SARNIA - The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Pat Davidson, Member of Parliament for Sarnia-Lambton, officially welcomed the new Canadian Coast Guard Ship Private Robertson V.C. into service at a ceremony in Sarnia, Ontario on Apr. 30.
CCGS Private Robertson V.C. is the first of nine Hero Class vessels - built at a Canadian shipyard for the Canadian Coast Guard – to be officially welcomed to the Coast Guard fleet. It will enhance maritime security throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway and will be used in the joint Marine Securities Enforcement Team Program, a partnership between the Canadian Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
“Our Government is proud to welcome this new Hero Class vessel to our fleet,” said Minister Ashfield. “We have made more investments in the Coast Guard than any Government in Canadian history. I am excited to see new and more capable Coast Guard vessels joining our fleet.”
"Our government is committed to keeping Canadians safe," added Public Safety Minister Vic Toews. "This new Coast Guard vessel will further enhance the law enforcement partnership between the RCMP and the Canadian Coast Guard - a partnership that is vital to Canada's marine and maritime security."
“The Great Lakes are an important part of our region’s economy, livelihood and recreation. Canadians around the Great Lakes are proud to see the iconic red and white hulls of our Canadian Coast Guard keeping our waterways safe and open,” said Pat Davidson. “I am proud to be part of a government that is providing the Coast Guard with the tools and training it needs.”
Built at the Irving Shipyard in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Private Robertson V.C. is 43 metres in length, has a top speed of 25 knots and a range of 2000 nautical miles, and will be able to stay at sea for up to two weeks without re-provisioning. The Coast Guard Hero class vessels are named after Canadian heroes who have given the ultimate sacrifice for Canada. The first vessel of the class is named for Victoria Cross recipient Private James Peter Robertson.
Private James Robertson, V.C., was born in Albion Mines (now Stellarton), Pictou County Nova Scotia and enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Medicine Hat, Alberta in 1915. He was killed in action on November 6, 1917 while rescuing two badly wounded fellow soldiers under severe fire. He is buried at Passchendaele in Belgium. Private Robertson was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery and outstanding devotion to duty. The grand-niece of Private Robertson, Lynn Tebay, traveled to Sarnia for the ceremony and served as the ship’s sponsor, breaking a bottle of Ontario sparkling wine over the bow of the ship.
“The Canadian Coast Guard is a symbol of true and dutiful service," said Minister Ashfield. "The new Hero Class patrol vessels represent a modest tribute to the heroes they honour and our government's support for the brave Coast Guard personnel that risk their lives along Canada's treacherous coastline - the longest in the world."
Since 2009, the Government of Canada has delivered several new and more capable vessels to the Coast Guard, including: 3 Hero-class Mid-Shore Patrol Vessels (CCGS Private Robertson V.C., CCGS Caporal Kaeble V.C. and CCGS Corporal Teather C.V.); the hovercraft CCGS Mamilossa; five Search and Rescue Lifeboats; two Specialty Vessels; three Near-Shore Fishery Research Vessels; 30 environmental barges; and 60 small craft. This is a demonstration of the Government’s commitment to ensuring safe streets and communities and showing pride in our country.