Feds congratulate fishery officer graduates who trained through pandemic
The graduates will now complete 30 months of practical training in Conservation and Protection field offices across Canada
CORNWALL, Ont. — On Aug. 23, Fisheries and Oceans Canada welcomed the 30 graduates of troop 119 to the ranks of more than 600 fishery officers across the country.
In a ceremony at the NAV Centre in Cornwall, Ont., 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 Feb. 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.
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.
“Fishery officer training is difficult at the best of times, and these were extremely challenging circumstances,” Bernadette Jordan, minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, said in a video message for the graduates. “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.”