Government of Canada awards contract under the Oceans Protection Plan to increase emergency offshore towing capability off British Columbia coast

News release

August 9, 2018 – Gatineau (Quebec) – Public Services and Procurement Canada

Through the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is working to achieve a world-leading marine safety system that protects Canada’s waters and coasts today and into the future. An important part of this Plan is ensuring the Canadian Coast Guard has the equipment it needs to prevent potential marine pollution incidents.

Following an open and competitive process, Atlantic Towing Limited of Saint John, New Brunswick, has been awarded a three-year contract worth $67,013,720 (including taxes) for the lease of two emergency offshore towing vessels that will operate in the waters off the coast of British Columbia.

The vessels are capable of towing large commercial ships in distress, such as tankers and container ships, before they get too close to shore. As part of the contract, Atlantic Towing Limited will also provide training in offshore emergency towing to Coast Guard personnel and partners, including Indigenous communities, involved in marine safety.

This contract fulfills an immediate operational need to have vessels available as soon as possible, while the Government of Canada works in partnership with Indigenous communities and local stakeholders to develop a long-term strategy for emergency towing on the West Coast and across Canada.

The contract is for the provision of vessels for the next three years. The two leased vessels will be operated by Atlantic Towing Limited personnel, along with members of the Canadian Coast Guard, off the coast of British Columbia. One will patrol a northern area in Canadian waters between Alaska and the northern tip of Vancouver Island, and the other a southern area including the west side of Vancouver Island and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Both vessels will be on-site in late 2018.


“This contract award will ensure that the Canadian Coast Guard has the vessels it needs to respond to incidents involving large ships off the coast of British Columbia, to the benefit of the environment and coastal communities.”

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough
Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility

“Under the Oceans Protection Plan, our government is putting in place concrete measures so we can better prevent and respond to marine pollution incidents. These vessels will enhance the Canadian Coast Guard’s emergency response capacity off the West Coast, and help to make Canada’s waters and coasts safer, cleaner and healthier.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“The Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada's waterways. Through it, our government is proving our commitment to protecting our coasts for generations to come by ensuring that marine safety measures are carried out in a way that sustains the environmental, economic, social and cultural health of our oceans.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

Quick facts

  • The two vessels will be tasked by the Canadian Coast Guard and will increase capacity to respond to vessels in distress in the challenging conditions of deeper waters.

  • The vessels will also be available to conduct search and rescue operations and support environmental responses, when required.

  • The Request for Proposal for the lease of these vessels was issued in February 2018 following extensive consultation with industry and stakeholders, including Indigenous communities. All parties were given an opportunity to provide input into the requirements and process.

  • The $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to ensure Canada’s coasts are healthier, safer and better protected. In collaboration with Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities, the Government of Canada is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coasts and waterways for generations to come.

Associated links


Ashley Michnowski
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough

Media Relations
Public Services and Procurement Canada

Vincent Hughes
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister
Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Facebook

Page details

Date modified: