Integrated Human Resource and Business Plan 2018

Table of Contents

Annex B: Key initiatives by Programs

Marine Navigation

The first crew of the Rankin Inlet Inshore Rescue Boat Station.

Arctic development

The services the Marine Navigation program provides also contribute to the development of the Arctic by transporting goods and supplies to northern communities and by maintaining a visible Canadian marine presence in the North. We are also currently working toward developing Northern Marine Transportation Corridors which will significantly enhance how departmental services, such as charting, navigational systems and environmental response services are delivered in the Arctic.

Working with Indigenous Communities

The Coast Guard is committed to strengthening and building relationships and partnerships with Indigenous communities on marine safety and environmental protection, and increasing the meaningful participation of Indigenous groups in the Oceans Protection Plan (OPP) and Coast Guard’s ongoing programs and services. These efforts will better protect Indigenous and neighbouring coastal communities, strengthen Coast Guard’s overall capacity to deliver marine safety services to all Canadians, advance reconciliation and support other Government of Canada priorities related to Indigenous communities.

Navigational Warnings System and the Four Season Lighted Buoy Initiative

Over the next year, the Marine Navigation program will develop a Navigational Warnings System that will accelerate the creation and issuance of warnings to mariners. Additionally, the Four Season Lighted Buoy initiative, in its final development stages, will deploy 4-season, lighted, severe-ice navigation buoys on the St. Lawrence shipping channel between Quebec City and Montreal. All 197 buoys will be deployed incrementally from 2017-18 to 2020-21.

Environmental response equipment being deployed

Environmental Response (ER) Services

Kitsilano: An Integrated Search and Rescue (SAR) and Environmental Response (ER) Stations.

We will continue to work towards ensuring that the newly reopened Kitsilano Coast Guard Station will include environmental response capacity and training for regional operators, stakeholders and Indigenous communities. The Kitsilano Station is the first model of an integrated SAR and ER base, moving us towards an all-hazard incident response system.

Interdepartmental efforts will be undertaken to develop a legislative and regulatory framework, while operational policies and procedures and scientific studies will support the potential use of alternative response measures.

Oceans Protection Plan (OPP) ER Initiatives and Projects

The Coast Guard will continue to work toward advancing the following OPP initiatives:

Vessels of Concern

Vessels of Concern

The Vessels of Concern program will be the operational arm of the Government of Canada responsible for ensuring an appropriate response to vessels of concern in Canadian waters including the Arctic and the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Canada. This new responsibility will be given to the Coast Guard through development of new legislation called the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act (WAHVA). 

Currently, the Coast Guard is working with TC and Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Small Craft Harbours to develop programming to implement the proposed legislation and other elements of the national strategy, including:

Tailored Response Plans for High-Traffic Areas

The Coast Guard is working with Indigenous and coastal communities, the province of British Columbia, industry, local partners and stakeholders to develop a risk-based regional response planning pilot in Northern British Columbia that takes into account unique regional factors. This pilot will help inform the development of a more collaborative environmental response planning approach for marine spills in regions across Canada.

Emergency Towing

The Coast Guard is working on increasing its emergency towing capacity by placing emergency tow kits on major Coast Guard vessels and in caches across Canada. It will also be leasing 2 emergency offshore towing vessels capable of towing large disabled vessels on the west coast. Moreover, the Coast Guard will be engaging Indigenous communities, industry and stakeholders to complete regional towing needs assessments across Canada to assess gaps in emergency towing and to propose recommendations to mitigate risks.

Search and Rescue Services (SAR)

Coast Guard members operating a rigid-hull inflatable boat

SAR Coordination and Response

In May 2018, the 24/7 Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre (MRSC) in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, was established to provide additional search and rescue capacity in this area. The MRSC St. Johns’ will work closely with the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax to ensure rapid and effective responses to maritime incidents.

Other initiatives will include building 6 additional SAR lifeboat stations: 4 along the West Coast and 2 in Newfoundland and Labrador.

