The Canadian Coast Guard Dedicates its Latest Icebreaker into Service 

News release

August 25, 2022                                               

Sydney, Nova Scotia - Icebreakers are an essential component of the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) fleet, providing icebreaking services to ensure safe navigation, prevent ice jams and flooding, and maintain shipping routes. This is why the Canadian Coast Guard invested in three medium interim icebreakers to supplement the icebreaking fleet. These icebreakers were converted by Chantier Davie Shipyard, under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS).

Today, Mike Kelloway, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Mario Pelletier, Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard, officially welcomed the CCGS Jean Goodwill, the second of the three medium interim icebreakers, to the Coast Guard fleet at a dedication to service ceremony held at the Port of Sydney, in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

The CCGS Jean Goodwill is named after Jean Cuthand Goodwill O.C., the first Indigenous nursing program graduate in Saskatchewan. She was a founding member of the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada, and served as the organization's president for seven years.

In maritime tradition, the vessel sponsor is a civilian who participates in a vessel dedication ceremony and takes an ongoing interest in the vessel’s operations. The Canadian Coast Guard is proud to have Tracey Purdy-Oickle as the vessel sponsor for the CCGS Jean Goodwill. She is an Indigenous nurse and belongs to the same organization that Jean Goodwill founded, and her Grandfather served aboard one of the first modern Canadian icebreakers that went into the Canadian Coast Guard fleet in 1962.

At the dockside ceremony, the sponsor of the vessel, Ms. Purdy-Oickle was joined by Jean Goodwill’s surviving family members and friends, the vessel’s crew, Commissioner Mario Pelletier, and Parliamentary Secretary Kelloway for the traditional breaking of a ceremonial bottle upon the ship’s bow.

In addition to the CCG dedication to service, the CCGS Jean Goodwill and its crew were honoured with a traditional Mi'kmaq boat launching and smudging ceremony conducted by Keptin Stephen Augustine, Hereditary Chief of the Mi’kmaq Grand Council from Sigenigtog.

The CCGS Jean Goodwill will provide icebreaking services primarily in the Atlantic regions and the St. Lawrence Waterway as other icebreakers are being scheduled for major refits. Like all Canadian Coast Guard vessels, the CCGS Jean Goodwill is also equipped to support environmental response and search and rescue operations, when needed.

Through the NSS, the Government of Canada is revitalizing the shipbuilding industry, creating good skilled jobs, and building whole new classes of ships to ensure Canada’s marine services have safe, reliable and modern equipment to fulfill their missions. 


"As I learn about the legacy of Jean Goodwill, what she meant to her community, to First Nations across the country, and Canadians, having her honoured on a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker is a fitting tribute to her legacy. Just as she blazed many trails in her life in founding Indigenous health associations and leaving such a positive mark on everyone she met, this vessel will blaze a trail in the ice to help mariners from all walks of life.”

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

“It is a great pleasure to be part of today’s ceremony that both dedicates the CCGS Jean Goodwill to service, and recognizes the contribution that the vessel’s namesake made throughout her life. I cannot think of a more fitting name for a Coast Guard vessel than one that commemorates a lifetime of service to their community.”

- Mike Kelloway, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“Today is another proud day for the Canadian Coast Guard as we welcome the CCGS Jean Goodwill to the Canadian Coast Guard fleet. Every time a crew member boards this ship, they will be reminded of the namesake’s amazing legacy of helping her fellow citizens. This marries very well with the Canadian Coast Guard’s motto: Safety First, Service Always!.”

- Mario Pelletier, Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard 

Quick facts

  • In August 2018, Chantier Davie of Lévis, Quebec was awarded a $610 million dollar contract for the acquisition and conversion of three interim icebreakers for the Coast Guard. The three icebreakers were acquired to supplement the Coast Guard’s existing fleet during vessel life extension and repair periods, providing continuous on-water capability during scheduled maintenance periods. 

  • CCGS Jean Goodwill was accepted into the Coast Guard fleet in November 2020. The first of the three icebreakers, CCGS Captain Molly Kool, entered into service in late 2018. The third icebreaker, CCGS Vincent Massey, is expected to join the fleet in Fall 2022.   

  • On June 30, 2021, CCGS Jean Goodwill took its maiden voyage to the Arctic by departing it’s homeport in Dartmouth, NS.

  • Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers provide safe escorts to ships through ice-covered waters, conduct hydrographic surveys, maintain navigational aids, and search and rescue activities. From December to May, icebreakers operate in Atlantic Canada, the St. Lawrence River, and the Great Lakes, and in the Arctic from May to November.

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

Media Relations

Fisheries and Oceans Canada


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