New-build Polar Icebreaker - 04/01/2012
Canadian Coast Guard's (CCG) largest and most capable icebreaker, CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, is scheduled for decommissioning in 2017. The only other heavy icebreaker, CCGS Terry Fox, is scheduled for decommissioning in 2020. Consequently, Budget 2008 has provided funds for the acquisition of a new Canadian-built, multi-purpose polar icebreaker.
The new polar icebreaker will be named after former Prime Minister John George Diefenbaker (CCGS John G. Diefenbaker), one of Canadian history's great champions of developing and protecting Canada's North. CCGS John G. Diefenbaker will be one of the centrepieces of the Government of Canada's high profile Northern Strategy, which focuses on strengthening Canada's Arctic sovereignty, economic and social development, governance, and environmental protection. The polar icebreaker will serve as a platform to conduct scientific and engineering research, development, monitoring and observation on behalf of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and other government departments and agencies. The principal focus will be on marine, environmental, geological and hydrographic science activities directed over the next several decades. The new polar icebreaker will also support the work of Canadian universities, research institutes, and the international scientific community.
The polar icebreaker will be capable of operating in Canada's Arctic farther north and for a longer period of time each year. It will provide the CCG with increased coverage in the Canadian Arctic and adjacent waters and will be able to operate for three seasons in the Arctic, over a larger area and in more difficult ice conditions.
Designing and building a polar icebreaker is a major national project. It is expected to take eight to ten years to design and build, and is expected to enter into full Arctic service in 2017, in time for the decommissioning of the CCGS Louis S. St‑Laurent.
Last updated: 07/03/2021