(QUEBEC CITY) — Icebreakers are an essential component of the Canadian Coast Guard fleet, ensuring safe navigation, preventing ice jams and flooding, and keeping shipping routes open. On Monday, CCGS Vincent Massey, the third of three medium interim icebreakers, was officially welcomed to the fleet at a dedication ceremony in Quebec City.
At the dockside event, the sponsor of the vessel, Dominique Demers, was joined by Canadian officials for the traditional breaking of a ceremonial bottle upon the ship’s bow. In addition to the dedication to service, CCGS Vincent Massey and its crew received opening remarks by Elder Raymond Gros-Louis of the Huron-Wendat Nation.
CCGS Vincent Massey joined its medium interim icebreaker brethren, CCGS Jean Goodwill and CCGS Captain Molly Kool, in providing icebreaking services in the St. Lawrence River, Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Atlantic region. Like all Canadian Coast Guard vessels, CCGS Vincent Massey is also equipped to support environmental response and search and rescue operations.
CCGS Vincent Massey’s namesake was the first governor general of Canada born in Canada following confederation. The Canadian Coast Guard said it was also proud to have Demers, the celebrated Canadian children’s novelist best known for the Mlle Charlotte series, sponsor CCGS Vincent Massey.
The three medium interim icebreakers were acquired to supplement the Canadian Coast Guard’s existing fleet while new ships are being built under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. Contracts under the NSS are estimated to have contributed approximately $21.26 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product, and created or maintained over 18,000 jobs annually between 2012 and 2022.
In August 2018, Chantier Davie of Levis, Quebec, was awarded a $610 million contract for the acquisition and conversion of three interim icebreakers for the Canadian Coast Guard. The three icebreakers were acquired to supplement the existing fleet during vessel life extension and repair periods, providing continuous on-water capability during scheduled maintenance periods.
CCGS Vincent Massey was accepted into the Canadian Coast Guard fleet in October 2022. The first of the three icebreakers, CCGS Captain Molly Kool, entered into service in late 2018, followed by CCGS Jean Goodwill in November 2020.
The conversion and refit for the CCGS Vincent Massey included increasing the crew accommodation capacity, adding a heavy lift crane, increasing icebreaking capability and ship endurance. Work also was required to meet the Canadian Coast Guard’s operational and Canadian regulatory requirements.
– Government of Canada