Integrated Human Resource and Business Plan 2018

Table of Contents


Our identity

Who We Are

The Coast Guard is a nationally recognized and world-leading symbol of maritime service and safety. As Special Operating Agency under the ministerial authority of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and the operator of the federal government’s only civilian fleet, our mission is to contribute to the safety and accessibility of Canada’s oceans and waterways while supporting economic prosperity and government priorities.

The Coast Guard Badge

Our badge was approved by the Queen in 1962 and was created to represent our organization through different symbols. This is what the different elements mean:

  • The Royal Crown indicates that Coast Guard ships are in service of the Queen in Right of Canada.
  • The red maple leaf represents the emblem of Canada.
  • The white symbolizes ice.
The Canadian Coast Guard badge
  • The rope frame with knotted base symbolizes the importance of seamanship, a very important element of life on the water.
  •  The 2 golden dolphins — a long known symbol of friendship to mariners — represent our vessels.
  • The blue symbolizes water.

Mandate

Our mandate derives from the Constitution Act, 1867, which assigned the Parliament of Canada exclusive legislative authority and jurisdiction over matters of navigation and shipping, including beacons and buoys within Canadian territorial waters, as well as all lighthouses and Sable Island. Today, the Oceans Act and the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, assign the Minister of Fisheries Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard overall responsibility to fulfill the Coast Guard’s mandate. These Acts are the foundation of our organization, the root of our traditions and have shaped the identity of our organization over the past 56 years.

Oceans Act

Assigns the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard responsibility for:

  • The maritime component of the federal search and rescue program;
  • Marine pollution response and support to other government departments, boards, and agencies through the provision of ships, helicopters and other marine services; and
  • Services that ensure the safe, economical, and efficient movement of ships within Canadian waters, including Aids to Navigation, Marine Communications and Traffic Management Services, Icebreaking and Ice Management Services and Channel Maintenance.

Canada Shipping Act, 2001

Provides additional powers and more detailed definitions that enable the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to fulfill the Coast Guard’s mandate concerning:

  • Aids to Navigation;
  • Vessel Traffic Services;
  • Marine Search and Rescue; and
  • Marine Pollution Response, including all ship-source, unknown source, and oil handling facilities where a vessel is taking-on or unloading fuel.

What We Do

In a typical day, the Canadian Coast Guard…

Saves 9 lives

Escorts 4 commercial ships through ice during the ice season

Assists 43 people

Carries out 11 fisheries patrols

Coordinates 19 search and rescue incidents

Supports 3 hydrographic missions

Services 55 aids to navigation

Supports 8 scientific surveys

Handles 1,547 marine radio contacts

Deals with 3 reported pollution events

Manages 2,325 commercial ship movements

Surveys 5 kilometers of navigation channel bottom

Coast Guard’s Programs

Aids to Navigation

Aids to navigation on land

The Aids to Navigation program provides aids to navigation systems, services and operational awareness to support safe and accessible navigation in Canadian waters by Canadian and International commercial marine transportation sectors, fishers and pleasure craft operators.

Aids to navigation systems include approximately 17,000 short-range marine aids including visual aids, audible aids, as well as radar and electronic aids; and long-range marine aids.

The program reviews these aids to navigation systems on a cyclical basis to ensure they meet users' needs. This program is delivered in coordination with the Canadian Hydrographic Service; however, Coast Guard's Fleet Operational Capability, Procurement, and Maintenance and Shore-Based Asset Readiness programs are integral to the delivery of this program.

Icebreaking Services

View from a Coast Guard ship during an ice escort (CCGS Henry Larsen)

The Icebreaking Services program provides ice-related information services, operational awareness and icebreaking support to facilitate safe and accessible navigation by Canadian and International commercial marine transportation sectors and fishers through and around ice-covered Canadian waters.

Other activities include escorting ships through ice-covered waters; freeing beset vessels in ice; maintaining open tracks through shore-fast ice; conducting harbour breakouts; providing ice routing advice; and reducing the risk of flooding by monitoring, preventing and breaking up ice jams on the St. Lawrence River.

Icebreaking Services also contributes to Arctic sovereignty by transporting goods/supplies to northern communities, providing support to other government agencies and organizations in ice-infested waters, and being a visible federal government marine presence in the Canadian North.

This program is delivered in coordination with Environment and Climate Change Canada's Ice Information services; however, Coast Guard's Fleet Operational Capability, Procurement and Maintenance programs are integral to the delivery of this program.

Waterways Management

The Waterways Management program provides mariners with services, information and operational awareness that helps ensure safe and accessible waterways in support of economic prosperity.

This is achieved by surveying certain commercial channels to identify the bottom conditions, restrictions or hazards to safe navigation, and providing mariners with marine safety information, including available water depth forecasts in the St. Lawrence and Fraser River, as well as the maintenance and utilization of main commercial channels. In addition, the program provides channel dredging in the Great Lakes U.S./Canada connecting channels, and manages dredging on the St. Lawrence River between Montréal and l’Isle-aux-Coudres, on a cost-recovery basis.

The Waterways Management program also helps sustain navigable channels, reduce marine navigation risks and supports environmental protection to ensure safe and accessible navigation. This program is delivered in coordination with the Canadian Hydrographic Service, Real Property Asset Management Services and with Public Services and Procurement Canada. However, Coast Guard's Fleet Operational Capability, Procurement and Maintenance programs are integral to the delivery of this program.

Environmental Response Services

Coast Guard is the lead federal agency for ensuring an appropriate response to all ship-source and mystery pollution spills in Canadian waters and waters under international agreements.

