Nova Scotia

CCGS Jean Goodwill, 2nd of 3 icebreakers, joins coast guard fleet

CCGS Jean Goodwill, the second of three interim icebreakers to join the Canadian Coast Guard, has been accepted into the fleet after undergoing conversion and refit work in Quebec. It will leave Quebec on Tuesday morning for its home port in Dartmouth, N.S.

Icebreaker will depart Quebec Tuesday morning for home port in Dartmouth, N.S.

The acceptance and delivery of CCGS Jean Goodwill was held Monday with the Canadian Coast Guard and Davie Shipbuilding. (Canadian Coast Guard)

CCGS Jean Goodwill, the second of three interim icebreakers to join the Canadian Coast Guard, has been accepted into the fleet after undergoing conversion and refit work in Quebec.

The ship's home port will be in Dartmouth, N.S., and it's expected to begin operations in early 2021, according to a news release from the coast guard.

"This icebreaker, and the dedicated officers aboard, will provide essential services to Canadians by keeping our waters safe and our marine commercial routes open for business," said Bernadette Jordan, the minister responsible for the Canadian Coast Guard.

The ship is named after the late Jean Goodwill, an officer of the Order of Canada and a Cree nurse from Little Pine Nation in Saskatchewan. 

She became Saskatchewan's first Indigenous woman to finish a nursing program in 1954 and was a founding member of the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada.

2nd of three ships

CCGS Jean Goodwill will depart the Davie shipyard in Lévis, Que., for Nova Scotia early Tuesday morning, a spokesperson for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said in an email.

Chantier Davie was awarded a $610-million contract in August 2018 to acquire three icebreakers and bring them up to Canadian regulatory standards.

The first icebreaker, CCGS Captain Molly Kool, entered service in late 2018 and is based in Newfoundland and Labrador. It was the first icebreaker added to the fleet in 25 years. The ship is named after a New Brunswick-born woman who was the first woman to become a licensed ship captain.

The third icebreaker, named for Vincent Massey, the first governor general born in Canada, is expected to join the coast guard fleet next year.

"The CCGS Jean Goodwill, along with its sister ships, CCGS Captain Molly Kool and the future CCGS Vincent Massey, will support icebreaking operations while new ships are being built and the existing fleet undergoes repairs and planned maintenance periods," the release said.

CCGS Jean Goodwill will be based out of Dartmouth, N.S. (Canadian Coast Guard)

The icebreakers will be used in Atlantic Canada, the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes during the winter and in the Arctic during the summer.

The Davie shipyard is prequalified to become a partner in the National Shipbuilding Strategy. The two current partners are Irving Shipbuilding and Seaspan Shipyards in Vancouver.

Workers exposed to lead 

Work on CCGS Jean Goodwill and the future CCGS Vincent Massey at the Davie Shipyard was halted last February after a coast guard risk assessment revealed paint containing lead on both ships.

Last month, a Radio-Canada investigation found the shipyard workers and members of the Canadian Coast Guard were exposed to lead paint for months without any protective equipment, even though their employers had reason to believe the ships were contaminated.

Davie and the coast guard found the paint on CCGS Molly Kool contained traces of lead in October 2019. While the three ships were built to identical specifications, work wasn't paused on the other two icebreakers for another four months.

In a statement last month, Frédérik Boisvert, the shipbuilder's vice-president of public affairs, said the company took all reasonable precautions and there were no negative impacts on the employees' health.

Work resumed on the two ships in late March.

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Alex Cooke

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Alex is a reporter living in Halifax. Send her story ideas at alex.cooke@cbc.ca.

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