational Personnel Q4 2024-25
Develop bridging programs to support the attraction of underrepresented groups into the Canadian Coast Guard College. DG, Operational Personnel Q4 2024-25
Increase focus of regional attraction initiatives in marine engineering, specifically in French. DG, Operational Personnel Q4 2024-25
Lead the development of the DFO-CCG Northern Recruitment and Retention Strategy, in collaboration with Inuit, First Nations, and Métis peoples, to identify barriers and propose actions to improve northern employment. AC, Arctic Region Q2 2024-25
Table 1b: Objective 2: Train and develop a skilled workforce that is adaptive to new and evolving demands
Commitment OPI Due date
Expand the Canadian Coast Guard College’s course accessibility through the implementation of OnCourse onboard vessels and via the regional learning centres. DG, Operational Personnel Q2 2024-25
Develop and deliver new courses specialized in fleet training. DG, Operational Personnel Q4 2024-25
Implement a yearly training schedule and increase the number of Marine Communications and Traffic Services course offerings at the Canadian Coast Guard College. DG, Operational Personnel Q4 2024-25
Initiate the construction of a firefighting school and the course development of Marine Emergency Duties at the Canadian Coast Guard College. DG, Operational Personnel Q2 2024-25
Improve the efficiency of operational training delivery for the Canadian Coast Guard programs and the fleet by implementing the National Operational Training Plan. DG, Operational Personnel Q4 2024-25
Implement the initial fleet service entry training model developed in Western Region nationally. DG, Operational Personnel Q4 2024-25
Implement an efficient and comprehensive training program for the designation of compliance and enforcement officials under the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act. DG, Operational Personnel
DG, Response
Q4 2024-25
Develop new competency profiles for marine environmental and hazardous response personnel, search mission coordinators, and search mission assistants, followed by updated training to ensure occupational safety of responders. DG, Response Q4 2024-25
Table 1c: Objective 3: Retain personnel by prioritizing career growth, safety, health and wellness, and employee engagement
Commitment OPI Due date
Review the effectiveness of the Western Region psychological support services of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre pilot project, and identify a proposal for national mental health support services across all Joint Rescue Coordination Centres and Maritime Rescue Sub-Centres. DG, Response Q4 2024-25
Refine the Canadian Coast Guard’s peer support program to better respond to operational personnel needs, pursuant to the departmental Mental Health Strategy. DG, Operational Personnel Q4 2024-25
Continue to implement initiatives supporting the four pillars of the Canadian Coast Guard’s physical health program for operational personnel: fitness, nutrition, injury prevention, and fatigue management. DG, Operational Personnel Q4 2024-25
Advance the Canadian Coast Guard’s Talent Management program, guided by Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Talent Management Framework. DG, Operational Personnel Q4 2024-25
Offer certification courses as per the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers to support career progression. DG, Operational Personnel Q4 2024-25
Finalize all modules for the Command course and deliver modules as they become available. DG, Operational Personnel Q4 2024-25
Develop a reorientation policy for officer cadets who decide to leave the four-year officer training program, but wish to remain with the Canadian Coast Guard. DG, Operational Personnel Q4 2024-25
Update the Canadian Coast Guard Technical Training, Scholarships and Correspondence Courses to reflect the current procedures on the establishment and administration of training and scholarships for seagoing personnel. DG, Operational Personnel Q3 2024-25