On July 26, 2018, we established a new Inshore Rescue Boat Station at Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. The crews will respond to marine distress calls and provide assistance to mariners in distress or in need of assistance. The station is crewed with 2 returning senior inshore rescue boat post-secondary students and 6 Inuit students who are new to the program.

Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS)

Providing Real-Time Information

Under MCTS, ventures are underway with various stakeholders, including pilotage associations across Canada, to provide pilots and mariners with real-time marine information to improve safety in Canadian waters. The program also helps meet commitments to better co-manage our 3 oceans with Indigenous communities.

Appropriate Staffing Levels

Coast Guard will also provide MCTS Centres with appropriate staff levels to support the oversight of vessel traffic while providing an accurate picture of vessel traffic in Canadian waters to support decision-making with regards to ship safety.

Maritime Security

Resolving Longstanding Information Sharing Issues

The Maritime Security program will work with partners to resolve longstanding authority and information sharing issues within Marine Security Operations Centres (MSOCs). Also, the program will provide support for the review of electronic monitoring and communications capabilities in the Arctic, including critical interdepartmental engagement with partners that leverage Coast Guard’s capacity.

Amendments to the Oceans Act

Over the next year, work will begin to develop options for amendments to the Oceans Act that will provide an explicit mandate to support security organizations. The Coast Guard will need to clarify its maritime security role with other stakeholders while managing the risks associated with operating alongside security and law enforcement partners.

Fleet Operational Capability

Augmenting Towing Capacity

The Coast Guard will augment towing capacity by:

Fleet Procurement

Fleet Renewal, Interim Measures and New Vessels

Coast Guard is updating its Fleet Renewal Plan (FRP), which guides the on-going recapitalization of the fleet to ensure continued program delivery. In consultation with stakeholders, work is underway to plan for the renewal of Coast Guard’s large vessel fleet of icebreakers, multi-tasked vessels and patrol ships, many of which are nearing the end of their operational lives. Coast Guard expects that some aging vessels will not remain in service until new assets are delivered.

As part of the FRP, interim measures, including vessel life extension work, supply arrangements and acquiring or leasing commercial vessels, will continue to be considered to ensure continued service delivery for Canadians. The negotiations towards the lease of existing icebreakers, which began in January 2018, continue to be pursued. If successful, the first of these vessels would be put into service for the 2018-19 icebreaking season.

Through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, Coast Guard expects delivery in 2018-19 of 2 SAR lifeboats as well as 2 Channel Survey and Sounding Vessels. Other projects in the construction and design phase include 3 Offshore Ocean Fisheries Science Vessels (OSFV) and one Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel (OOSV).

The basic design of the Polar Icebreaker is complete; the vessel is sequenced to be built following the OFSVs, the OOSV and Department of National Defense’s Joint Support Ships.

Shore-Based Asset Readiness (SBAR)

Non-Fleet Assets

SBAR ensures that non-fleet assets are available to reliably deliver Coast Guard programs through life cycle investment planning, engineering, acquisition, maintenance and disposal services.

These non-fleet assets include:

New Radar Sites

The Coast Guard will add 11 new radars (6 in British Columbia, 3 in Newfoundland and 2 in Nova Scotia) to address gaps in radar coverage and ensure continuous communication coverage in these areas.

Investing in Green Technology

The Coast Guard will also invest in green technology in its Aids to Navigation Program and MCTS assets by using low-carbon technology and fossil fuel alternatives.

Canadian Coast Guard College (CCGC)

Instructor at the Canadian Coast Guard College

Repositioning Training

Over the next year, the CCGC will manage the admission of cadets and increase client engagement to standardize training. The college will reposition training to support the professional maritime learning needs and certification of Coast Guard personnel.

Modernizing Learning Platforms

The CCGC is examining ways to modernize its learning platforms, increase simulation technology and update instruction techniques. Post-graduate performance effectiveness will be measured by introducing quality assurance into training.


The college will increase recruitment and its training capacity to meet the growing needs of the Coast Guard in the coming years.

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