The Government of Canada places great importance on equipping Canadian Coast Guard personnel with dependable gear to maintain the safety and accessibility of Canada’s water routes.

Recently, the Canadian Coast Guard made two contract announcements regarding the vessel life extension of CCGS Martha L. Black and CCGS Leonard J. Cowley, with contract values of $31.5 million and $29.7 million, respectively. Both vessels will undergo dry-docking and an extensive maintenance period to enhance their operational lifespan.

“With the National Shipbuilding Strategy, we’re making sure we invest in the right equipment so that members of the Canadian Coast Guard have the gear they need to keep us safe on the water and keep crucial trade routes open all year. This work is a win-win—it boosts the economy and helps us safeguard Canada’s spectacular coastlines and waters,” expressed the Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

Following a transparent competitive process, Verreault Navigation Inc. from Les Méchins, Quebec, and Newdock from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador were awarded the contracts by Public Services and Procurement Canada, acting on behalf of the Canadian Coast Guard, to carry out the vessel life extension work on CCGS Martha L. Black and CCGS Leonard J. Cowley.

“Our government is ensuring the Canadian Coast Guard has the equipment and tools it needs to carry out its crucial work from coast to coast to coast by way of the National Shipbuilding Strategy. These contracts will extend the life of the CCGS Martha L. Black and CCGS Leonard J. Cowley while providing economic opportunities for Canadian shipyards,” said the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister of Public Services and Procurement.

CCGS Martha L. Black, a versatile icebreaker and buoy tender, is primarily responsible for aiding navigation and tending buoys in the St. Lawrence region during the warmer months. In winter, the vessel plays a vital role in facilitating navigation by providing ice escorts in the St. Lawrence and Saguenay rivers. Meanwhile, CCGS Leonard J. Cowley, an Offshore Patrol Vessel based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, primarily focuses on fisheries patrol and enforcement, with the additional capacity to conduct search and rescue operations as required.

“Keeping our vessels in good working order is critical to ensuring that our personnel can provide Canadians with the services they need throughout the year. We are pleased to be working with Verreault Navigation and Newdock to ensure that the CCGS Martha L. Black and CCGS Leonard J. Cowley will be serving Canadians for many more years to come,” said Mario Pelletier, Commissioner, Canadian Coast Guard.

Throughout the vessel life extension process, which will take place from spring 2023 to summer 2024, the Canadian Coast Guard will redistribute its maritime resources to ensure the continued safety of Canada’s waterways for all sailors.

These contract awards are part of the repair, refit, and maintenance aspect of the National Shipbuilding Strategy. This strategy aims to guarantee a secure and efficient fleet of ships for Canada’s long-term service and protection, while also generating ongoing opportunities for shipyards and suppliers across the country.