The Environmental Response (ER) program minimizes the impact of marine pollution incidents on public safety; minimizes the environmental impact of marine pollution incidents; and minimizes the economic impact of marine pollution incidents.

The program also enables the Coast Guard to establish an appropriate and nationally consistent level of preparedness and response services in Canadian waters; manages and investigates reports of marine pollution in conjunction with other federal departments; and maintains communication with our program partners (including Transport Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada) to ensure a consistent and coordinated response to marine pollution incidents.

Through the program, the Coast Guard also works with Indigenous Nations, territories and coastal communities to manage responses to incidents.

For example, the Coast Guard recognizes the risks that abandoned, derelict and wrecked vessels pose to safe navigation, the marine environment, public health and local economies.

This is why a comprehensive national strategy has been developed to address abandoned and wrecked vessels. The strategy focuses on prevention and removal, including the following key measures:

  •  Introducing new legislation, the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act (Bill C-64), to strengthen vessel owner responsibility.
  •  Enhancing commercial vessel and pleasure craft owner identification systems to support enforcement under the new legislation.
  • Creating a national inventory to determine the scope and scale of this problem and developing a risk assessment methodology to prioritize vessels based on the risks they pose.

Search and Rescue Services

View from a Coast Guard rigid hull inflatable boat during a search and rescue exercise

Search and Rescue (SAR) in Canada consists of a range of programs and services that are designed to save lives, to assist people in distress and to prevent future incidents from occurring.

The Coast Guard is the federal lead for maritime SAR in Canada in partnership with the Department of National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces and over 4,000 members of the volunteer-based Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (CCGA).

Continued support to our CCGA partners is provided through 6 regional contribution agreements which were last renewed in March 2018 for a five-year period. Moreover, Coast Guard provides contribution funding under the CCGA program to 5 federally incorporated not-for-profit regional volunteer-based Auxiliary organizations.

The Coast Guard provides SAR services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to mariners in Canadian oceanic and coastal waters, the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Great Lakes and other inland waters. The Coast Guard also works with Indigenous communities to manage responses to SAR incidents.

Marine Communications and Traffic Services

The Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) program provides a reliable communication system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year facilitating the safe and efficient navigation of vessels in Canadian waterways.

MCTS distributes marine information to mariners improving mariner safety and the protection of the Canadian marine environment.

Maritime Security

The Maritime Security program supports the work of federal departments and agencies with maritime and national security mandates, including DFO, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Public Safety Canada (PSC) and Transport Canada (TC) by sharing maritime expertise and information and lending vessel support.

Fleet Operational Capability

The Fleet Operational Capability program includes fleet operations, fleet management and the staffing of fleet personnel. The program ensures that certified professionals safely operate vessels, air cushion vehicles, helicopters, and small crafts and are ready to respond to on-water and marine-related needs.

The program is guided by a number of international conventions and domestic marine-related regulations such as the International Safety Management Code, the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, and the International Labour Code (applicable to Seafarers). The Canadian Coast Guard College is integral to the delivery of this program.

Fleet Maintenance

The Fleet Maintenance program ensures that Coast Guard’s vessels, air cushioned vehicles, helicopters and small crafts are available and reliable for the delivery of Canadian Coast Guard programs. The program also ensures the availability and reliability of these assets through life cycle investment planning, engineering, maintenance, and disposal services.

Activities associated with Fleet Maintenance are guided by a number of international and national trade agreements, legal instruments such as the Financial Administration Act and Government Contract Regulations, as well as policies, directives, and guidelines provided by Treasury Board, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS), Industry Canada (IC) and Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC). The Canadian Coast Guard College is essential to the delivery of this program.

Fleet Procurement

Mock-up of a newly-designed multi-hulled Canadian Coast Guard ship

The Fleet Procurement program is responsible for the management of the design and construction of new large and small vessels, air cushioned vehicles, helicopters, and small crafts to support the operational requirements identified in the Fleet Renewal Plan and the Integrated Investment Plan.

The program provides project management support to ensure effective and efficient project integration, scope, time, cost, quality, human resources, communications, risk, and procurement. Activities associated with Fleet Procurement are guided by a number of international and national trade agreements; legal instruments such as the Financial Administration Act and Government Contract Regulations, as well as policies, directives, and guidelines provided by TB, IC and PSPC.

Shore-Based Asset Readiness

The Shore-Based Asset Readiness program ensures that the non-fleet assets are available and reliable to deliver Coast Guard programs.

These non-fleet assets include both fixed and floating aids, such as visual aids (e.g. buoys), aural aids (e.g., fog horns), radar aids (e.g., reflectors and beacons), and long-range marine aids, such as the Differential Global Positioning System as well as electronic communication and navigation systems and over 300 radio towers.

The Shore-Based Asset Readiness program ensures the availability and reliability of these assets through life cycle investment planning, engineering, acquisition, maintenance, and disposal services. The Canadian Coast Guard College is an important contributor to the delivery of this program.

Canadian Coast Guard College

The Coast Guard College is a national, bilingual, degree-conferring training institution which educates the marine professionals needed to deliver programs in support of our mission and mandate in marine safety, security and environmental protection. The 4-year Officer Training program is one of the best marine training programs in the world, producing both Marine Engineering and Marine Navigation Officers.

Where we Operate

The largest coastline in the world

The Canadian Coast Guard operates along 3 oceans, the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River and other inland waterways. Our total maritime area of responsibility is nearly 5.3 million square kilometers including 240,000 kilometers of coastline, the longest of any country in the world.

Map of the Canadian Coast Guard Regions: Western, Central and Arctic, National Headquarters,
Atlantic and the Canadian Coast Guard College
Date modified: