Government of Canada consults industry on polar icebreaker

News release

February 28, 2020 - Gatineau, Quebec - Public Services and Procurement Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to equipping the Canadian Coast Guard with modern and effective vessels to serve Canadians, support our economy and protect our waterways.

Today, the Government of Canada issued a Request for Information (RFI), open to all Canadian shipyards, seeking information on domestic shipyard capability and capacity to construct and deliver a Polar-class icebreaker. This follows standard procurement practices, and the information gathered will help the government determine how best to proceed so that the polar icebreaker is delivered in the most timely and efficient manner. The RFI will be open until March 13, 2020.

Coast Guard icebreakers are essential to Canada’s economy, supporting year-round marine trade, providing critical icebreaking services to ensure commercial ships have access to Canadian ports during the winter, and supporting summer resupply activities to Canada’s Arctic communities and their industries. They are also important platforms for search and rescue and environmental response operations.


“Our government continues to deliver on its commitment to equip the Coast Guard with the ships that it needs. Given the importance of icebreaking services and the complexity of this build, we are exploring all options to ensure that the ship is delivered as expeditiously as possible.”

The Honourable Anita Anand
Minister of Public Services and Procurement

“The women and men of the Canadian Coast Guard save lives, keep trade routes open, protect our environment, and provide supplies to northern and remote communities – equipping them appropriately for this demanding work remains a top priority. The Government of Canada is exploring all options to ensure the polar icebreaker is built in the most efficient manner so we can continue delivering these essential services in the Arctic.”

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • The polar icebreaker, the future Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) John G. Diefenbaker, will replace Canada's current largest icebreaker, the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent.

  • The current fleet of heavy icebreakers, including the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, remain in good condition and will be in operation until the polar icebreaker is delivered.

  • The delivery date for the polar icebreaker will be identified as the project gets underway.

Associated links


Cecely Roy
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Anita Anand

Media Relations
Public Services and Procurement Canada

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