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Irving to build 2 of 18 new Canadian Coast Guard ships – new class of multi-mission ships planned

CCGS Henry Larsen icebreaking near St. Barbe, N.L., in late March. Again this year, heavy ice conditions caused significant problems for fishing operations and transportation in the Strait of Belle Isle. – Canadian Coast Guard photo
CCGS Henry Larsen icebreaking near St. Barbe, N.L., in late March. A – Canadian Coast Guard photo

The Liberal government announced Wednesday that 18 new vessels will be built for the Canadian Coast Guard, including a new class of multi-mission ships.

Irving Shipbuilding will build two additional Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships, which will be adapted for the Coast Guard to perform a range of missions, including Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization patrols, according to the federal government. Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards will build up to 16 Multi-Purpose Vessels to support a variety of missions, including light icebreaking, environmental response, and offshore search and rescue.

Trudeau said the new initiatives will create more jobs in various areas in shipbuilding. “Canadians deserve better than to have this fleet rust out,” Trudeau added.

To support future shipbuilding requirements, the Canadian government intends to add a third Canadian shipyard as a partner under the national shipbuilding strategy, the government noted. The government stated it will move forward with a competitive process to select the third shipyard in the coming months with industry officials pointing to Davie in Quebec as a front-runner in that process.

Trudeau also hinted that Davie could become that third shipyard. “We recognize that it’s an opportunity for Davie to apply to become that third shipbuilding facility because there will be a tremendous amount of work in the coming years for workers in our shipbuilding industry right across the country from coast, to coast, to coast,” Trudeau said.

The Canadian Coast Guard has more than 1,900 employees, a fleet of 44 vessels of various sizes, as well as nine helicopters.

Total funding for the 18 new large ships is $15.7 billion, according to the government. That figure represents early estimates of project budgets, including construction, logistics and support, contingency, project management and infrastructure costs. The costs of each ship will be announced following contract negotiations, federal officials stated.

The government will also proceed through a competitive process with the design of a new class of smaller ships, the Mid-Shore Multi-Mission Ship, which will complement the work of the large fleet in shallow areas and deliver mid-shore science activities.

Repairs, refits and vessel life extension work will be carried out on the existing fleet until the new ships are delivered, with more than $2 billion to be invested, federal officials pointed out. In addition to funding for shipbuilding, the Canadian government will also provide $351.3 million to support ongoing Canadian Coast Guard capacity enhancements, such as strengthening management oversight and promoting green innovation.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

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