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Canada needs 3 ice-breakers

A lack of Canadian ice-breakers in the Great Lakes and St Lawrence Seaway, at a time of the heavy ice cover, is of mounting concern for moving critical cargo to Canadian and American industries, according to the Canadian Shipowners Association (CSA).
Despite the efforts of Canadian Coast Guard ice-breakers, the opening of the St Lawrence Seaway has been the most delayed in recent years. This has hit grain exports, which remain stored in Thunder Bay until ice-breakers can get to them. 
The CSA and its members have advised the coast guard, a non-military division of the Ministry of Transport, of the need to employ three ice-breakers to support the opening of the Great Lakes-Seaway system, to support navigation in the St Lawrence River and Maritimes. 
It is important to prevent the further depletion of already low stocks of commodities such as iron ore, construction materials, salt and petroleum products which are moved by ships, it added in a statement.
The Canadian Coast Guard's fleet of ice-breaking ships is ageing and too few in number to support the economic and environmental benefits of short-sea shipping in Canada, said a statement from the shipping association.
Traditionally, ice-breaking on the St Lawrence was for flood prevention to keep the ice moving and not have it clogging into natural dams and inundate the surrounding farmland.
In the 1960s, the arrival of ice-strengthened hulls opened the Port of Montreal year round rather than restrict it to a summer navigation season, much to the chagrin of Halifax and Saint John in the Maritime provinces, which had enjoyed a winter monopoly up till then.

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