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Quebec Bulletin
April-May 2017/Volume 20/Number 2

Become the Eyes and Ears of the Canadian Coast Guard

Inside Québec Maritime Transport and Communication Services Centre, showing many computer screens
Québec Marine Communications and Traffic Services Centre

The Canadian Coast Guard's Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) are currently seeking officers "to become their eyes and ears".

MCTS officers have a vital role to play. They coordinate traffic on the water at all times, provide continuous monitoring of all marine frequencies, respond to distress calls and communicate the needs of ships to those on shore. These services help protect human lives at sea, conserve the marine environment, and efficiently manage ship movements.

Officers on duty are faced with a number of significant challenges, like monitoring and authorizing large vessel transit in dredged channels. They must be vigilant in order to ensure that under-keel clearance (the water level between the vessel's hull and the sea floor) is sufficient to allow vessels to transit safely, so that they don't run aground. The MCTS centre will issue transit restrictions as needed, based on a number of factors that directly impact under-keel clearance, such as tides, draught, water levels, wind, etc.

In Quebec, MCTS officers are divided between two centres—Québec City and Les Escoumins. They provide services to the marine industry, mariners, recreational boaters, and fishers, as well as to international government agencies, and to federal and provincial departments.

Conditions of employment, training and career opportunities
Officers work shift work, as MCTS centres operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. MCTS officers with the Canadian Coast Guard receive a competitive salary and benefits.

MCTS officers are trained at the Canadian Coast Guard College, located in Sydney, Nova Scotia. This is the only institution where this specialized training is offered. The 25-week program is offered in both official languages. It consists of a combination of theoretical courses and practical classes using simulators. A career as an MCTS officer also opens up a number of other professional opportunities within Marine Communications and Traffic Services, and with the Canadian Coast Guard.

The Canadian Coast Guard is currently recruiting to find new officers to train for most of its MCTS centres in Canada. Apply to become a trainee.

Keven Raymond
Canadian Coast Guard

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