Climate change presages increasingly ice-free waters in the Canadian Arctic and fundamental reconfiguration of Asia-Europe and Asia-US East Coast marine transportation networks via the Northwest Passage (NWP). Retreating sea ice will impact the annual re-supply of goods to northern communities, natural resource development, cruise ship and adventure tourism activity, and the fishing industry. Reviews of infrastructure to support increased shipping activity and support future developments highlight an ageing Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) icebreaker fleet. This paper aims to debate the need for, and provision, ownership and management of Arctic icebreaking services required to serve a NWP. It reports perceptions by 110 experts of future marine activity in the Canadian Arctic and CCG services, principally Arctic icebreaking, in terms of their effectiveness and efficiency. The extent of possible private involvement is identified and evaluated. The requirements needed to ensure timely and uninterrupted marine transportation from vessels operating in these waters are highlighted.