Press release from the Canadian Coast Guard
December 2, 2019
Montreal, Quebec — The Canadian Coast Guard’s 2019 Arctic operational season is complete, with the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent being the last vessel to leave northern waters on November 16, 2019. A total of seven icebreakers were deployed to the Arctic this year, including a maiden voyage to the North by the latest addition to the Coast Guard’s icebreaking fleet, CCGS Captain Molly Kool.
Each year, the Coast Guard provides safe escorts to ships through ice-covered waters, responds to incidents such as search and rescue and environmental response , and supports overall operational and program commitments. During this season, environmental response programs received, investigated, and managed 17 marine incident reports.
As of November 27, 2019, the Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) Centre in Iqaluit provided support for 191 vessels in the Northern Canada Vessel Traffic Services Zone (NORDREG). These vessels include, cargo ships, cruise ships, research vessels, bulk carriers, fishing vessels, pleasure crafts and Canadian Coast Guard ships. This year, 27 vessels made full transits of the Northwest Passage as of November 27, 2019. The support provided by the MCTS Centre is key to keeping our waters safe, and our economy moving.
The MCTS Centre will continue to serve Arctic mariners until December 20, 2019, and will reopen in May 2020. During the seasonal closure, Arctic vessel traffic and NORDREG desk operations are managed by the MCTS Centre in Prescott, Ontario, providing efficient year-round support of all Arctic marine traffic.
The Canadian Coast Guard’s Arctic operations will resume again in May 2020.
As of November 27, 2019 our Arctic Operations logged the following:
- 51 commercial escorts
- 5 helo-based ice reconnaissance missions
- 1 commercial harbour breakout
“Every year, the dedicated, experienced women and men of the Canadian Coast Guard work to provide critical services to the North. Our Government is committed to continuing to work with Indigenous communities and other partners in the Arctic to keep mariners safe, to protect our coasts and waters, to support the livelihood of northern communities, and to keep our economy moving.”
The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
- Coast Guard icebreakers participated in 13 community visits, including Grise Fiord, Arctic Bay, and Cambridge Bay, NU.
- For the fourth year in a row, the CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier delivered over 100 bicycles and helmets to Cambridge Bay, NU, in partnership with the Polar Bike Project.
- Community boats were delivered to Cambridge Bay and Gjoa Haven, NU, and and Tuktoyaktuk, NWT, to enable the local community to be better positioned to respond to SAR incidents off their coastlines.
- Under search and rescue programs, the Arctic Community Engagement and Exercise Team (ACEET) visited 22 communities to engage with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and to discuss the introduction of the Auxiliary program in communities without one.
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans
and the Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Date of publication: 2 Dec 2019
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