Icebreaking Program

Who We Are and What We Do

Icebreaking supports economic activities by assisting commercial vessels to voyage efficiently and safely through or around ice covered waters.

With the support of the CCG Icebreaking Program, most Canadian ports are open for business year-round.

The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) Icebreaking Program is dedicated to ensuring that marine traffic moves safely through or around ice covered waters.

Who We Are

What We Do

The staff and fleet of the Icebreaking Program operate out of four regions to deliver a variety of services:

Route Assistance

  • Organizing convoys and escorting ships through ice-covered waters, freeing vessels trapped in ice and keeping shipping channels open.

Ice Routing and Information Services

  • Surveying ice conditions, providing ice information and routing advice to ships in need.

Harbour Breakouts

  • Breaking out approaches and clearing ice from wharf faces of port terminals and facilities in commercial and fishing harbours.
  • Assisting shipping within ports and at marine facilities by keeping ice clear of barge operations and the ship at anchor, and by streaming petroleum off-loading hoses.
  • Breaking out harbours to facilitate ice clearance at the end of the ice season.

Flood Control

  • Monitoring ice conditions and water levels in anticipation of flood risks.
  • Preventing formation of ice jams and excessive build-up of ice in areas threatened by flooding.
  • Providing icebreaker services to facilitate ice flow during spring break-up.

Northern Resupply

  • Transporting dry cargo and fuel during the annual resupply of Northern settlements and government sites, when commercial carriers are not available.

Arctic Sovereignty

  • Maintaining sovereignty in the Canadian Arctic with such activities as guiding foreign vessels through arctic waters.

Who We Serve

CCG Icebreaking benefits a number of clients, including:

  • Commercial vessels
  • Fishing vessels
  • Arctic residents
  • Port operators
  • General public.

Service Standards

CCG Icebreaking program:

  • Develops and improves public standards for services through consultation with clients,
  • Continually improves the delivery of services to meet standards within available resources
  • Accounts for performance against the standards, and
  • Monitors clients satisfaction with services and provides accessible complaint and redress mechanisms when service standards are not being met.