The rising of concerns was prompted from a recent incident involving the icebreaker 'Terry Fox' that sustained a mechanical break, while assisting a trapped ferry between Quebec City and Lévis last week. Eventually, a private company towed the ferry to shore and 'Terry Fox' is currently for repairs.
In addition, the ferry service between Quebec City and Lévis was cancelled two days later, as a result from the accumulation of ice along St. Lawrence River.
The incident highlighted that the icebreaker fleet is aging in a pace so fast, that it can only be replaced, according to naval architect Paul Barbeau, as quoted by CBC. As he explained, working conditions for repair are too difficult.
The aging coast guard fleet concerns are not new. A report conducted by Transport Canada in early 2016 had highlighted the need for new ships as well as disfunctions related to insufficient staff.
In response, the Davie shipyard in Lévis has offered to loan four of its advanced icebreakers, in a bid to enhance services along St. Lawrence, as well as to create jobs for the struggling Quebec-based company.