Language selection


Canadian Coast Guard overview and programs

What we do

Coast Guard’s mandate is derived from the Oceans Act and the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, giving Coast Guard the authority to provide essential services.

From Coast to Coast to Coast

On an average day, the Coast Guard:

Coast Guard regions

Western: 1,164 FTEs

Central and Arctic: 1,370 FTEs

A new Arctic Region was announced on Oct. 24, 2018 (Engagement and implementation in process)

NCR: 713 FTEs

Atlantic: 1,840 FTEs

Coast Guard College

Note: FTEs accounted for above represent the planned workforce as per Coast Guard’s approved 2019-20 Business Plan

117 Vessels and 22 Helicopters

(as of 27/08/2019)

* In addition, the fleet is supplemented by two leased Emergency Offshore Towing Vessels on the West Coast, and three icebreakers, to backfill while existing large ships undergo refits.

Marine Search and Rescue (SAR)

The Coast Guard is the federal lead for marine search and rescue in Canada.

Marine Navigation

The Coast Guard facilitates safe navigation through Canadian waters

Marine Communications and Traffic Management

158 radio towers across Canada and 11 remote communication sites in the Arctic support Coast Guard services.

12 Marine Communications and Traffic Service centres:

Icebreaking and ice-management

During winter, 14 icebreakers and two air cushioned vehicles operate in southern Canada. During the summer, an average of seven vessels operate in the Arctic.

Marine Pollution Response

Environmental Response (ER)

Hazardous Vessels Response

Maritime security

The Coast Guard is often the only federal presence in Canada’s waters, most notably in the Arctic. This presence contributes to security and promotes Canadian sovereignty.

Coast Guard plays a critical role in supporting Canada’s maritime and national security by:


Coast Guard provides operational platforms and expertise to several federal partners, including:

International collaboration

Coast Guard maintains strong partnerships with a number of countries, most notably, the United States and participates in various multilateral fora:

The Coast Guard is engaged in a variety of capacity building activities:

The Coast Guard also participates in numerous committees:

Key initiatives

Fleet Renewal: on-going fleet sustainability requires building new ships and securing interim measures, as required, to maintain operational capacity until new assets can be delivered.

The National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) includes the renewal of Coast Guard’s fleet of large and small vessels.

Large vessels

Five large vessels were approved and funded when the NSS was announced in 2010:

In 2019, DFO secured funding for an additional 24 CCG large vessels:

Small vessels

Renewal of the small fleet is also underway:

Annex: Coast Guard Partnerships



Think Tanks / Academia


Date modified: