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Canadian Coast Guard

Canadian Coast Guard

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The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) ( - GCC) is the coast guard
Coast guard
A coast guard or coastguard is a national organization responsible for various services at sea. However the term implies widely different responsibilities in different countries, from being a heavily armed military force with customs and security duties to being a volunteer organization tasked with...

 of Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. It is a federal agency responsible for providing maritime search and rescue
Search and rescue
Search and rescue is the search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger.The general field of search and rescue includes many specialty sub-fields, mostly based upon terrain considerations...

 (SAR), aids to navigation
Sea mark
A sea mark, also seamark and navigation mark, is a form of aid to navigation and pilotage aid which identifies the approximate position of a maritime channel, hazard and administrative area to allow boats, ships and seaplanes to navigate safely....

, marine pollution response
Oil spill
An oil spill is the release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment, especially marine areas, due to human activity, and is a form of pollution. The term is mostly used to describe marine oil spills, where oil is released into the ocean or coastal waters...

, marine radio, and icebreaking. Unlike some other coast guards, such as the United States Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

, the CCG is a civilian organisation with no military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 or law enforcement
Law enforcement agency
In North American English, a law enforcement agency is a government agency responsible for the enforcement of the laws.Outside North America, such organizations are called police services. In North America, some of these services are called police while others have other names In North American...

 responsibilities.

The Canadian Coast Guard is headquartered in Ottawa
Ottawa
Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario...

, Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

 and is a Special Operating Agency
Special Operating Agency
A Special Operating Agency is a Canadian government designation given to government organizations that have increased management flexibility in order to improve performance. Objectives include better overall management, improved operational results and greater focus on demand.- External links :*...

 within the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Geographic area of responsibility


CCG's responsibility encompasses Canada's 202080 km (109,114.5 nmi; 125,567 mi) long coastline, the longest of any nation in the world. It operates over an area of ocean and inland waters covering approximately 2.3 million square nautical miles (8 million km2).

Predecessor agencies and formation (1867–1962)



Originally a variety of federal departments and even the navy performed the work which CCG does today. Following Confederation
Canadian Confederation
Canadian Confederation was the process by which the federal Dominion of Canada was formed on July 1, 1867. On that day, three British colonies were formed into four Canadian provinces...

 in 1867, the federal government placed many of the responsibilities for maintaining aids to navigation (primarily lighthouses at the time), marine safety, and search and rescue under the Marine Service of the Department of Marine and Fisheries, with some responsibility for waterways resting with the Canal Branch of the Department of Railways and Canals
Department of Railways and Canals (Canada)
The Department of Railways and Canals is a former department of the Government of Canada. It had responsibility for the construction, operation, and maintenance of federal government-owned railways, as well as the operational responsibility for canals in Canada.The department was created in 1879...

. Lifeboat stations had been established on the east and west coasts as part of the Canadian Lifesaving Service; the station at Sable Island
Sable Island
Sable Island is a small Canadian island situated 300 km southeast of mainland Nova Scotia in the Atlantic Ocean. The island is a year-round home to approximately five people...

 being one of the first in the nation. On the Pacific coast, the service operated the Dominion Lifesaving Trail (now called the West Coast Trail
West Coast Trail
The West Coast Trail is a long backpacking trail following the southwestern edge of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It was built in 1907 to facilitate the rescue of survivors of shipwrecks along the coast, part of the treacherous Graveyard of the Pacific...

) which provided a rural communications route for survivors of shipwrecks on the treacherous Pacific Ocean coast off Vancouver Island.

After the Department of Marine and Fisheries was split into separate departments, the Department of Marine continued to take responsibility for the federal government's coastal protection services. During the inter-war period, the Royal Canadian Navy
Royal Canadian Navy
The history of the Royal Canadian Navy goes back to 1910, when the naval force was created as the Naval Service of Canada and renamed a year later by King George V. The Royal Canadian Navy is one of the three environmental commands of the Canadian Forces...

 also performed similar duties at a time when the navy was wavering on the point of becoming a civilian organization. Laws related to customs and revenue were enforced by the marine division of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. A government reorganization in 1936 saw the Department of Marine and its Marine Service, along with several other government departments and agencies, folded into the new Department of Transport.

