Each winter, the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River, Estuary, Gulf of St. Lawrence and the waters around the Newfoundland and Labrador Region become covered in ice, impeding the safe and efficient flow of maritime commerce. In the Arctic, harsh ice conditions become more manageable for marine shipping during the short summer navigation season. The Canadian Coast Guard (Coast Guard) provides icebreaking and ice management services to support the safe, economical and efficient movement of ships in Canadian waters. The availability of these services helps to ensure reliability and predictability of planning and scheduling activities of the marine transportation industry in ice-covered waters. In 2014, the value of Canadian international marine trade was $210 billion, up 4.3 per cent from 2013 . The presence of a viable icebreaking service is one of the most important factors in sustaining the eastern Canadian and Arctic economies and communities, not only because maritime shipping is the most economical method of transporting large amounts of goods, but also from the perspective of linking these communities to the rest of Canada.
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