The Canadian Coast Guard celebrates the dedication of the CCGS Vincent Massey
September 11, 2023
Québec, Quebec - Icebreakers are an essential component of the Canadian Coast Guard fleet, ensuring safe navigation, preventing ice jams and flooding, and keeping shipping routes open.
Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, on behalf of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, officially welcomed the CCGS Vincent Massey, the third of three medium interim icebreakers, to the Canadian Coast Guard fleet at a dedication to service ceremony held at Quai de la Reine, in Québec City, Quebec. The vessel joins the fleet of icebreakers that keep Eastern Canada’s waterways open and safe throughout the winter months.
At the dockside ceremony, the sponsor of the vessel, Dominique Demers, was joined by Minister Duclos, Commissioner of the Coast Guard Mario Pelletier, and Assistant Commissioner for the Central Region Marc-André Meunier, for the traditional breaking of a ceremonial bottle upon the ship’s bow. In addition to the dedication to service, the CCGS Vincent Massey and its crew received opening remarks by Elder Raymond Gros-Louis of the Huron-Wendat Nation.
The CCGS Vincent Massey joined its medium interim icebreaker brethren the CCGS Jean Goodwill and CCGS Captain Molly Kool in providing icebreaking services in the St. Lawrence River and Gulf and the Atlantic region. Like all Canadian Coast Guard vessels, the CCGS Vincent Massey is also equipped to support environmental response and search and rescue operations, when needed.
The CCGS Vincent Massey’s namesake was the first Governor General of Canada born in Canada following Confederation. The Canadian Coast Guard is also proud to have Dominique Demers, the celebrated Canadian children’s novelist best known for the Mlle Charlotte series, sponsor the CCGS Vincent Massey. 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.
Through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, 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. The three medium interim icebreakers were acquired to supplement the Canadian Coast Guard’s existing fleet while new ships are being built under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.
Contracts under the National Shipbuilding Strategy are estimated to have contributed approximately $21.26 billion ($1.93 billion annually) to Canada’s gross domestic product, and created or maintained over 18,000 jobs annually between 2012 and 2022.
“Investing in and delivering on the future of the Canadian Coast Guard's fleet is a top priority for our government. This investment ensures the Canadian Coast Guard has the necessary resources to respond to current and future challenges and keep Canadians safe.”
The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“From its home port here in the city of Quebec, the medium interim icebreaker CCGS Vincent Massey will play a vital role in ensuring that eastern Canada and Arctic waters continue to be safe and accessible. This vessel’s dedication into service marks a milestone for the National Shipbuilding Strategy and the members of the Canadian Coast Guard who will sail on board the icebreaker.”
The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Member of Parliament for Québec and Minister of Public Services and Procurement
“Today is another proud day for the Canadian Coast Guard as we officially welcome the CCGS Vincent Massey to the Canadian Coast Guard fleet. I know how excited our crewmembers feel as we dedicate this icebreaker into service, and how eager they are to sail in service to Canadians throughout the St. Lawrence River and Gulf and the Atlantic Region.”
Mario Pelletier, Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard
Vincent Massey served as Governor General from 1952 to 1959, following an illustrious career as a public servant where he distinguished himself as High Commissioner of Canada to the United Kingdom, and Envoy Extraordinary of Canada to the United States.
In August 2018, Chantier Davie of Lévis, Quebec was awarded a $610 million contract for the acquisition and conversion of three interim icebreakers for the Canadian Coast Guard. The three icebreakers were acquired to supplement the existing fleet during vessel life extension and repair periods, providing continuous on-water capability during scheduled maintenance periods.
CCGS Vincent Massey was accepted into the Canadian Coast Guard fleet in October 2022. The first of the three icebreakers, CCGS Captain Molly Kool, entered into service in late 2018, followed by CCGS Jean Goodwill in November 2020.
The conversion and refit for the CCGS Vincent Massey included increasing the crew accommodation capacity, adding a heavy lift crane, increasing icebreaking capability and ship endurance. As well, work was required to meet the Canadian Coast Guard’s operational and Canadian regulatory requirements.
Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers provide safe escorts to ships through ice-covered waters, maintain navigational aids, and conduct 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.
The National Shipbuilding Strategy is a long-term commitment to domestic shipbuilding that is not just about building ships; it is about revitalizing and reinvigorating a world-class marine industry that supports Canadian technological innovation and brings jobs and prosperity to many communities across the country.
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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