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Report on Plans and Priorities 2015-16

Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome #3 – Safe and Secure Waters

Description

Fisheries and Oceans Canada contributes to maintaining and improving maritime safety and security through the provision of maritime infrastructure, information, products, and services necessary to ensure safe navigation and the protection of life and property.

What are the Department's goals?

Fisheries and Oceans Canada's primary goal is to maintain and improve maritime safety and security by ensuring safe navigation throughout Canadian waters. In doing so, the Department also seeks to balance the demand for safe navigation with the responsibilities of providing responsible environmental stewardship and contributing to Canada’s Northern sovereignty.

Why do these goals matter to Canadians?

Fisheries and Oceans Canada's safety services help reduce the risk of on-water incidents while providing a level of predictability to maritime shipping in Canada. Billions of dollars of domestic and international goods are effectively and efficiently transported in Canadian waters because these safety services are reliable and predictable.

The potential for economic growth in the Arctic is enormous, and the North has both strategic and emotional importance to Canada and Canadians. Frequently the only federal presence in many areas of the Arctic, the Department is often relied upon to support other departments and agencies by providing services to protect the marine environment, enable commerce, or support security and law enforcement activities.

How does the Department achieve these goals?

To ensure safe navigation in Canadian waterways, the Department provides official nautical products and services meeting domestic and international standards. Additionally, the Department provides the modelling of ocean conditions, including tides and currents, allowing for forecasts that aid navigational decision-making and the protection of the coastal zone from natural hazards. Hydrographic and oceanographic information are also used in non-navigational applications relating to marine services and development such as shoreline engineering, search and rescue, and off-shore energy source development.

Through the Canadian Coast Guard, Fisheries and Oceans Canada provides vessels, air cushion vehicles, helicopters, and small craft as well as experienced crews that are ready 24/7 to respond to on-water and maritime related incidents and in support of Government of Canada programs and priorities. Renewing the Canadian Coast Guard fleet is an integral part of maintaining Canada’s maritime presence and services; the recent federal investment in this initiative will provide direct economic benefits to the shipbuilding and repair industries in Canada.

The Canadian Coast Guard is responsible for leading the maritime component of the federal Search and Rescue system and works with the Department of National Defence in the Joint Rescue Coordination Centres to provide maritime search and rescue services. The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, a volunteer organization whose members support search and rescue efforts, assists the Department in this area.

Similarly, with Marine Communications and Traffic Services centres strategically located across Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard delivers timely information and assistance to vessels, provides distress and safety communications and coordination, and screens vessels in order to prevent the entry of unsafe vessels into Canadian waters. It also maintains a significant portfolio of shore-based assets that support marine navigational systems throughout Canadian waters.

The Department also contributes to maritime security by providing Coast Guard vessels, maritime expertise, and systems for monitoring vessel traffic. An example is the provision of vessels and crew to support the joint Royal Canadian Mounted Police/Canadian Coast Guard Marine Security Enforcement Team program on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. Similarly, departmental personnel in Canada’s Marine Security Operations Centres access information systems and use their expertise to help identify and assess potential threats on Canada’s waters.

The Safe and Secure Waters Strategic Outcome is delivered through eight programs and five sub-programs as indicated in the Program Alignment Architecture: