Canada is a maritime nation. We depend on the seas for a large part of our trade and security, and as a medium through which to exert national influence in concert with allies. Our navy, therefore, has a critical role in protecting Canada and key Canadian interests.
The task is formidable. But our small, efficient fleet of warships and submarines, supported by supply vessels, keeps the vast ocean areas that bound our nation – including the Canadian Arctic - secure. We contribute to NATO, UN and coalition operations and humanitarian missions overseas. We help when natural disaster strikes and uphold the law around our shores, guarding the environment, the fisheries and energy resources.
For nearly a century, the navy has done its duty to defend Canada and uphold democratic freedoms, in times of war and peace, in home and “far distant” waters.
The navy (known officially as Maritime Command of the Canadian Forces) is headquartered in Ottawa. Our two main bases are located in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Esquimalt (near Victoria) British Columbia. Naval Reserve headquarters are in Quebec City. The fleet is divided more or less equally between both coasts. It includes destroyers, frigates, submarines, supply ships and a variety of support vessels. The Maritime Air Group provides helicopters and long-range patrol aircraft in support of our activities. We are developing our ability to support land forces in joint amphibious operations. Several major programs are online to make sure the fleet remains modern, relevant and effective.
At present, the navy is almost 9,000 strong. We are supported by the dedicated efforts of 5,500 Primary Reservists and more than 4,000 civilians. The navy depends on the dedication and skills of its civilian personnel in a wide variety of ways – in systems, mechanical and electrical engineering; science and technology; ship repair and naval architecture; communications; and administrative and managerial roles.
Working for the navy can offer rewarding and fulfilling careers supporting a thoroughly professional service doing critically important jobs – jobs that make a real difference, in Canada and worldwide.
More information on Canada's Navy