Canadian Coast Guard Ships Martha L. Black and Leonard J. Cowley’s Vessel Life Extension Contracts Awarded

News release

May 12, 2023 

Ottawa, Ontario - Ensuring that Canadian Coast Guard personnel have reliable equipment to keep Canada’s waterways open and safe is a key priority for the Government of Canada.

Today, the Canadian Coast Guard announced two contract awards for the vessel life extension of CCGS Martha L. Black and CCGS Leonard J. Cowley, respectively at the value of $31.5 million and $29.7 million. Both vessels will be dry-docked and enter an extended maintenance period designed to increase their operational life.

Following an open competitive process, Public Services and Procurement Canada, on behalf of the Canadian Coast Guard, has awarded Verrault Navigation Inc. from Les Méchins, Quebec and Newdock from St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador for the contracts to complete vessel life extension work on the CCGS Martha L. Black and CCGS Leonard J. Cowley.

A light multitasked icebreaker and buoy tender, the CCGS Martha L. Black  is primarily responsible for aids to navigation and buoy tending work in the St. Lawrence region during the warmer months of the year. During winter months, the vessel performs ice escorts and the St. Lawrence and Saguenay rivers, playing an integral role in keeping Canada’s major waterways navigable year round. The CCGS Leonard J. Cowley is an Offshore Patrol Vessel based in St Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador. While the vessel’s primary task is fisheries patrol and enforcement, the vessel also carries out search and rescue operations when needed.

While the ships undergo vessel life extension from spring 2023 through summer 2024, the Canadian Coast Guard will reallocate its other maritime resources to ensure Canada’s waterways continue to be safe for all seafarers.

These contract awards fall under the repair, refit and maintenance pillar of the National Shipbuilding Strategy, which is helping to ensure that Canada has a safe and effective fleet of ships to serve and protect Canadians for years to come, while providing ongoing opportunities for shipyards and suppliers across Canada.


"With the National Shipbuilding Strategy, we're making sure we invest in the right equipment so that members of the Canadian Coast Guard have the gear they need to keep us safe on the water and keep crucial trade routes open all year. This work is a win-win—it boosts the economy and helps us safeguard Canada's spectacular coastlines and waters."

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

“Our government is ensuring the Canadian Coast Guard has the equipment and tools it needs to carry out its crucial work from coast to coast to coast by way of the National Shipbuilding Strategy. These contracts will extend the life of the CCGS Martha L. Black and CCGS Leonard J. Cowley while providing economic opportunities for Canadian shipyards.”

The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister of Public Services and Procurement

“Keeping our vessels in good working order is critical to ensuring that our personnel can provide Canadians with the services they need throughout the year. We are pleased to be working with Verrault Navigation and Newdock to ensure that the CCGS Martha L. Black and CCGS Leonard J. Cowley will be serving Canadians for many more years to come.”

Mario Pelletier, Commissioner, Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • The CCGS Martha L. Black is homeported in Quebec City, Quebec and was originally commissioned in 1986. The ship has been serving Canadians in the St. Lawrence region since its commissioning, ensuring that waterways remain open and navigable.

  • The CCGS Leonard J. Cowley entered into service in 1984 and has been carrying out fisheries enforcement operations from its home port in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. The vessel is equipped with a flight deck capable of operating a light helicopter.

  • The vessel life extension work for CCGS Martha L. Black includes:

    • Main engine replacement
    • Helicopter hanger steel work renewal
    • Main deck and boat deck steel replacement
    • Internal communication system replacement
    • Hazardous material removal
    • Hull sandblasting and painting
    • Wheelhouse window maintenance
  • The vessel life extension work for CCGS Leonard J. Cowley includes:

    • Deck equipment replacement and refurbishment
    • Propulsion upgrades
    • Steel work
    • Accommodation refurbishment
    • Hanger and flight operations refurbishments
    • Ventilation system upgrades 

Associated links


Matthew Dillon              
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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