Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

July 13, 2005 10:45 ET

DFO/RCMP and Canadian Coast Guard Begin Joint Marine Security Patrols Along Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - July 13, 2005) - The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) are initiating joint marine security and law enforcement patrols along the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. This partnership creates a major new on-water enforcement presence and fast-response capacity on these waterways.

"This initiative brings together two of Canada's key agencies on the Great Lakes and the St.Lawrence River, creating a security capacity that has never before existed. This partnership will help protect these important waterways in areas of national security as well as in the prevention of organized crime," said Mauril Belanger, Minister for Internal Trade and Associate Minister of National Defence.

Minister Belanger attended the launch of the patrols in Prescott, Ontario on behalf of Anne McLellan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister responsible for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada and Geoff Regan, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, responsible for the Canadian Coast Guard.

This initiative is a component of the Government of Canada's announcement in April of a $300 million, five-year package designed to further enhance the security of Canada's marine transportation system and maritime borders. The marine security announcement included funding for the Canadian Coast Guard to build 4 new mid-shore patrol vessels for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River that will be jointly operated with the RCMP. Until these new vessels are built and in operation beginning in 2009, the Coast Guard and the RCMP have dedicated existing vessels to allow the patrols to begin this summer.

The new funding allows the Government of Canada to increase security on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River and provides the means for the federal security partners to work together more effectively.

This partnership will see the RCMP and CCG coordinating their efforts, resources and expertise. It will provide RCMP officers with the capacity to better disrupt and eliminate the activities of organized crime groups and to enhance national security along the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. The initiative also includes the participation and cooperation of provincial and municipal police forces.

A fact sheet on the RCMP patrol program and CCG vessels is attached.

More information on the RCMP can be found at www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

More information on the CCG can be found at www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca.


Fact Sheet

MARINE SECURITY ENFORCEMENT TEAMS

The Marine Security Enforcement Teams - Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway System (MSET-GL/SLS) patrol initiative is a new partnership between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) to further enhance national security and strengthen Canada's response to potential threats.

The initiative involves the procurement and deployment of 4 new permanent patrol vessels on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River beginning in 2009. However, until the vessels are built, interim measures have been put in place involving the redeployment and staffing of existing Coast Guard and RCMP vessels to the region for joint security patrols beginning July 16, 2005.

While the vessels are predominately staffed by RCMP and CCG personnel, provincial and municipal police officers will also play key roles onboard the vessels.

ROLE OF NEW JOINT TEAMS

The RCMP's role in Canada's marine security is to enforce laws dealing with offences relating to national security, organized crime and other federal statutes, such as those involving smuggling, illegal drugs and immigration. The CCG will be responsible for the acquisition, operation and maintenance of the vessels.

The patrol vessels will be jointly operated with the RCMP for surveillance and control missions as well as interdiction operations.

The vessels will be able to provide a fast operating platform to support RCMP Emergency Response Teams and Canadian Forces JTF2 when mounting immediate response to terrorist incidents and other threats. They will have a capacity to operate in joint operations with the U.S. Coast Guard in response to terrorist and other threats.

In addition, crew members will take part in humanitarian, disaster relief assistance and search and rescue.

PATROL VESSEL FACTS

Both CCGC Cape Hurd and CCGC Isle Rouge are 21-metre multi-task cutters capable of all-weather operations at speeds of up to 18 knots.

RCMP Patrol Vessel - Simmonds is a 17.7 m (58 ft) fast patrol catamaran powered by twin 820 horsepower diesel engines and is capable of reaching a maximum speed of 36 knots.

Each vessel will have a crew of 4 Coast Guard employees and carry two police officers.

CCGC Lauzier is a 37.8 metre intermediate multi-task patrol cutter and is capable of speeds up to 14 knots. The Lauzier will replace the smaller patrol vessels in 2006.

ENHANCING MARINE SECURITY

Marine security is a key component of Canada's National Security Policy. This new initiative, highlighting an enhanced partnership between the RCMP and the Canadian Coast Guard, will strengthen Canada's marine enforcement presence in a region heavily traveled by both small and large vessels.

The addition of these vessels builds on the Government of Canada's commitment to expand into new areas and address potential security gaps. Strengthening Canada's national law enforcement presence in one of the country's busiest marine regions will help maintain a safer and more secure environment for all Canadians.

Internet: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Phil Jenkins
    Media Relations
    (613) 990-7537
    or
    RCMP
    Media Relations
    (613) 993-2999