Government partners

Government departments and agencies: CAF partners in defence, security and crises response

A woman speaks with a pilot.

Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) speaks with Captain Louis St-Pierre, pilot and crew commander onboard the CP-140 Aurora, about the day-to-day execution of Operation DRIFTNET on July 18, 2017. Photo: Sergeant Shilo Adamson, CFB Borden.

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has several roles in the defence, security and protection of Canada and North America. For example, the CAF:

  • Runs training exercises and operations on a regular basis, including in the North. These ensure the CAF is ready to respond where required and allows CAF members to practice and develop their skills;
  • Provides aeronautical search and rescue and coordinates aeronautical and maritime search and rescue;
  • Supports law enforcement programs; and
  • Helps civil authorities respond to major crises, upon request. This might include natural disasters such as forest fires, floods, or hurricanes.

In all these roles, the CAF works with government partners to carry out its work.

In Canada, provincial and territorial governments are the first to respond to a major crisis. If they become overwhelmed by the crisis, they may ask the CAF to help. During a crisis, the CAF also partners with federal government departments and agencies. These include:

The CAF helps federal partner Fisheries and Oceans Canada to stop illegal fishing on both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It also supports other law enforcement partners in different ways. One is to help curb the flow of illegal drugs into North America. These other partners include:

The CAF works closely with the Canadian Coast Guard to run and coordinate national search and rescue. The Civil Air Search and Rescue Association also helps in this role.

In the North, the CAF works with civilian partners on operations and exercises. These partners also help carry out search and rescue in this remote region:

The CAF conducts avalanche control in Rogers Pass, British Columbia, each winter. It keeps road and rail traffic moving between the east and west coasts. This CAF operation is in support of federal partner Parks Canada.

Other government partners work with defence and security science and technology. Defence Research and Development Canada provides the CAF with the newest and best equipment to defend and protect Canada’s interests. Read more about how DRDC supports CAF operations.

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