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Icebreaker Requirements 2017-2022
5. Industry requirements

Table of Contents

During the NMAB meeting held on January 11, 2016, it was agreed that Coast Guard would work with industry members to renew the Icebreaker Requirements. Industry was asked to appoint representatives who became members of the Icebreaker Requirements Sub-Committee. Two teleconference calls were organized and Regional Advisory Boards were asked to update their icebreaker requirements for consideration in preparing the 2017-2022 Icebreaker Requirements.

On November 10, 2016, on behalf of NMAB, St. Lawrence Economic Development Council (SODES), Shipping Federation of Canada and St. Lawrence Ship Operators submitted comments and recommendations on an icebreaker fleet renewal plan urging the government to address the shortfall in terms of icebreaker availability. An overview of the comments and recommendations are available in Annex C. The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation also sent on April 14, 2016 a letter to the Assistant Commissioner Central and Arctic Region on Seaway Requirements for Icebreaking Services.

The following is a summary of the original requested icebreaker deployment submitted by Industry for Southern Canada and the Arctic.

NMAB (includes Seaway and Artic)

Great Lakes December and March: better positioning of 1 light icebreaker. Two medium icebreakers in April.

Seaway opening March 20 – beginning April: 1 light and 1 ACV

Arctic: medium icebreakers earlier (mid-June instead of end June) and better positions and availability of icebreakers in Hudson Strait in June and July. The following table is reflected in Annex A under the column “Industry Requirements”.

Arctic Marine Advisory Board

Hudson Strait area needs a mix of four heavy and medium icebreakers for the last week of June and first two weeks of July to ensure critical Arctic resupply. These first 3 weeks are critical for resupply and are the busiest time for escort requirements.

St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC)

SLSMC requests 1 icebreaker and ACV support for Montreal and Lac St. Louis prior to opening and, after opening, icebreaking and escort services.

Two icebreakers for Beauharnois Canal and eastern Lake St. Francis: to break ice 1-2 days prior to Seaway opening and western Lake St. Francis prior to, or by, opening day. Ice escorts for heavy ice required. One unit could assist in the upper river and above Eisenhower lock (US) if required.

One icebreaker, support from ACVs and 1 USCG for upper river (Eisenhower lock to Lake Ontario): to open prior to the Montreal-Lake Ontario Seaway opening. Also to assure ice boom deployment/retraction around Power generation authorities.

One icebreaker for Welland Canal and east end of Lake Erie: icebreaking of Welland Canal a few days prior to the opening of the Seaway, port breakout and escort services may be required depending on conditions.

Eastern Ferry Operators

Indicated no changes required to existing service and the mix of assets deployed over the last several years.

Note: Existing icebreaking services support the following provincial ferry operations in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Newfoundland and Labrador

There is a growing demand to extend the current operating season for the Labrador Coast.

Subsequent to October 12, 2017 NMAB Icebreaking Sub-committee meeting, industry submitted changes to their requirements as follows:

Great Lakes

Increased request by 35 days to reflect 2011-2016 requirements.


Requested heavy icebreaker instead of light for Chaleur Bay area during February to April.

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