Profile on our New Rear Admiral, Craig Baines

October 23, 2017

Rear Admiral Craig Baines -web

We spoke with Rear Admiral Craig Baines, Commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic and Joint Task Force Atlantic. Rear Admiral Baines assumed command of the East Coast Navy on September 1, 2017.

Tell me a little about your background. 

I consider myself to be from Saskatchewan. Coming from a military background, my father was a fighter pilot, and Saskatchewan was where we always went “home” during the summer. That is a tradition that I have kept up through my own military career and it is where I met my wife. 

I joined the Navy while I was attending the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, and spent a third of my career on the west coast, a third of my career on the east coast and another third in Ottawa, Toronto and on an exchange posting. 


What are some things that Halifax residents might not know about you?

I’m a huge country music fan. My favourite football team is the Denver Broncos. I was born the last year the Leafs won the Stanley Cup and I love watching my four kids play football, rugby, hockey, and soccer.


What are your key priorities as Rear Admiral?

First and foremost, I want to ensure that our people, sailors, soldiers, aviators, and civilians enjoy their jobs, that they are looked after, and that we maximize their contribution to our success through leveraging their collective talents at every turn. Second, through my first priority, I want to make sure we have the best and most ready naval fleet that we can have to ensure we are capable of providing the right type of naval response when the government asks us to answer the call. While I have many other priorities, these first two key priorities will define much of what I do.  


The Navy plays an important role in Halifax’s community and economy. Where do you see that role under your leadership, and how do you see the Navy impacting Halifax’s economic growth in the future?

In addition to the key priorities I mentioned earlier, I am very interested in connecting with the local community. We should not be considered distinct from this community, but rather an integral part of the place we call home. We need to be active and contributing partners in almost all aspects of community living, whether that is working with businesses, working with youth, supporting technological change, being involved with the local universities, engaging with our indigenous communities, or just being a good neighbour. We have a responsibility to be engaged and to clearly demonstrate that we are a reflection of the communities in which we live. In this respect, it is important that we make headway in the areas of diversity and inclusion so we can be seen as an employer of choice and a respectful partner within our community. We are arguably one of Halifax’s largest employers and represent the largest military base in Canada. This makes us an important partner in the economic growth of the region now and into the future.


What is one key message you would like to share with Halifax, particularly the business community?

The key message I would like to share with Halifax is that we are you. We stand out because we wear a uniform, but we are you in another form. My hope would be that we are mutually supporting in all aspects of our business and that we work together to make this one of the best communities in Canada to live and work.