Following the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Canada experienced a major expansion in ocean commerce, culminating with the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1958. The shipping industry was changing throughout eastern Canada and required an expanded federal government role in the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

 and the Atlantic coast, as well as an increased presence in the Arctic
Arctic
The Arctic is a region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost...

 and Pacific coasts for sovereignty purposes. The government of Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

 John Diefenbaker
John Diefenbaker
John George Diefenbaker, PC, CH, QC was the 13th Prime Minister of Canada, serving from June 21, 1957, to April 22, 1963...

 decided to consolidate the duties of the Marine Service of the Department of Transport and on January 26, 1962, the Canadian Coast Guard was formed as a subsidiary of DOT. One of the more notable inheritances was the icebreaker
Icebreaker
An icebreaker is a special-purpose ship or boat designed to move and navigate through ice-covered waters. Although the term usually refers to ice-breaking ships, it may also refer to smaller vessels .For a ship to be considered an icebreaker, it requires three traits most...

 Labrador
CCGS Labrador
CCGS Labrador was a Wind-class icebreaker. First commissioned on 08 July 1954 as Her Majesty's Canadian Ship Labrador in the Royal Canadian Navy , Captain O.C.S. "Long Robbie" Robertson, RCN, Commanding...

, transferred from the Royal Canadian Navy
Royal Canadian Navy
The history of the Royal Canadian Navy goes back to 1910, when the naval force was created as the Naval Service of Canada and renamed a year later by King George V. The Royal Canadian Navy is one of the three environmental commands of the Canadian Forces...

.

Expansion years (1962–1990)



A period of expansion followed the creation of CCG between the 1960s and the 1980s. The outdated ships CCG inherited from the Marine Service were scheduled for replacement, along with dozens of new ships for the expanding role of the organization. Built under a complementary national shipbuilding policy which saw the CCG contracts go to Canadian shipyards, the new ships were delivered throughout this "Golden Age" of the organization.

In addition to expanded geographic responsibilities in the Great Lakes, the rise in coastal and ocean shipping ranged from new mining shipments such as Labrador iron ore, to increased cargo handling at the nation's major ports, and Arctic development and sovereignty patrols—all requiring additional ships and aircraft. The federal government also began to develop a series of CCG bases near major ports and shipping routes throughout southern Canada, for example Victoria, BC, Darmouth, NS, and Parry Sound, ON.

The expansion of the CCG fleet required new navigation and engineering officers, as well as crewmembers. To meet the former requirement, in 1965 the Canadian Coast Guard College
Canadian Coast Guard College
The Canadian Coast Guard College is a maritime training college and Canadian Coast Guard facility located in Westmount in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, near Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada....

 (CCGC) opened on the former navy base at Point Edward, Nova Scotia
Point Edward, Nova Scotia
Point Edward is a community in Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Regional Municipality.It is located on the southwest shore of the North West Arm of Sydney Harbour, immediately north of the community of North West Arm, south of Edwardsville and west of Westmount.Point Edward is also the name of a headland...

 on Sydney
Sydney, Nova Scotia
Sydney is a Canadian urban community in the province of Nova Scotia. It is situated on the east coast of Cape Breton Island and is administratively part of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality....

 Harbour, Cape Breton Island
Cape Breton Island
Cape Breton Island is an island on the Atlantic coast of North America. It likely corresponds to the word Breton, the French demonym for Brittany....

. By the late 1970s the college had outgrown the temporary navy facilities and a new campus was opened in the adjacent community of Westmount
Westmount, Nova Scotia
Westmount is a community in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.-Geography:Located on the west bank of the Sydney River at the point where Sydney Harbour begins, Westmount faces Sydney's downtown. Neighbouring communities include Point Edward, Coxheath and Edwardsville...

 in 1981.
During the mid-1980s, the long-standing disagreement between the U.S. and Canada over the legal status of the Northwest Passage came to a head after the USCGC Polar Sea transited the passage in what were asserted by Canada to be Canadian waters and by the U.S. to be international waters. During the period of increased nationalism that followed this event, the Conservative administration of Brian Mulroney
Brian Mulroney
Martin Brian Mulroney, was the 18th Prime Minister of Canada from September 17, 1984, to June 25, 1993 and was leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1983 to 1993. His tenure as Prime Minister was marked by the introduction of major economic reforms, such as the Canada-U.S...

 announced plans to build several enormous icebreakers, the Polar 8
Polar 8
The Polar 8 Project was a Canadian shipbuilding project based upon a class of 167-metre, 101,000-horsepower, diesel-electric powered high endurance icebreakers intended for the Canadian Coast Guard. The project was developed as a means to assert Canada's sovereignty in the Arctic Ocean...

-class which would be used primarily for sovereignty patrols.

However the proposed Polar 8-class was abandoned during the late 1980s as part of general government budget cuts; in their place a program of vessel modernizations was instituted. Additional budget cuts to CCG in the mid-1990s following a change in government saw many of CCG's older vessels built during the 1960s and 1970s retired.

From its formation in 1962 until 1995, CCG was the responsibility of the Department of Transport. Both the department and CCG shared complementary responsibilities related to marine safety, whereby DOT had responsibility for implementing transportation policy, regulations and safety inspections, and CCG was operationally responsible for navigation safety and SAR, among others.

Budget cuts and bureaucratic oversight (1994–2005)


Following the 1994 budget, the federal government announced that it was transferring responsibility for CCG from the Department of Transport to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The reason for placing CCG under DFO was ostensibly to achieve cost savings by amalgamating the two largest civilian vessel fleets within the federal government under a single department. Pundits at the time wryly referred to this arranged shotgun wedding as the 'Department of Fish and Ships'.

Arising out of this arrangement, CCG became ultimately responsible for crewing, operating, and maintaining a larger fleet—both the original CCG fleet before 1995 of dedicated SAR vessels, NAVAID tenders, and multi-purpose icebreakers along with DFO's smaller fleet of scientific research and fisheries enforcement vessels, all without any increase in budget—in fact the overall budget for CCG was decreased after absorbing the DFO patrol and scientific vessels.

There were serious stumbling blocks arising out of this reorganization, namely in the different management practices and differences in organizational culture at DFO, versus DOT. DFO is dedicated to conservation and protection of fish through enforcement whereas CCG's primary focus is marine safety and SAR. There were valid concerns raised within CCG about reluctance on the part of the marine community to ask for assistance from CCG vessels, since CCG was being viewed as aligned with an enforcement department. In the early 2000s, the federal government began to investigate the possibility of remaking CCG as a separate agency, thereby not falling under a specific functional department and allowing more operational independence.

Special operating agency (2005)


In one of several reorganization moves of the federal ministries following the swearing-in of Prime Minister Paul Martin
Paul Martin
Paul Edgar Philippe Martin, PC , also known as Paul Martin, Jr. is a Canadian politician who was the 21st Prime Minister of Canada, as well as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada....

's cabinet on December 12, 2003, several policy/regulatory responsibilities (including boating safety and navigable waters protection) were transferred from CCG back to Transport Canada to provide a single point of contact for issues related to marine safety regulation and security, although CCG maintained an operational role for some of these tasks.

The services offered by CCG under this arrangement include:
  • Icebreaking and Arctic sovereignty protection
  • Search and rescue including the staffing of DND Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centres (JRCC) with CCG professionals trained and designated as maritime SAR co-ordinators per the Canada Shipping Act
  • Environmental response
  • Marine navigation services including aids to navigation: buoy tending, light station keeping, beacon maintenance, publication of Notices to Mariners (NOTMAR) annually and monthly, and Notices to Shipping (NOTSHIP) as well as broadcasting safety Notices to Shipping over marine radio frequencies; and the publication of Radio Aids to Marine Navigation (RAMNav) and the List of Lights, Buoys & Fog Signals (Lights List)
  • Maritime mobile safety services (marine radio communications including electronic aids to navigation systems)
  • Vessel traffic co-ordination services related to vessel movement safety
  • Support to fisheries research (as a platform)
  • Offshore, mid-shore and coastal fisheries enforcement (as a platform)
  • Integrated border-enforcement teams (IBETs) with the RCMP and Canada Border Services Agency
    Canada Border Services Agency
    The Canada Border Services Agency is a federal law enforcement agency that is responsible for border enforcement, immigration enforcement and customs services....

     (as a platform)
  • Marine support to other federal government departments


On April 4, 2005, it was announced by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (Canada)
The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is the Minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet who is responsible for supervising the fishing industry and administrating all navigable waterways in the country...

 that CCG was being designated a "special operating agency"—the largest one in the federal government. Although CCG still falls under the ministerial responsibility of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, it has more autonomy where it is not as tightly integrated within the department.

An example is that now all CCG bases, aids to navigation, vessels, aircraft, and personnel are wholly the responsibility of the Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard, who is also of associate deputy ministerial rank. The commissioner is, in turn, supported by the CCG headquarters which develop a budget for the organization. The arrangement is not unlike the relationship of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police , literally ‘Royal Gendarmerie of Canada’; colloquially known as The Mounties, and internally as ‘The Force’) is the national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal,...

, also headed by a Commissioner, toward that organization's parent department, the Department of Public Safety.

As of 2010 June, Marc Gregoire is the current Commissioner.

The special operating agency reorganization is different from the past under both DOT and DFO where regional directors general for these departments were responsible for CCG operations within their respective regions (where there were problems under DFO that did not occur under DOT). Now all operations of CCG are directed by the commissioner, who reports directly to the Minister of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, through the assistant commissioners for each of the regions. This management and financial flexibility is being enhanced by an increased budget for CCG to acquire new vessels and other assets to assist in its growing role of helping to ensure maritime (i.e. non-naval, non-military) security.

CCG continues to provide vessels and crew for supporting DFO's fisheries science, enforcement, conservation, and protection requirements. The changes resulting in CCG becoming a special operating agency under DFO did not address some of the key concerns raised by an all-party Parliamentary
Parliament of Canada
The Parliament of Canada is the federal legislative branch of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in the national capital, Ottawa. Formally, the body consists of the Canadian monarch—represented by her governor general—the Senate, and the House of Commons, each element having its own officers and...

 committee investigating low morale among CCG employees following the transfer from DOT to DFO and budget cuts since 1995. This committee had recommended that CCG become a separate agency under DOT and that its role be changed to a paramilitary organization involved in maritime security by arming its vessels with deck guns, similar to the United States Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

, and that employees be given peace officer
Peace officer
A law enforcement officer , in North America, is any public-sector employee or agent whose duties involve the enforcement of laws. The phrase can include police officers, prison officers, customs officers, immigration officers, bailiffs, probation officers, parole officers, auxiliary officers, and...

 status for enforcing federal laws on the oceans and Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

. As a compromise, the CCG now partners with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police , literally ‘Royal Gendarmerie of Canada’; colloquially known as The Mounties, and internally as ‘The Force’) is the national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal,...

 (RCMP) and Canada Border Services Agency
Canada Border Services Agency
The Canada Border Services Agency is a federal law enforcement agency that is responsible for border enforcement, immigration enforcement and customs services....

 (CBSA) to create what are known as integrated border-enforcement teams (IBETs), which patrol Canadian waters along the International Boundary.

Fleet modernization (1990–present)


In the 1990s–2000s, CCG modernized part of its SAR fleet after ordering British Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Royal National Lifeboat Institution
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is a charity that saves lives at sea around the coasts of Great Britain, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, as well as on selected inland waterways....

 (RNLI)-designed ARUN-class
Arun class lifeboat
The Arun class lifeboat is a fast all-weather lifeboat designed by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution for service at its stations around the coasts of Great Britain and Ireland. They were operated by the RNLI between 1971 and 2008...

 high-endurance lifeboat cutters for open coastal areas, and the USCG-designed 47-foot Motor Lifeboat
47-foot Motor Lifeboat
The 47-foot MLB is the standard lifeboat of the United States Coast Guard . The 47′ MLB is the successor to the 44′ MLB.The 47' MLB is designed to weather hurricane force winds and heavy seas, capable of surviving winds up to , breaking surf up to 6 m and impacts up to three G's...

 (designated by CCG as the Cape-class
Cape class motor life boat
The Canadian Coast Guard maintains a fleet of Cape-class motor lifeboats, based on a motor lifeboat design used by the United States Coast Guard....

) as medium-endurance lifeboat cutters for the Great Lakes and more sheltered coastal areas. The CCG ordered five 47 feet (14.3 m) motor lifeboats in September 2009, to add to the 31 existing boats. New vessels delivered to the CCG in 2009 included the hovercraft and the near-shore fisheries research vessel .

Several major vessels have undergone extensive refits in recent decades, most notably in place of procuring the Polar 8 class of icebreakers.
In the first decade of the 21st century, CCG announced plans for the Mid Shore Patrol Vessel Project (a class of 9 vessels) as well as a "Polar" class icebreaker - since named - in addition to inshore and offshore fisheries science vessels and a new oceanographic research vessel as part of efforts to modernize the fleet.

