Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

May 17, 2012 18:34 ET

Canadian Coast Guard to Improve Marine Communications and Traffic Services

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 17, 2012) - The Canadian Coast Guard is modernizing twelve Marine Communications and Traffic Services Centres across the country with state-of-the-art technology in order to ensure consistent and uninterrupted communication and traffic services to mariners.

"The safety of Canadians and mariners is the top priority of the Canadian Coast Guard," said Minister Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. "Improving and integrating communications centres across the country will ensure that important information can be properly broadcast to mariners and emergency calls will be received under all circumstances."

Marine Communications and Traffic Services Centres broadcast maritime safety information such as weather and navigational warnings, regulate traffic movement and monitor distress and safety calls. Information is transmitted from a network of 214 radio towers and 24 radar installments across the country. The telecommunications network provides standard coverage in all regions of the country, but the communication and traffic services centres currently use outdated technology and are limited in their ability to cover or share workload in emergencies or unforeseen events like power failures.

The Canadian Coast Guard is modernizing and consolidating its Marine Communications and Traffic Services into twelve centres across the country with state-of-the-art technology so that they can be better interconnected. The modernized centres will be able to seamlessly pick up any calls from other connected facilities. Some facilities will also increase their areas of responsibility and will receive additional staff and resources accordingly. As a result, the Coast Guard will be able to consolidate services into these better centres and close those with outdated technology. All of the radio towers and radar facilities will remain where they are to maintain the current level of coverage.

As new and more effective radio and navigation technology has become available over the years, the Coast Guard has integrated services into fewer communication and traffic services centres. Over the last 30 years, the Coast Guard has twice expanded the capacity of these centres using new technology, allowing for a consolidation and modernization of services into fewer centres. For example, in the 1990s, the Coast Guard used new technology to go from 44 centres to 22 centres.

The upgraded Marine Communications and Traffic Service Centres will be strategically located across Canada at the following locations:

  • Placentia, Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Port aux Basques, Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Sydney, Nova Scotia
  • Quebec City, Quebec
  • Les Escoumins, Quebec
  • Sarnia, Ontario
  • Prescott, Ontario
  • Iqaluit, Nunavut
  • Prince Rupert, British Columbia
  • Sidney, British Columbia

Contact Information

  • Melanie Carkner
    Media Relations
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario

    Barbara Mottram
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada