The Harper Government announced, on February 22, a series of preliminary contracts valued at a total of $15.7 million for the joint support ships, the CCGS John G. Diefenbaker polar icebreaker and the offshore fisheries science vessels.
“The Harper Government created the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy to support Canadian jobs and industries, while bolstering the Canadian economy by building ships right here in Canada,” said the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women. “Industry analysts have estimated that our shipbuilding strategy will contribute 15,000 jobs from coast to coast to coast and over $2 billion in annual economic benefits over the next 30 years.”
As part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS), these initial agreements will enable Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd. to:
– assist in the progression and assessment of the joint support ship design options;
– initiate a review of the polar icebreaker design; and
– refine the offshore fisheries science vessel design and specifications; and produce construction plans and determine requirements for material, subcontractors and labour.
“Our Government made the decision to build ships in Canada, while ensuring that the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard have the equipment they need to do the work we ask of them,” said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. “Our Government is steadfast in its commitment to defend Canada and these new ships help us achieve that commitment.”
“The joint support ships will be a critical tool for achieving success in both international and domestic Canadian Armed Forces missions,” said the Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, Associate Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Delta – Richmond East. “We are committed to the complex work of rebuilding our Royal Canadian Navy’s surface fleet, creating high-quality marine sector jobs, and to getting the job done right.”
“I am proud to be part of a government that is making unprecedented investments and showing such support for the Canadian Coast Guard,” said the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Gateway. “This is another step in ensuring that the Coast Guard has the right ships to do its important work, from search and rescue to supporting science activities, environmental response and icebreaking. We are very excited about the renewal of the Coast Guard fleet.”
As part of the non-combat package under the NSPS, the joint support ships will replace the Royal Canadian Navy’s auxiliary oiler replenishment vessels. The new polar icebreaker, the CCGS John G. Diefenbaker, will be delivered to coincide with the decommissioning of the Canadian Coast Guard’s heavy icebreaker, the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, and the offshore fisheries science vessels are intended to replace the CCGS Teleost, the Alfred Needler, and the W.E. Ricker.
The Harper Government is following through on its commitment to build ships in Canada. The NSPS will mean long-term jobs and economic growth for the country, stability for the industry, and vital equipment for the men and women in the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard.
Press Release, February 25, 2013