Canadian Coast Guard names its latest icebreaker

The Canadian Coast Guard’s newest light icebreaker has been named the CCGS Judy LaMarsh, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Government House Leader and Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands Mark Gerretsen announced.

The Canadian Coast Guard recently purchased a light icebreaker that will supplement its operations in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence, and Atlantic regions. The newest icebreaker is named after Judy LaMarsh, who was one of the first women to serve as a federal Cabinet Minister, as Minister of National Health and Welfare and Minister of Amateur Sport.

She was instrumental in the development of innovative federal programs, including Medicare and the Canada Pension Plan. In recognition of her many years of service, the Honourable Judy LaMarsh was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1980.

“I’m very pleased to see that the Canadian Coast Guard will be honouring the Honourable Judy LaMarsh’s many accomplishments through its newest light icebreaker. This vessel will help the Canadian Coast Guard continue its excellent work, while ensuring other icebreakers can receive the maintenance updates they need to meet their high standards of performance,” Mark Gerretsen, Parliamentary Secretary to the Government House Leader and Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands said.

Following a competitive process, the Canadian Coast Guard announced the purchase of a light icebreaker from Atlantic Towing Limited in November 2021.

This vessel — now named the CCGS Judy LaMarsh — is currently undergoing design and conversion work at the Canadian Coast Guard’s Prescott Base. The ship will be ready to serve as early as the 2022-2023 icebreaking season, allowing other vessels to undergo important maintenance and life extension work as part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

The Government of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy is a long-term, multi-billion-dollar program focused on renewing the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy fleets to ensure that Canada’s marine agencies have the modern ships they need to fulfill their missions.

Upon joining the Canadian Coast Guard’s fleet, CCGS Judy LaMarsh will perform icebreaking duties as well as tend to the navigational buoys in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence, and Atlantic regions.

In addition, the vessel will be available for search and rescue and other emergency response operations when needed.

CCGS Judy LaMarsh is the fourth interim icebreaker purchased by the Canadian Coast Guard, following the prior purchase of three medium interim icebreakers; CCGS Jean Goodwill, CCGS Vincent Massey, and CCGS Captain Molly Kool. These vessels were acquired to supplement the existing fleet during vessel life extension and repair periods.