Table 2: Commitments to address Strategic pillar 2: Assets

Table 2a: Objective 1: Advance fleet renewal while maintaining operational capacity to deliver programs and meet levels of service
Commitment OPI Due date
Advance work on the search and rescue lifeboat project by delivering two new lifeboats. DG, VP Q4 2024-25
Launch the new offshore oceanographic science vessel. DG, VP Q4 2024-25
Advance work on the mid-shore multi-mission vessels project by completing the concept design work. DG, VP Q4 2024-25
Advance work on the polar icebreaker project by awarding the ancillary contract to Chantier Davie. DG, VP Q4 2024-25
Advance the arctic and offshore patrol vessel project by cutting steel on the second Canadian Coast Guard variant at Irving Shipyard. DG, VP Q4 2024-25
Advance work on the polar icebreaker project by awarding the build contract to Vancouver Shipyards. DG, VP Q4 2024-25
Modernize the air support organization in response to the rapidly changing pace of operations and fleet operational readiness, including the Canadian Coast Guard vessel flight decks certification, training, equipment, and personal protection equipment. DG, FMS Q4 2024-25
Complete work on the vessel life extension of the CCGS George R. Pearkes. DG, ITS Q3 2024-25
Continue work on the vessel life extension of the CCGS Griffon. DG, ITS Q2 2025-26
Complete work on the vessel life extension of the CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier (phase 3). DG, ITS Q1 2024-25
Continue work on the vessel life extension of the 47’ motor lifeboat class. DG, ITS Q4 2024-25
Continue work on the vessel life extension of the CCGS Terry Fox. DG, ITS Q4 2024-25
Complete work on the vessel life extension of the CCGS Martha L. Black. DG, ITS Q2 2024-25
Complete work on the vessel life extension of the CCGS Tanu. DG, ITS Q2 2024-25
Complete work on the vessel life extension phase 1 of the CCGS Eckaloo. DG, ITS Q1 2024-25
Complete work on the vessel life extension of the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent (phase 3). DG, ITS Q1 2024-25
Continue work on the modification to CCGS Judy LaMarsh. DG, ITS Q4 2024-25
Table 2b: Objective 2: Prepare for the operationalization and life cycle management of the new fleet, including identifying infrastructure requirements
Commitment OPI Due date
Implement the required changes to the updated Marine Personnel Regulations by providing tactical and strategic guidance and oversight related to all aspects of the Canadian Coast Guard’s crewing, exemptions, fleet safety manual, regulatory requirements, and Canadian Coast Guard seagoing competency for the current and new vessel fleet using a three-year phased approach. DG, FMS Q4 2024-25
Analyze the infrastructure requirements to support the future fleet. FSI Q2 2024-25
Develop operational requirements for the procurement of long-range and long-endurance drones for vessel and land-based deployment in all Canadian Coast Guard regions. DG, FMS Q2 2024-25
Develop and implement operational program policy and procedural standards for the use of large drone systems across Canadian Coast Guard programs. DG, FMS Q4 2024-25
Table 2c: Objective 3: Advance climate adaptation and mitigation activities through innovation and partnerships to increase climate resilience and to meet greening government targets
Commitment OPI Due date
Launch the implementation of the Canadian Coast Guard Roadmap to Climate Change Resilience with prioritized adaptation and mitigation key actions aligning with the Greening Government Strategy and the National Adaptation Strategy. DG, PEP Q2 2024-25
Finalize the Canadian Coast Guard’s Operational Fleet Decarbonization Plan outlining the immediate and tangible life cycle emission reductions through the use of low-carbon fuels and collaboration on the next generation of innovation for zero-emission vessels and future service delivery. DG, FMS Q4 2024-25
Conduct sound range tests to establish a baseline of the fleet’s underwater radiated noise profile and identify mitigation measures to reduce radiated noise. DG, FMS Q4 2024-25
Table 2d: Objective 4: Ensure that shore-based assets are available, capable, and reliable
Commitment OPI Due date
Identify ongoing system requirements to support asset and inventory management on shore and at sea. DG, ITS Q1 2024-25
Implement the management action plan for the internal control review on inventory management. DG, ITS Q4 2024-25
In collaboration with community representatives, continue to renew 29 pollution response equipment caches in the Arctic. DG, Response Q4 2024-25

