Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

August 12, 2005 13:30 ET

DFO/Regan Helps Celebrate Canadian Coast Guard College 40th Anniversary

SYDNEY, NOVA SCOTIA--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 12, 2005) - Geoff Regan, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, is participating today in festivities to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) College. The festivities, taking place over the August 12-14 weekend, include today's christening of a training vessel, the Cap Perce, and dedication of the College library to former CCG Commissioner John Adams.

"The Canadian Coast Guard College has a proud history of providing first-rate maritime training to young Canadians as well as students from abroad," Minister Regan said. "Graduates of the College are recognized and respected around the world. I congratulate the Coast Guard College for the contribution it has made to maritime safety over the last forty years."

The College was established in 1965 with the mandate to provide marine engineering and navigation officers for the Canadian Coast Guard. Today, located on a different site, it has become one of the most modern, state-of-the-art marine colleges in the world.

"The College has played an important role in the maritime training world. It is not only Canadian Coast Guard ships that have benefited but also other government departments, the private sector as well as international maritime organizations," said Kate Fawkes, Acting Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard.

In addition to its officer cadet program, the College provides professional training to Coast Guard employees in areas that include marine communications and traffic services and rescue and environmental response. The recently opened Marine Maintenance and Equipment Training Centre provides instruction on the electronic, navigational and communications systems essential for mariners to navigate safely in Canadian waterways and to operate the Coast Guard fleet.

"The Canadian Coast Guard has always been well respected by the Canadian public, in large part because our people perform their jobs so well. That is the result of good training, and the College has provided much of that instruction," said Captain Rene Grenier, Director, Canadian Coast Guard College.

In addition to Canadian students, the Coast Guard College also trains students from Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, for an average total of 40 students graduating each year. The CCGC employs approximately 150 staff.

Current and former staff, graduates and their families, along with Coast Guard employees are taking part in the celebrations being held this weekend at the College.

A fact sheet on the Canadian Coast Guard College is following.

Additional information on the Canadian Coast Guard College and the 40th anniversary celebrations may be found at



For the past forty years, the Canadian Coast Guard College has been providing young men and women with an education unlike any other in the country. The Canadian Coast Guard College is a residential facility that offers training in both official languages to Canadian mariners, interested in a career with the Canadian Coast Guard, as well as to foreign students.

Graduates receive certification in either marine engineering or navigation and earn a Bachelor of Technology (Nautical Science) degree from Cape Breton University. In exchange for a free education, Canadian graduates commit to four years working on board Coast Guard vessels as ships officers.

The Coast Guard College is taking time this week to celebrate its accomplishments on the occasion of its 40th anniversary.

Built in 1965 on the abandoned Point Edward Naval Base, the CCGC offered young men the opportunity to train in either Marine Navigation or Engineering, in the four-year Officer Cadet Training Program (OCTP). Successful graduates were guaranteed a position on-board the Coast Guard fleet.

In 1973, the CCGC welcomed women into the OCTP program. The 1980s saw the grand opening of the modern CCGC complex in its current Westmount location. It was during this decade that the CCGC's unique expertise was called upon when Commonwealth Caribbean nationals arrived at the College for maritime training. In the next 10 years, 254 students from seventeen countries and states that included Jamaica, Barbados and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago received training to improve their Coast Guard skills.

In the last few years, the Coast Guard has added to its officer cadet program by accepting students from the Middle East. Students from the Middle East currently account for almost one third of OCTP students.

A relatively new program at the CCGC is the Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) Basic Training. This nine-month program instructs students in marine traffic regulating procedures and radio communications. Another new program is the Ships Crew Officer Training Program (SCOT Program). The two-year SCOT Program is specifically targeted to permanent crewmen who want to upgrade to the officer position. Other additions to the CCGC curriculum are the Environmental Response courses which are delivered to government departments and private sector individuals involved in oil spill response.

The Search and Rescue (SAR) section of the College has nine-week courses available that includes a model of operations for a typical Coast Guard Lifeboat Station or Small Vessel Station. SAR is also involved in delivering custom-tailored training and SAR System analysis, as well as technical and software support for the Canadian Search and Rescue Planning Program (CANSARP).

The College recently opened a state-of-the-art technological training centre aimed largely at staff employed in the Coast Guard's Integrated Technical Services as well as its Fleet and Maritime Services staff. The Centre houses five laboratories that will allow for intensive, hands-on training with computer-based training, functional systems and mock-ups.

Most of the training at the Coast Guard College involves the use of simulators, designed to imitate the operations of complex systems. Simulators provide the safest, most effective and controlled environments for learning such skills as traffic regulating procedures and distress communications.

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Phil Jenkins
    Media Relations
    (613) 990-7537
    Canadian Coast Guard College
    Brenda MacQueen
    (902) 564-3660, ext. 1111