The Canadian Coast Guard’s small vessel fleet, instrumental in navigating shallow coastal waters and inland lakes where large ships are unable to venture, will receive a significant funding boost. This investment will facilitate the full revamp of the Coast Guard’s small vessels.
The funds will allow for the acquisition of:
- Six Mid-shore Multi-Mission Vessels;
- One Near-Shore Fishery Research Vessel;
- 16 Specialty Vessels that include Two Special NavAids Vessels, Four Special Shallow Draft Buoy Tenders, Four Inshore Science Vessels, Four Special Enforcement Vessels, and Two Lake Class Vessels;
- Four Air Cushion Vehicles;
- 34 Cape Class Search and Rescue Lifeboats.
Besides search and rescue services, these small vessels offer aid to disabled ships and support navigational aid programs.
The small vessel procurement will provide opportunities for local shipyards and suppliers, boosting Canada’s economy, the government highlighted. The National Shipbuilding Strategy contracts are believed to have injected approximately $21.26 billion ($1.93 billion annually) into Canada’s GDP, and sustained over 18,000 jobs each year from 2012 to 2022.
So far, 16 small vessels have been procured under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, including 14 Search and Rescue lifeboats and two Channel Survey and Sounding Vessels, delivered to Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard.
Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, emphasized the critical importance of this investment in modernizing the small vessel fleet and ensuring the Coast Guard is well-equipped to protect Canada’s waterways and citizens. She also noted the investment would generate good-paying jobs nationwide.
Helena Jaczek, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, further affirmed the commitment to equipping the Canadian Coast Guard through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, highlighting its significant economic impacts and potential to drive growth in Canada’s marine industry.