Organizational structure



Non-military


Unlike the United States Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

 (USCG), CCG is a civilian, non-paramilitary organisation. The enforcement of laws in Canada's territorial sea is the responsibility of Canada's federal police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police , literally ‘Royal Gendarmerie of Canada’; colloquially known as The Mounties, and internally as ‘The Force’) is the national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal,...

 (RCMP) as all ocean waters in Canada are under federal (not provincial) jurisdiction. Saltwater fisheries enforcement is a specific responsibility of DFO's Fisheries Officers.
Also, unlike the USCG, CCG does not have a "reserve" element. There is a Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary
Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary
The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary or CCGA is a Canada-wide volunteer marine association dedicated to marine search and rescue and the promotion of boating safety, through association with the Canadian Coast Guard under the auspices of Canada's National Search and Rescue Program.-History:Coastal...

 (CCGA) which is a separate non-profit organization composed of some 5,000 civilian volunteers across Canada who support search and rescue activities.

CCG does not have a military-style rank structure; instead, its rank structure roughly approximates that of the civilian merchant marine.

In late October 2010 the Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper
Stephen Joseph Harper is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada and leader of the Conservative Party. Harper became prime minister when his party formed a minority government after the 2006 federal election...

 government tabled a report that recommended that arming Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers should be considered.
Gail Shea
Gail Shea
Gail Shea, PC, MP is a Canadian politician, currently the Member of Parliament for Egmont. She was previously a member of the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island from 2000 to 2007, representing the electoral district of Tignish-DeBlois as a member of the Progressive Conservative Party.As...

, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, presented the government's response to a December 2009 report from the Senate's
Canadian Senate
The Senate of Canada is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the House of Commons, and the monarch . The Senate consists of 105 members appointed by the governor general on the advice of the prime minister...

 Fisheries Committee
Canadian Senate Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans
The Committee on Fisheries and Oceans is a standing committee in the Senate of Canada.- Members :-External links:*...

, entitled “Controlling Canada’s Arctic Waters: Role of the Canadian Coast Guard.”
The Senate Committee's report had also recommended arming Coast Guard vessels in the Arctic.

Randy Boswell, of the Canwest News Service
Canwest News Service
Postmedia News is a national news agency with correspondents in Canada, Europe, and the United States and is part of the Canadian newspaper chain owned by Postmedia Network Inc.-History:...

quoted Michael Byers, an expert on the law of the sea, who used the phrase “quiet authority of a deck-mounted gun”.

Functional departments


CCG's management and organizational structure reflects its non-military nature. The head of CCG is called the "Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard". (The rank of "commissioner" is awarded to the head of the RCMP. However, 'rank' and associated insignia are not viewed in the CCG the same way they are in the RCMP or Royal Canadian Navy).

The CCG agency supports several functional departments as outlined here:
  • Fleet Directorate
  • Maritime Services Directorate
  • Integrated Technical Services Directorate
  • Major Crown Projects Directorate
  • Integrated Business Management Services
  • National Labour Force Renewal Directorate

Operational regions


CCG as a whole is divided into five operational regions:
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Region
  • Maritimes Region
  • Quebec Region
  • Central and Arctic Region
  • Pacific Region

Lighthouses and aids to navigation


CCG operates one of the largest networks of navigational buoys, lighthouses and foghorn
Foghorn
A foghorn or fog signal or fog bell is a device that uses sound to warn vehicles of hazards or boats of the presence of other vehicles in foggy conditions. The term is most often used in relation to marine transport...

s in the world. These facilities assist marine navigation on the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Coastlines as well as selected inland waters.

CCG completed a large-scale program of automation and destaffing which began in 1968 and was largely completed in the 1990s. The result of this program saw the automation of all lighthouses and the removal of light keepers except for a handful of stations in British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick.

Budget cuts and technological changes in the marine shipping industry, such as the increased use of GPS, electronic navigation charts and the Global Maritime Distress Safety System
Global Maritime Distress Safety System
The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System is an internationally agreed-upon set of safety procedures, types of equipment, and communication protocols used to increase safety and make it easier to rescue distressed ships, boats and aircraft....

, has led CCG to undertake several service reviews for aids to navigation in recent decades.

Such reviews have resulted in the further decommissioning of buoys and shore-based light stations as well as a dramatic reduction in the number of foghorns.

