ARCHIVED - Canadian Coast Guard Business Plan 2010-2013

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Section 4: Regional Perspective

Overview

For more information about our regions, please refer to their websites:

CCG operates in five regions. Each CCG region is led by an Assistant Commissioner, who reports to the Commissioner and is responsible for directing the day-to-day delivery of CCG programs and services in that region. While CCG plans at a national level to ensure consistency in the design and delivery of programs, the regions are responsible for program delivery.

While all five regions deliver the core CCG programs, the focus in each region is different, depending on climate, geography, and client needs. For example:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador Region has the largest oil-handling port in Canada and through its rapidly expanding and lucrative offshore oil industry, millions of tons of potentially polluting cargo and vessel fuel transit the oceans each year. Fishing remains a viable concern while hydroelectric power in Labrador is an emerging high-stake industry. Other developments in Labrador (highway, mining) may place future demands on CCG services.

  • Maritimes Region has the world’s highest tides (Bay of Fundy), the largest fishing industry in Canada and the country’s first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal. Since Chedabucto Bay boasts the second-highest cargo traffic in the country, the vast majority of which is petroleum products, the risk of a major oil spill remains very high.  Unique to the Region is the operation of the Canso Canal by CCG and our responsibility for Sable Island under the Canada Shipping Act.

  • Quebec Region has four of Canada's six main ports located within the it's jurisdiction, and contributes to shipping competitiveness and to economic prosperity by ensuring safe and accessible navigation from the Gulf of  St. Lawrence to Montreal.  Because of the geographical location, the St. Lawrence River is a strategic trade route to the core of the North American continent. The safe movement of vessels in a narrow and meandering channel, such as the St. Lawrence River, poses a considerable challenge in terms of safety and environmental protection.  This is even more evident in regards to the 32 million tonnes of chemicals and petroleum products in transit yearly.   Furthermore, navigation on the St. Lawrence River is difficult because of the following factors:  relatively shallow, significant tidal action, variable currents, unpredictable weather conditions, and the river's 1, 200 kilometres is ice covered from December to April.

  • Central and Arctic Region’s partnership with the United States Coast Guard in the delivery of the icebreaking and aids to navigation programs on the Great Lakes provides the marine industry with a fully integrated, bi-national service. The region also provides support to Eastern Arctic sealift activities for the Government of Nunavut.

  • Pacific Region, with 27,000 kilometres of coastline and 560,000 square kilometres of ocean, attracts approximately 750,000 vessel movements a year. Ensuring the safety of these movements is challenging, as weather can vary dramatically and be very severe along the British Columbia coast.

Key Initiatives

Newfoundland and Labrador

CCG Services on the Labrador Coast

The provincial Department of Transportation and Works recently ran a pilot project to provide passenger ferry service between Blanc Sablon, Quebec (Labrador Straits area) and Corner Brook, Newfoundland, starting in January 2010.  This expansion of service is now scheduled for the full 2010 winter season, barring interference from ice and weather conditions.   

With the Labrador coast opened up, there will also be increased transit to the Canadian Arctic via this route. The Newfoundland and Labrador Region will have to manage the resulting increase in client demands.   CCG’s national Search and Rescue (SAR) Needs Analysis identified the need for SAR resources along the Labrador Coast. The client expectations (provincial government, industry, Labradorians, mariners, and fishers) resulting from the increased transit will be monitored and managed closely by the Newfoundland and Labrador Region.

Maritimes

CCG Base Divestitures

A review of the department’s infrastructure holdings, conducted after the merger of DFO and CCG in 1995, recommended the divestiture of CCG bases in Saint John, New Brunswick and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.  In 2009, the Province of Prince Edward Island expressed interest in purchasing the property where the CCG Charlottetown Base resides in order to develop a hotel and conference centre.

The Dartmouth move into a newly constructed government owned facility at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO), and the Saint John move into a leased property, will occur in 2011. Fiscal year 2010-2011 will be a year of planning and preparation for these significant changes to allow for a smooth transition and to permit planning for improved operational efficiency generated by the co-location of DFO and CCG employees at BIO.  

Official Languages Action Plan

In the Maritimes Region, CCG is responsible for providing programs and services in the three Maritime provinces, including the province of New Brunswick, which is designated as a bilingual province.  Recognizing the unique challenges presented, the region is focussed on enhancing its overall bilingual capacity.  In addition, the region has the oldest CCG population in the country.   Most management level positions in the region are bilingual but the incumbents of feeder groups who aspire to these positions are either not bilingual or are not at the level required. This creates additional challenges and pressures for developmental training. Maritimes Region will focus on providing ongoing maintenance training, renewing its approach to developmental training in second language, continuing to implement and monitor the measures identified in the Official Languages Action Plan developed in 2008, and working closely with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages to ensure our obligations under the Official Languages Act are met. 

Quebec

By fall 2010, we will have completed the final phase of a crisis management training project. This three-day exercise is designed to combine the knowledge and experience of managers and resource persons to create a crisis cell (teams ready to respond in case of an urgent situation). In preparation for the session, participants will receive updates on legislation and regulations pertaining to our activities, as well as theoretical elements related to crisis management, leadership, and communications during a crisis situation.

Of course, this pilot project implies a partial revision of current operating methods. If we incorporate the project into our business culture, it will also call for constant vigilance to maintain the level of preparation required from the managers and partners who will form the crisis cells.

Central and Arctic

In August 2010, Central and Arctic (C&A) Region will participate in an annual sovereignty operation, led by the Department of National Defence, called Operation NANOOK. Operation NANOOK 2010 will be conducted in August 2010 in four areas of the Arctic:  Lancaster Sound, Frobisher Bay, Resolute, and Pond Inlet.  MCTS Iqaluit and the Arctic Regional Operations Centre (Sarnia) will be involved in handling marine radio requests and sovereignty-related traffic. Regional liaison officers will be embedded in Yellowknife as part of the naval taskforce group for the duration of the operation.

Each year, these operations grow in complexity and move farther into the high Canadian Arctic, involving more Canadian Coast Guard assets and staff. This year, increased federal presence and surveillance will span the entire operation. In support of this, CCG C&A will provide a number of staff who will participate for the entire three week operation in all four areas of the Arctic. 

The first part of the operation will be a military exercise with the Canadian Forces, supported by CCGS Henry Larsen. The second part of the operation is centred around a ship-source spill on the beach of Resolute. The regional Environmental Response team will deploy air transportable equipment, stage on-scene management capability, and move training and response personnel into the community for most of August. During the Community day and whole of government exercise, regional management and public affairs staff will be in Resolute to participate.

Pacific

The North Pacific Coast Guard Forum (NPCGF), made up of Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Russia, and the United States, fosters multilateral cooperation in the North Pacific Ocean in areas such as maritime security, maritime domain awareness, the combating of illegal drug trafficking and illegal migration, fisheries enforcement, and combined operations.

CCG leads a multi-departmental Canadian team at the NPCGF. The team includes the Canada Border Services Agency, Fisheries and Oceans, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Transport Canada, whose mandates all reflect the activities of the Forum.

Canada hosted the 11th NPCGF in 2010. CCG Pacific Region was responsible for organizing the Experts Meeting in Victoria, BC, March 22-26, 2010, and is also planning the Summit Meeting in Vancouver, BC, September 13-17, 2010. The former was attended by 87 delegates and included a plenary session translated into five different languages.

By staging these events, CCG will achieve two of its commitments from the International Activities section of the Agency’s 2009-2012 Business Plan. These commitments identified the Assistant Commissioner, Pacific Region, as the lead to host the Experts and Summit Meetings of the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum.