As a Special Operating Agency of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the Canadian Coast Guard plays a key role in ensuring the safety and accessibility of waterways for Canadians as well as the sustainable use and development of Canada’s oceans and waterways.
Headed by a Commissioner, our organization is made up of a national headquarters, based in Ottawa, and three regions. Each region is headed by an Assistant Commissioner, who oversees the administration of programs and service delivery within their respective area of Canada’s coastline – the longest of any country in the world.
The Canadian Coast Guard in entrusted to deliver valuable programs and services to Canadians.
We contribute to Canada’s international maritime trade and economic prosperity by providing essential support for the safe and rapid movement commercial vessels. We maintain and service aids to navigation that mark safe passage and provide essential icebreaking in Eastern Canada and the Great Lakes throughout the winter, and in the Arctic during the summer.
In collaboration with the Canadian Armed Forces and the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, we support on-water safety by responding to mariners in distress, marine disasters, and emergencies through our maritime search and rescue system. We are the lead agency responsible for ensuring effective response to all ship-sourced or mystery-sourced marine pollution incidents.
Finally, through the provision of vessels, aircraft and other services, we facilitate important scientific activities, research and charting in support DFO’s mandate to safeguard Canada’s aquatic ecosystems and non-military activities of other government departments. Through collaboration and joint programs with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Department of National Defence, the Canada Border Services Agency, and Public Safety Canada, Coast Guard also supports maritime security and is a key contributor to maritime domain awareness.