Canadian Coast Guard and Kwakiutl First Nation Officially Open New Hardy Bay Base and Dedicate CCGS Pachena Bay into Service

News release

August 30, 2022

Port Hardy, British Columbia - Today marked the grand opening celebration for the newly constructed Canadian Coast Guard Hardy Bay Base as well as the dedication to service ceremony for the Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Pachena Bay, which is now stationed at the new base in Port Hardy, British Columbia.

The Canadian Coast Guard worked closely with the Kwakiutl First Nation and the District of Port Hardy throughout the planning and construction of the new base. The Hardy Bay Base is a 16,000 square foot facility funded under the Government of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan. The new building and property consist of office and meeting spaces; storage space for environmental response, vessels, and aids to navigation equipment; as well as a large drive-on floating dock for easy loading of specialized pollution response vessels and other Canadian Coast Guard ships. Included on-site is a mechanics workshop for small boat maintenance.

Two 17 ft ocean-themed totem poles, carved by Kwakiutl Master Carver Stanley Hunt, welcome visitors at the front entrance to the facility. A third 32 ft totem pole, carved by Kwakiutl Chief Calvin Hunt, keeps watch on the ocean side of the facility, letting mariners know they are entering Kwakiutl Territory. In addition to the totem poles, Stanley Hunt also carved a wall panel that hangs in the base’s main conference room.

The Canadian Coast Guard also held a dedication into service ceremony for the CCGS Pachena Bay, which included the traditional breaking of a ceremonial bottle on the ship’s bow. The CCGS Pachena Bay is a High Endurance Self-Righting lifeboat that has been operating in B.C. since 2019. The vessel is one of 20 lifeboats that were constructed and delivered under the National Shipbuilding Strategy to provide the Canadian Coast Guard with safe, modern, and Canadian-made equipment needed to deliver all Canadian Coast Guard programs and critical services on behalf of Canadians.

By tradition, a civilian is invited to sponsor a vessel for its well-being and continued service, and to wish the vessel “good luck”. The Canadian Coast Guard is proud to have Ms. Donna Gault as the sponsor for this vessel. Ms. Gault is a respected business owner, entrepreneur, and active volunteer in the surrounding communities of Mount Waddington and Port Hardy.

The Oceans Protection Plan is a Canadian success story. When Indigenous Peoples, industry, communities, academia, and government work together to protect our environment, grow our economy, and support good jobs across the country, we deliver real results. A renewed and expanded Oceans Protection Plan will keep our oceans and coasts healthy, advance reconciliation, and build a clean future for our children and grandchildren.


“The importance of this special new facility in Port Hardy, and the enhanced services the Canadian Coast Guard and CCG ships will help provide, reflect our close collaboration with Kwakiutl First Nation and the local community. The combined effort and partnership with First Nations and coastal communities will serve to keep mariners safer and the marine environment cleaner for years to come.” 

The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“Through the Oceans Protection Plan, our government is partnering with Indigenous coastal communities to protect our oceans and waterways. With investments like this to open a new base in Port Hardy, we are improving our ability to respond to marine incidents quickly, and making our waters safer for everyone.”


The Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport

“The Kwakiutl Elected Governance is pleased to have the Canadian Coast Guard Base completed and fully operational here in Port Hardy. Our BC Coastline is beautiful and rich in ecosystems that need protection from marine pollution and we look forward to improved emergency incident response. We value our partnership with CCG and look forward to many years of working together.”

Marc Peeler, Kwakiutl First Nation Member and Councillor

“Together with our First Nation partners, the Canadian Coast Guards works to protect the safety of mariners and the environment. The opening of our new base in Port Hardy, equipped with the CCGS Pachena Bay, will help ensure local communities can safely and sustainability use our oceans and waterways.”

Mario Pelletier, Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • The CCGS Pachena Bay is 19 metres in length and weigh 82 gross tonnes. It has a cruising speed of 14 and a half knots, and a top speed of 25 knots. This high-endurance vessel is capable of traveling 250 nautical miles and is able to self-right if capsized. To date, 22 small vessels have been delivered to the Canadian Coast Guard under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. This includes nation-wide delivery of 12 High-Endurance Search and Rescue lifeboats (Bay Class), two Channel Survey and Sounding Vessels, seven Hydrographic Survey Vessels and one Coastal Research Vessel.

  • Since 2016, the Government of Canada has dedicated $3.5 billion to the Oceans Protection Plan, making it the largest investment Canada has ever made to protect its coasts and waterways.

  • Under the Oceans Protection Plan, we've improved how Canada responds to marine emergencies to protect our coasts and Canadians at sea, including:

    • Opened six new Canadian Coast Guard stations in Victoria, Hartley Bay, and Tahsis, British Columbia as well as in St. Anthony, Old Perlican, and Twillingate, Newfoundland and Labrador.
    • Established the Canadian Coast Guard’s first Arctic search and rescue station opened in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, in August 2018 as an Inshore Rescue Boat station. With additional funding under the Ocean Protection Plan next phase, the station will now be enhanced to an Arctic Marine Response Station.
    • Re-established the Canadian Coast Guard's Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, to better coordinate on-the-water responses to maritime search and rescue incidents.
  • Canadians rely on the Canadian Coast Guard to keep waterways safe for mariners, protect the marine environment and respond to calls for assistance 365 days a year. On an average day, the Canadian Coast Guard coordinates the response to 19 search and rescue incidents, responds to 13 search and rescue incidents, assisting 43 people and saving 13 lives. This is why providing Canadian Coast Guard personnel with the vessels they need to continue to deliver these critical services to Canadians is a priority for the Government of Canada.

Associated links


Kevin Lemkay
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard

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