Canada has the longest coastline in the world, and here in Vancouver it is easy to remember just how important the ocean is to our economy, and to our identity. The Canadian Coast Guard does important work every day, saving lives, protecting the environment, and helping our economy grow, while keeping our waters safe, secure, and open. That is why last week I was proud to attend the announcement of the largest investment ever in Canadian Coast Guard history. The $15.7 billion in funding will provide for a complete renewal of the coast guard fleet. Sixteen new ships will be built here at the Seaspan Vancouver Shipyards, supporting the kind of good jobs our government has worked so hard to create, and ensuring that our coast guard is well equipped for years to come.
Previous governments failed to understand the important work of the Canadian Coast Guard. Bit by bit the average age of ships in the coast guard fleet crept up to 38 years. Capacity was diminished, for example with the closure of the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station – that our government reopened. That approach simply is not good enough. Our government understands that smart investments, like renewing our coast guard, strengthen our economy and help all Canadians get ahead. It is an approach that is working, with over a million new jobs created since 2015. I am happy to share the news of this important investment.