Table 3: Commitments to address Strategic pillar 3: Services

Table 3a: Objective 1: Protect the marine environment and mariners by taking on a leadership role in the management of on-water incidents in a multi-partner landscape
Commitment OPI Due date
Continue the multi-year planning process in collaboration with Transport Canada to address wrecked, abandoned and hazardous vessels in anticipation of the Vessel Remediation Fund. DG, Response Q4 2024-25
Develop and implement a multi-year national exercise prioritization process to enable program efficiency and enhance preparedness for emergencies and incidents of all-hazards, informed by advancing emergency management planning and threat-risks assessment activities. DG, Response Q4 2024-25
Implement a modernized emergency management structure that includes an emergency coordination centre to provide off-site support to Canadian Coast Guard incident commanders on scene, and enable coordination with partners. DG, Response Q4 2024-25
Table 3b: Objective 2: Ensure program readiness by adapting in an evolving operating context to continue providing services that support economic competitiveness, marine safety and security, and the protection of our oceans
Commitment OPI Due date
Increase core funding to the Canadian Coast Guard auxiliaries to sustain and grow their operations to provide on-water response capacity in remote areas. DG, Response Q4 2024-25
Continue to engage with Indigenous and auxiliary partners to deliver the Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Program. DG, Response Q4 2024-25
Continue to implement the Risk Analysis of Maritime Search and Rescue Delivery reviews nationally, and continue seasonal data validation at Canadian Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Centres. DG, Response Q4 2024-25
Identify coastal and Indigenous communities interested in developing capacity around marine spill response, and work with those communities to build capacity while developing the groundwork for meaningful inclusion of coastal and Indigenous responders in Canada’s spill response regime. DG, Response Q4 2024-25
Table 3c: Objective 3: Advance digitalization across the organization and modernize marine navigation services to increase efficiency of vessel traffic, enhance marine safety, and facilitate data and information sharing with partners and stakeholders
Commitment OPI Due date
Upgrade the iFleet and Common Core operational systems to a modernized platform to facilitate data capture and reporting in order to ensure the fleet adapts to evolving requirements that will lead to operational efficiencies. DG, FMS Q4 2024-25
Upgrade the IRIS system to capture near real-time vessel status and maintenance information to maintain operational capabilities and minimize delays in service delivery. DG, FMS Q4 2024-25
Implement e-navigation initiatives to advance the vision to modernize marine navigation programs. DG, FMS Q4 2024-25
Advance digitalization initiatives to support the long-term implementation of a federal integrated maritime single-window approach to increase supply chain efficiencies. DG, FMS Q4 2024-25
Continue to address maritime domain awareness challenges through the refinement of existing tools and the assessment of new capabilities that will improve maritime domain awareness, particularly in the Arctic. DG, FMS Q1 2024-25

Table 4: Commitments to address Strategic pillar 4: Governance

Table 4a: Objective 1: Strengthen national processes, procedures and systems to support decision-making and the efficient and effective delivery of programs and services
Commitment OPI Due date
Strengthen financial management practices in collaboration with the Chief Financial Officer to allow for earlier intervention and reallocation of funding. DG, PEP Q4 2024-25
Oversee and enhance the Oceans Protection Plan and Trans Mountain Expansion initiatives by supporting and coordinating intradepartmental governance to support decision-making and identify, monitor, and report on performance and risks related to horizontal programs. DG, PEP Q4 2024-25
Complete mission standard guidelines for the Marine Environmental and Hazards Response program to guide the makeup and deployment of response systems, including their operating environments, crewing requirements, and limitations. DG, Response Q3 2024-25
Table 4b: Objective 2: Engage and collaborate with internal and external partners and stakeholders to advance the Canadian Coast Guard’s mandate and Government of Canada priorities
Commitment OPI Due date
Collaborate with national security partners to support Canada’s maritime domain awareness. DG, FMS Q4 2024-25
Participate in interdepartmental Oceans Protection Plan committees at all levels to represent the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and co-develop interdepartmental governance materials. DG, PEP Q4 2024-25
Plan, coordinate, support, and host the 2024 CAN-US Coast Guard Summit at the Canadian Coast Guard College in June 2024. DG, PEP Q2 2024-25
Cultivate and strengthen the Canadian Coast Guard’s leadership role at international fora and domestically by pursuing and influencing key agenda items. DG, PEP Q4 2024-25
Table 4c: Objective 3: Uphold Crown obligations, including Treaty and legislative commitments, to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit in the domain of marine safety
Commitment OPI Due date
Support negotiations of Reconciliation agreements, arrangements, and frameworks which build meaningful and long-term relationships with Indigenous partners to empower communities with resources to develop knowledge, personnel, training and equipment to enable their participation in the marine safety system. DG, PEP Q4 2024-25
Collaborate with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act in the Canadian Coast Guard and align policies, programs, and services to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. DG, PEP Q4 2024-25
Lead development of a DFO-CCG Inuit Nunangat Implementation Plan, in collaboration with Inuit, to guide application in close alignment with the principles of the Inuit Nunangat Policy. AC, Arctic Region Q2 2024-25
Continue engagement with Indigenous communities to co-develop a framework addressing hazardous vessels and to identify and advance potential pilot initiatives. DG, Response Q3 2024-25
Continue and expand community engagement and delivery of training and exercising activities for the Indigenous search and rescue project. DG, Response Q4 2024-25
Continue to work with the Heiltsuk Nation and renew a memorandum of understanding that identifies how the Canadian Coast Guard and the Heiltsuk Marine Emergency Response Team can work as partners in marine emergency preparedness and response. DG, Response Q4 2024-25
Continue to support the Natural Resources Canada-led, whole-of-government approach to Trans Mountain Expansion accommodations by co-developing Indigenous environmental response capacity in communities along the marine shipping corridor. DG, Response Q4 2024-25

