Whole of Government Approaches to Sovereignty &
Security in the Arctic: The Canadian Coast Guard’s Perspective
Mr. E. Wade Spurrell
Director General, Operations
Canadian Coast Guard
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Whole-of-Government Approach to Arctic Sovereignty & Security
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As Canada’s civilian fleet, Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) vessels, systems and personnel
are relied on to help fulfill safety, security, defence and environmental protection
priorities in the Arctic.
•
Canada’s whole-of-government approach to Arctic Sovereignty and Security aligns with
the horizontal, collaborative approach to maritime security used for all Canadian waters
and approaches.
•
CCG is a core member of Canada’s maritime security community and collaborates with
partners through a variety of fora to advance Arctic objectives:
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Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group (IMSWG);
Arctic Security Working Group / Northern Interdepartmental Intelligence Working Group;
North Atlantic Coast Guard forum; and
Canada-U.S. Maritime Stakeholders’ Conference.
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Coast Guard’s Contribution to Arctic Sovereignty & Security
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Delivery of essential maritime services in northern waters:
– Icebreaking, community re-supply, aids to navigation, SAR and Environmental Response
capacity, Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA), support to partners’ Arctic priorities (e.g.
science, hydrographic charting, fisheries enforcement, maritime security).
– Demonstrates Canada’s ability to exert influence and maintain safety and security within its
sovereign territory.
•
Arctic Icebreaker Fleet:
– Provides a visible Government of Canada presence in northern waters.
– Leveraged by security and law enforcement partners for on-water response efforts, as
needed.
– Participates in northern security and sovereignty exercises, such as Operation Nanook.
•
Vessel Traffic Management:
– Collects and maintains vessel information on traffic within and approaching Canada’s
northern waters.
– NORDREG reporting via CCG’s Marine Communications and Traffic Services.
– Leveraged by federal partners to support Arctic MDA.
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Marine Security Operations Centres
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Marine Security Operations Centres (MSOCs) exemplify the collaborative, horizontal
approach to advancing maritime security priorities throughout Canadian waters,
including the Arctic.
•
MSOCs see the co-location and collaboration of five federal partners (DND, RCMP, TC,
CBSA and DFO/CCG) to monitor Canadian water and approaches, in order to detect
and assess maritime security threats and support MDA overall.
•
CCG Participation:
– Personnel, expertise, vessel tracking and analysis capabilities are leveraged to support threat
identification and assessment.
– Long-Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT), Automatic Identification and Tracking (AIS),
Information System on Marine Navigation (INNAV).
•
MSOCs and the Arctic:
– MSOCs provides Canada’s most comprehensive awareness of the Arctic maritime domain.
– Daily sailing plans and position reports for vessels and Arctic Adventurers during the Arctic
shipping season.
– Tracking of specific Vessels of Interest.
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Arctic Maritime Domain Awareness Assessment
• Arctic MDA is a whole-of-government priority:
– Helps advance Canada’s objectives across a range of missions.
– Requires inter-agency collaboration and leveraging of departments’ individual capabilities and
expertise.
• The Arctic MDA Assessment is an interdepartmental initiative to identify and
assess Canada’s MDA capabilities for northern waters.
– CCG-led, with broad federal engagement (e.g. DND, TC, EC, AANDC, CSA, RCMP, CBSA)
– A priority of Canada’s Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group (IMSWG)
• The goal of the Assessment is twofold:
– To develop a thorough understanding of Canada’s ability to identify, assess and support
responses to, potential maritime threats in the Arctic; and
– To determine potential ways to enhance Arctic MDA.
• Results are intended to support maritime security efforts in Arctic waters, and
inform decisions on the deployment and development of MDA capacity there.
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Northern Marine Transportation Corridors
• Marine transportation is a key enabler for economic and community
development in the North.
• Corridors are shipping routes and/or areas within which key navigational
information and services, such as icebreaking and aids to navigation,
should be focused. The concept of corridors would serve as a pragmatic
approach to Arctic investments.
• CCG, Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) and Transport Canada (TC) are
currently exploring a concept to address this challenge: Northern Marine
Transportation Corridors.
• CCG, CHS and TC are in the process of engaging and validating the
corridors approach with key stakeholders.
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Whole of Government Approaches to Sovereignty & Security