Government of Canada congratulates fishery officer graduates who trained through pandemic
Today, Fisheries and Oceans Canada welcomed the 30 graduates of troop 119 to the ranks of more than 600 fishery officers across the country. Canada’s fishery officers perform a crucial role in conserving and protecting Canada’s marine and coastal areas, as well as fisheries resources and habitat.
In a special ceremony at the NAV Centre in Cornwall, Ontario, graduates of what has been known as the “COVID Troop” reflected on the unique nature of their training in the midst of a global pandemic. The recruits began their journey in February 2020 with on-board training with the Canadian Coast Guard in Halifax, followed by orientation training at the RCMP Depot in Regina, as is standard for fishery officer recruits. However, when the RCMP Depot was shut down following the arrival of COVID-19, the troop’s crucial enforcement training was suspended and the recruits were sent back to their home communities to quarantine with the rest of Canada.
Luckily, adaptability and dedication are both strong markers of good fishery officers, and following an initial isolation period, the troop was able to re-form and complete their enforcement training at the NAV Centre in Cornwall under social distancing guidelines. The graduates will now complete 30 months of practical training in Conservation and Protection field offices across Canada.
Minister Bernadette Jordan was unable to attend the ceremony, but sent a video message to the troop to congratulate them on their perseverance during an extreme and unique set of circumstances.
“I am so proud to welcome this exceptional group of new fishery officers to our ranks. Fishery officer training is difficult at the best of times, and these were extremely challenging circumstances. I am confident that your ability to adapt and succeed during these trying times will be not only serve you well as you work to protect our marine resources, but that your ability to rise above adversity will also serve as an inspiration to others who will follow in your footsteps. Congratulations, and all the best on the next phase of your training.” Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard