ARCHIVED - MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR GENERAL, FLEET, CANADIAN COAST GUARD (CCG)

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I am once again very proud to present the Fleet Annual Report for the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG). This report, covering the period from April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010, is our fourth opportunity to explain to Canadians, clients, employees, and interested parties the role, services, and capabilities of the CCG Fleet. In so doing, the report attempts to demonstrate value for money but does not hesitate to address shortcomings, gaps, and risks with a view to improving our services and capabilities. Additional information regarding the CCG Business Plan and CCG Strategic Human Resource Plan is available at www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca.

This year’s report focuses on how safety permeates everything we do to support the Federal Government’s on-water programs and activities. These include maritime Search and Rescue (SAR), support to maritime security, fisheries conservation and protection, icebreaking, aids to navigation, and other on-water activities. Our internal safety and security management system and protocols are crucial to ensuring we perform these activities in a safe manner. Our personnel must be able to quickly and safely adapt to changing circumstances when at sea, especially when carrying out risky but necessary operations.

A CULTURE OF SAFETY

The Canadian Coast Guard Fleet focuses on safety to ensure that it is able to provide the best assistance possible to persons in distress on the water. This is accomplished by making every effort to make safety top of mind with regards to our employees, our operations, and our management practices.

Gary Sidock
Gary B. Sidock
Director General, Fleet
Canadian Coast Guard

Personal Safety – As most CCG operations take place in a risk-based environment, personal safety, including protective equipment, training, procedures, and task hazard analyses are a priority.

Safety of Operations – all vessels operate under codes of rigid safety, personnel, and maintenance management practices.

A “Safety” Organization – as an organization focused on safety, we continuously strive to improve our performance through sound management of incidents, learning from our mistakes, and following all standards as they apply to a safe working environment.

In this way, safety is the prime directive for each of our employees and becomes an operational philosophy for any action undertaken in the often challenging physical environment in which the Fleet operates.

These are dynamic and exciting times for the CCG Fleet. In terms of Fleet Renewal, we continue to make solid progress on the design and construction of those large vessels already funded in previous Federal Budgets (details are in Section 3). In particular the Mid-Shore Patrol Vessel (MSPV) construction program is well in hand with the first of the nine vessels expected for delivery in the fall of 2011. In addition, CCG is entering its final year of the $175 million Economic Action Plan (EAP) with many of the vessel life extensions (VLEs), refits, small vessel and small craft acquisition projects delivered and complete, or on schedule for final completion, by March 31, 2011.

Regarding finances, while we have seen progress in terms of asset replacement, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and CCG, including the Fleet, are still facing financial challenges to its operating budget. With salary budgets frozen, operating efficiency initiatives have been implemented to reduce costs while maintaining a high level of service to clients, even with increased levels of activity and program demands. It is likely this fiscal climate will continue for the short to medium term - possibly the next two to three years - while Government departments and agencies work to restore the fiscal balance that Canadians expect.

Much of the Fleet’s visibility is a result of its high profile on-water operations, although some of this year’s most outstanding successes were achieved through operational preparedness and planning. Two areas of note include our important role in support of enhanced on-water security and safety during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and the Fleet’s very high level of H1N1 and pandemic planning and preparedness during the influenza crisis. I would like to congratulate all those involved in the planning and delivery of the Fleet’s support to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Their dedication was in the best tradition of the Fleet, and CCG as a whole. I would also like to point out that our efforts – both before and during the H1N1 pandemic period – resulted in uninterrupted service, while at the same time ensuring that the health and the protection of our seagoing personnel remained a priority.

During the past year, CCG and the Fleet continued to focus on its human resource challenges. In the case of the Fleet, many highly experienced employees are expected to retire over the next few years. At the same time, more marine personnel will be needed to sail aboard our newly built vessels. Other pressures, such as the requirement for more marine engineers to meet the needs of implementing the Vessel Maintenance Management strategy, as well as the need for project managers of all backgrounds, will further increase the demand for competent marine personnel. Some initiatives are well underway to help address these challenges. These include increased intake of Officer- Cadets at the CCG College beginning with the 2009-2010 freshman class (up to 64 from 48), launching the implementation of the Ship’s Crew Certification Program, enhanced arrangements with provincial nautical schools, and significant progress on recruiting and retention led by the CCG National Labour Force Renewal Group.

CCG and the Fleet have made good progress in a number of important areas this past year, but much remains to be done. Now more than ever, we are committed to ensuring Fleet employees have the resources, equipment, professional development and capabilities they need in order to continue to serve Canadians in the best way possible.

I hope that you will find this edition of the Fleet Annual Report an informative summary of our activities during this past year.

Above all, please remember that every Coastie is a recruiter.

Saluti Primum, Auxilio Semper

Gary B. Sidock,
Director General, Fleet
Canadian Coast Guard

CCGS Cape Cockburn, SAR Lifeboat
CCGS Cape Cockburn, SAR Lifeboat