Canadian Lightkeepers were notified Sept. 1, 2009 that upper management was once again commencing the de-staffing process. The first round, to be completed before the end of the fiscal year, was to include Trial Island, Entrance Island, Cape Mudge and Dryad Pt. The second round is to include Green Island, Addenbroke, Carmanah Point, Pachena Pt and Chrome Island. The decision was taken without input or consultation from the public or user-groups in spite of the fact that during the last round of de-staffing the public and user-groups spoke vocally against cuts to this service. Once again a large outcry forced the Minister of Fisheries Gail Shea to respond and on Sept.30, 2009 http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/media/statement-declarations/2009/20090930-eng.htm she suspended the de-staffing process pending a review of services lightkeepers provide. It remains to be seen whether this review will be a public process.

The Canadian Coast Guard also produces the Notice to Mariners publication which informs mariners of important navigational safety matters affecting Canadian Waters. This electronic publication is published on a monthly basis and can be downloaded from the Notices to Mariners (NOTMAR) Web site. The information in the Notice to Mariners is formatted to simplify the correction of paper charts and navigational publications.

Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary


The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary
Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary
The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary or CCGA is a Canada-wide volunteer marine association dedicated to marine search and rescue and the promotion of boating safety, through association with the Canadian Coast Guard under the auspices of Canada's National Search and Rescue Program.-History:Coastal...

 (CCGA), formerly the Canadian Marine Rescue Auxiliary (CMRA), is a nonprofit organization of volunteer recreational boaters and commercial fishermen who assist CCG with search and rescue as well as boating safety education. CCGA members who assist in SAR operations have their vessel insurance covered by CCG, as well as any fuel and operating costs associated with a particular tasking.

The CCGA enables the CCG to provide marine SAR coverage in many isolated areas of Canada's coastlines without having to maintain an active base and/or vessels in those areas.

Heritage


The Canadian Coast Guard is the owner of many significant heritage buildings, including the oldest lighthouse in North America, the Sambro Island Lighthouse
Sambro Island Lighthouse
Sambro Island Lighthouse is a landfall lighthouse located at the entrance to Halifax Harbour, Nova Scotia, on an island near the community of Sambro in the Halifax Regional Municipality...

. The Coast Guard has selectively maintained some heritage lighthouses and permitted some alternative use of its historic structures. However many historic buildings have been neglected and the Coast Guard has been accused of ignoring and abandoning even federally recognized buildings. Critics have pointed out that the Canadian Coast Guard has lagged far behind other nations such as the United States in preserving its historic lighthouses. These concerns have led community groups and heritage building advocates to promote the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act in the Canadian Parliament.

Popular culture


Spring 2008 saw the introduction of a weekly Canadian television drama on Global Television that was loosely based on the rescue operations of a fictitious CCG station on the Canadian west coast called "Port Hallet." This show was conceived with the name Search and Rescue but debuted as The Guard and was filmed in and around Squamish
Squamish, British Columbia
Squamish is a community and a district municipality in the Canadian province of British Columbia, located at the north end of Howe Sound on the Sea to Sky Highway...

, British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

. CCG assisted in production by providing operational props such as a motor lifeboat, BO-105 helicopters and a hovercraft along with personnel.

Ranks

  • Seaman
  • Crew Ranks - Logistics
    • Cook
      • Assistant Cooks
      • Waiter
    • Steward
    • Clerk/Storekeeper
  • Crew Ranks - Engine Room
    • Engine Rating/Technician
  • Crew Ranks - Deck
    • Deckhand
    • Twinehand
  • Crew Ranks - Officers
    • Navigation Officer
    • Engineering Officer
    • Logistics Officer
    • Electrical Officer
  • Crew - Command Officer
    • Captain

  • Onshore Ranks
    • Electronics Technologist
    • Engineer
      • Projects Engineer
      • Integrated Technical Service Engineer
    • Marine Communications
      • MCTS Officer
    • Administration
      • finance analyst
      • planner
      • HR analysts
      • Communications specialist
      • IT technicians

  • Senior Command
    • Commissioner
    • Deputy Commissioner
    • Director General Fleet Services
    • Superintendent

Epaulettes


In the military epaulettes are used to represent ranks. In the CCG they represent levels of responsibility and commensurate salary levels.



Branch is denoted by coloured cloth between the gold braid. Deck officers, helicopter pilots, hovercraft pilots and JRCC/MRSC marine SAR co-ordinators do not wear any distinctive cloth.




External links