Annex B – Canadian Coast Guard risk profile

Risk management is a crucial component of all areas of the CCG’s daily business. Identifying risks allows for informed decision-making related to planning, resource allocation, program management, performance reporting, and priority setting. While it is impossible to avoid all future problems, it is possible to choose which risks can be tolerated, and which risks should be mitigated.

In June 2023, work was undertaken to align the CCG’s risk profile with the DFO’s corporate risk profile. The CCG identified eight distinct risk areas, in addition to the two CCG-led DFO risk areas: Emergency Management and Fleet Assets.

The CCG risk profile is comprised of the following elements:

A CCG risk prioritization exercise was completed and the 10 risks were ranked, along with their associated statements. A weighted calculation method was used to determine the ranking order, where items ranked higher on the scale received higher values, and items ranked lower on the scale received lower values. The top three risk areas for the CCG are:

Table 5: Risk areas, statements, drivers, and controls

Risk area and statement Risk driver Risk control

Operational personnel:

If the CCG is not able to attract, train, and retain operational personnel, then there will be an impact on the CCG’s ability to deliver programs, maintain assets, and meet levels of service.

  • Competition with the private sector, specifically salaries.
  • Regional discrepancies in cost-of-living vs. set salaries by position.
  • Opportunities to work for the CCG are not well known by the general Canadian public.
  • Current structure lacks the flexibility for fulsome training and development opportunities.
  • Global shortage of qualified seagoing personnel.
  • Leverage social media and technology to improve attraction.
  • Promote wellness to foster a healthy, resourced, and agile workforce.
  • Provide employees with appropriate developmental opportunities that will build a qualified pool of personnel for the CCG.
  • Leverage the Personnel Operations Plan to identify requirements and focus efforts.
  • Collect appropriate data to better understand and articulate attraction and retention strategies.
  • Refine the CCG College Training Governance Framework to identify, develop, design and deliver training opportunities.

Shore-based asset replacement:

If the CCG does not ensure that shore-based assets are available, capable and reliable then, there will be an impact on the CCG’s ability to deliver programs and meet levels of service.

  • Procurement processes cause delays in the acquisition of assets.
  • Evolving marine environmental protection and operational requirements will require investments in shore infrastructure renewal.
  • Climate change will affect the life expectancy and resiliency of current assets.
  • New skills will be required for the CCG workforce to remain at the forefront of evolving technology requirements to maintain shore-based assets.
  • Flexible procurement processes for capital assets.
  • Support a life cycle management approach that is driven by asset performance data.
  • Ensure the implementation of the level of service agreements.
  • Ensure qualified and trained personnel are available to maintain assets.
  • Offer upskilling opportunities for the CCG workforce.

Operationalization of future fleet:

If the CCG does not properly plan and prepare for its future fleet, then there will be delays in program delivery, and a lack of crew to operate the new vessels.

  • New infrastructure requirements to meet the specifications of the future fleet.
  • Ongoing marine labour shortages.
  • Insufficient capacity of the CCG College to accept, train and graduate the required number of applicants to meet the future fleet’s requirements.
  • Future requirements for the fleet are continuously evolving due to geopolitical realities, climate change, and other factors.
  • Ensure there is a whole-of-CCG strategy to articulate requirements for the future (Fleet Sustainability Initiative).
  • Leverage the multi-mission capabilities of the vessels and ensure they are deployed strategically to maximize the available fleet.
  • Continue to modernize and adapt the infrastructures in preparation for the future fleet.
  • Launch an outreach and engagement plan to attract the seagoing personnel needed to crew the future fleet.
  • Build capacity to train seagoing personnel for the larger and more complex future vessels.

