CANADIAN COAST GUARD AUXILLIARY (CCGA)
Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (CCGA)
................ by George Millman, Boatcan
The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (CCGA) is a nonprofit organisation and a registered charity made up of volunteer resources throughout Canada. The CCGA has been in existence since 1978 and provides assistance to the Coast Guard and the National Defense with search and rescue and safe boating programs. In Canada, six Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliaries are federally incorporated as non-profit associations. Each association has a legal entity separate from that of the Government of Canada. The Presidents of each of the five regional associations are members of the CCGA National Council, chaired by an elected Chief Executive Officer. The National Council oversees the administrative and business requirements that concern every region. In seaside villages, marinas and ports across Canada, auxiliarists are organized into units that handle missions in their vicinity. Each unit is led by an elected unit leader. A group of units combines to make up a zone led by a Director.
The Auxiliary is made up of close to 5,000 dedicated volunteers. The members are primarily pleasure craft operators and commercial fishermen who use their own vessels or community owned vessels for safe boating education and SAR-related activities. Currently, the CCGA fleet includes over 1,500 vessels with a combined asset value of over 215 million dollars. Vessels are either privately owned, community owned or loaned by the Canadian Coast Guard to the Auxiliary. All vessels must meet strict standards in order to become part of the Auxiliary fleet. Members are responsible for keeping their boats maintained. In addition, they are required to equip them with specialised search and rescue gear, which can run into the thousands of dollars.
The CCGA is very cost conscious and aims to make maximum funds available for operational needs. The terms and conditions which establish the conduct of activities of the CCGA are identified in a Contribution Agreement drawn up between the Auxiliary and the Canadian Coast Guard. Because auxiliarists are only reimbursed for out of pocket expenses when tasked to a SAR mission, the Government of Canada receives the equivalent of $30 in services from the CCGA for every dollar actually spent. In other words, CCGA members save Canadian taxpayers millions by providing services at a fraction of the cost of maintaining the same number of Coast Guard units at the ready. The CCGA receive partial funding from the Government of Canada but the Auxiliary is also required to raise the additional contributions needed to maintain its rescue services, keep its units equipped with the proper search and rescue equipment and to train its members to save lives at sea.
Prince William and Kate Middleton requested charitable gifts in lieu of wedding presents. The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary has been selected as one of the recipients. The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary is a Registered Charity. Your donation is tax deductible.