Minister Wilkinson joins Seaspan to celebrate the launch of the Canadian Coast Guard’s second new Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel

News release

June 5, 2019

Vancouver, BC — The Government of Canada is committed to renewing the Canadian Coast Guard fleet. We are providing the women and men of the Coast Guard, and our scientists in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, with the best equipment to conduct their important work, keeping our oceans safe, protecting the environment, conducting scientific research and keeping our economy moving.

Today the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, was at Seaspan’s North Vancouver Shipyards (VSY) to celebrate the launch of the second of three new Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSV) built under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

The new OFSVs will support science and research activities undertaken by Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. This includes the collection of information on the distribution, abundance, and biology of species in Canadian waters, the impacts of climate change, and information intended to improve our understanding of our oceans and marine environment.

Minister Wilkinson also announced today the names of both the second and third new OFSVs being built at VSY, the CCGS Capt. Jacques Cartier and CCGS John Cabot, respectively.

On May 22, the Prime Minister announced in Vancouver, the renewal of the Coast Guard fleet. With this announcement the Government of Canada signaled its intent to procure up to 18 new vessels for the Coast Guard from Canadian suppliers. This includes up to 16 new vessels that will be built at Seaspan in Vancouver. These ships are in addition to the important work  already underway at VSY.

The commitment of the Government of Canada to fleet renewal and to the construction of ships here at VSY will mean significant jobs and economic activity for workers and businesses in Canada, in British Columbia and in Vancouver.

Our brave women and men of the Coast Guard deserve to have up-to-date equipment with which to perform the task Canadians expect of them – including protecting our coastal marine environment, ice breaking and performing search and rescue operations.

After years of under funding, the Government of Canada is coming through on our commitment to expand the role and capacity of the Canadian Coast Guard in addressing environmental incidents and enhanced search and rescue capabilities, while advancing important marine research work.


“The Government of Canada congratulates Seaspan on this important milestone, the launch of the second Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel. We made a commitment to fully renew the Canadian Coast Guard fleet to ensure the women and men of the Coast Guard, and our scientists, have the equipment they require to conduct their important work. The Coast Guard keeps our waters safe, protects our marine and coastal environment, and keeps our coastal economies moving. With today’s launch, along with the Government’s recent announcement to procure up to 18 new vessels from Canadian suppliers, we continue to deliver on that commitment.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“Today’s launch of the second Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel marks an important milestone for the Canadian Coast Guard, and is proof the National Shipbuilding Strategy is delivering results. Congratulations to the workers at Seaspan Vancouver Shipyards, who continue to work hard on these world-class ships that will help form the Coast Guard’s future fleet.”

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility

Quick facts

  • The Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSV) are the first class of ships to be built by Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards, as part of the non-combat package under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

  • The new OFSVs, although primarily focused on science research, will also have the capability to support search and rescue and environmental response operations, if required.

  • CCGS Capt. Jacques Cartier has been named in honour of the French navigator and first European to map the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River. The vessel’s home port will be in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and following sea trials is expected to join the fleet in late 2019.

  • CCGS John Cabot was named after the Italian merchant and explorer, who is the earliest known European since the Norse Vikings to explore and make landfall on the Newfoundland and Labrador coast in 1497. CCGS John Cabot is expected to join Coast Guard’s operations in summer 2020, and will be based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • The first OFSV, CCGS Sir John Franklin, was launched in December 2017, and is expected to join the Coast Guard fleet in summer 2019. The vessel’s home port will be in Patricia Bay, British Columbia.

  • They are 63.4 metre diesel electric drive vessels, with a displacement of approximately 3,212 tonnes and a top speed of 13 knots.

  • The new OFSV will include four science labs: a wet lab, a dry lab, an ocean lab and a control lab, to support scientific research.

  • The new OFSVs will replace existing Coast Guard ships on the east and west coasts of Canada that provide a platform from which critical scientific research can be performed.

  • In accordance with the Canadian Coast Guard’s ship naming policy, Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels are named to honour former explorers and scientists who have made a significant contribution to the history of Canada.

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Jocelyn Lubczuk
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans
and the Canadian Coast Guard

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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