Although its heritage can be traced back in time prior to Confederation, the official Canadian Coast Guard was created on January 26, 1962 when Leon Balcer, then minister of transport in the Diefenbaker government, announced in the House of Commons that the Department of Transport fleet of ships would, in the future, be known as the Canadian Coast Guard.

Since the early days of lifeboats and Arctic voyages, the organization now includes a workforce of roughly 4,500 dedicated employees and a fleet of 116 vessels and 22 ­helicopters.

The federal government has invested close to $1.4 billion since 2005 in the Canadian Coast Guard fleet, including critical investments for new Hero Class mid-shore patrol vessels.

As part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, the Canadian Coast Guard will acquire three new offshore fisheries science vessels, one new oceanographic science vessel and a new polar icebreaker – CCGS John G. Diefenbaker. Over the past two years the Harper government has also made important upgrades to Coast Guard infrastructure.