In an effort to fortify Canada’s waterways, the Government of Canada remains committed to providing the Canadian Coast Guard with cutting-edge equipment. The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, alongside the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and overseer of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency recently awarded a contract for the transformation and refurbishment of the Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Judy LaMarsh. The prestigious contract, valued at almost $34.3 million under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, has been bestowed upon St. John’s Dockyard Ltd. (Newdock), promising the creation of up to 80 highly skilled and well-compensated jobs in the region. The commencement of work on the vessel took place in December 2023, with anticipated completion by March 2025.

“I am very proud to see that today’s announcement will create nearly a hundred well-paying jobs while stimulating the economy of the St. John’s region. As the CCGS Judy LaMarsh departs for the next year, robust measures will be put in place to continue to keep Canadians safe on the water, and to keep vital trade routes open year-round. We are already looking forward to welcoming it back, even more modern and adapted to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow,” expressed the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

Delving into the vessel’s upgrade, the comprehensive initiative encompasses the revitalization of the propulsion, communication, and navigation systems. Simultaneously, enhancements to the crew accommodations and workspaces are in progress, complemented by the installation of a cutting-edge buoy crane.

“The National Shipbuilding Strategizing is modernizing and upgrading the Canadian Coast Guard’s fleet, supporting good jobs in Newfoundland and Labrador, while keeping Canadians safe on the water. This work is a win-win—it boosts the economy and helps us safeguard Canada’s coasts and waterways,” added the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

Functioning as a crucial player in icebreaking operations vital to the initiation of various fishing seasons, the CCGS Judy LaMarsh diligently tends to navigational buoys in key regions such as the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway, and Atlantic Canada. Beyond its primary duties, the vessel stands ready for search and rescue missions and emergency response operations. Its primary operational zones span Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence Seaway. Once the seaway opens up, the vessel will extend invaluable navigational aid and sustain the maintenance of navigation aids from the Quebec border to Thunder Bay, Ontario.

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Public Services and Procurement said, “This contract will ensure that the Canadian Coast Guard has the necessary equipment to deliver on its mandate and keep Canadians safe. Through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, we are revitalizing the shipbuilding industry, creating good jobs, and modernizing our existing fleet.”

This endeavor is emblematic of the National Shipbuilding Strategy’s transformative impact, underscoring the Government of Canada’s commitment to breathe new life into the shipbuilding industry. Through this strategic vision, not only are skilled employment opportunities flourishing, but entirely novel ship classes are being crafted, ensuring that Canada’s maritime services are equipped with state-of-the-art, reliable, and secure vessels to execute their missions.

“Newdock enjoys decades of trust and collaboration with the Canadian Coast Guard. We are proud to have been selected for yet another major vessel conversion under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy. This contract will support many jobs at our shipyard while contributing to the local economy through our extensive supply chain network,” conveyed Paul Antle, President and CEO, St. John’s Dockyard Ltd.