Digitalization and modernization of existing systems and services:

If the CCG does not modernize marine navigation services and ensure alignment with new international standards, then Canada will not be able to maintain global competitiveness, the marine shipping sector will be negatively impacted, and there could be an increase of marine incidents.

  • Increased shipping calls for modern systems to maximize marine safety.
  • Growing pressures (international/national) to adopt modernized systems and tools to support efficient supply chains and the national economy.
  • Increased expectations for the CCG to decarbonize operations through digitalization of services.
  • Need for modern tools to support monitoring and enforcement of marine protected areas, marine ecosystems, and marine mammals.
  • Advance modernization of marine navigation services, including e-navigation.
  • Implementation of International Maritime Organization deadlines for the transition to digital services, including the International Hydrographic Organization’s S-100 products.
  • Ongoing engagement with industry stakeholders to understand requirements.
  • Ensure qualified and trained personnel are available to operate new digital assets.

Climate resilience and greening operations:

If the CCG does not prioritize climate adaptation and mitigation activities, then the organization will not meet its greening government targets and remain resilient in the face of increasing climate change impacts.

  • Greater pressure and demand on service delivery due to more unpredictable and novel extreme weather conditions.
  • Future budget pressures that may impact the CCG’s ability to operate.
  • Meeting Government of Canada’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.
  • Complying with the Policy on Green Procurement.
  • Availability of reliable and cost-effective supply chain of alternative fuels to decarbonize operations.
  • Limited data regarding current climate vulnerability of CCG assets.
  • Allocate innovation and experimentation funding to ensure small-scale innovation across the organization supports climate resilience activities.
  • Enhance partnerships with other government departments, industry stakeholders, academia, international partners, and others to share lessons learned, and work collaboratively in finding solutions.
  • Develop a roadmap to climate resilience with prioritized adaptation and mitigation strategies aligning with Greening Government commitments.
  • Ensure the development and sustainability of a CCG operational fleet decarbonization plan.


If the CCG does not ensure proper governance is in place, then there will be an impact on decision-making, external relations, employee morale, and the efficient and effective delivery of programs and services.

  • Need to further refine roles and responsibilities within DFO and with other federal partners.
  • Evolving regulatory and policy environment with need for further clarity on authorities of the CCG and partners.
  • Misaligned or ineffective governance structures.
  • Promote continuous improvement by clarifying roles and responsibilities within the CCG, with DFO and with various federal partners.
  • Ensure legislation and regulation that affect the CCG are up to date, seamless, and promote operational agility and safety.
  • Publish and maintain the CCG Governance Framework.
  • Ensure terms of reference for all CCG committees are published and available on the CCG Intranet site.
  • Ensure availability of appropriate data for more informed decision-making.
  • Ensure levels of service reflect the marine environment or needs of service users.

Supporting relations with Indigenous peoples in the domain of marine safety:

If the CCG does not continue to engage respectfully and appropriately with its Indigenous partners, there is a risk of being non-compliant with current legislation and agreements.

  • Noncompliance to Crown obligations such as United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.
  • Implementation of internal and external audit findings.
  • Not considering larger Government of Canada’s drivers such as the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls action plan.
  • Adherence to the Principles of co-development (Department of Justice).
  • Adherence to the Departmental Reconciliation Strategy.
  • Adherence to external and internal Management Action Plans.
  • Support the relationship building with Indigenous partners through the implementation of Oceans Protection Plan initiatives.

Safety management:

If the CCG does not properly implement a safety management system that incorporates Government of Canada regulations, international conventions, and appropriate policies, procedures, systems, guidelines and directives, then there is a risk to the health and safety of employees, the security of assets, the protection of the environment, and the safe delivery of programs and services.

  • Obstacles to providing the necessary training to all CCG employees, including time and resources.
  • Time and effort required to continuously foster a “safety first” culture.
  • Ensure compliance with the Government of Canada regulations and the International Safety Management Code as they relate to certification of employees and assets.
  • Ensure the Safety Management System is maintained on vessels, in stations, and at shore-based sites.
  • Ensure the continued training of employees in order to prevent workplace injuries and accidents.
  • Ensure the development of a corporate safety risk management framework and an associated suite of policies, procedures, systems, directives, and mandatory and optional training to support the CCG obligations under the relevant legislation.
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