Canada Announces Renewal of Coast Guard Fleet

The Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, on May 22, announced a renewal of the Canadian Coast Guard fleet with the construction of 18 new large ships.

The 18 large vessels are:

• Two new Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS), which will be adapted for the Coast Guard to perform tasks including offshore patrols. These ships will be built by Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax.
• Up to 16 Multi-Purpose Vessels to support a variety of missions, including light icebreaking, environmental response, and offshore search and rescue. These ships will be built by Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards.

Total funding for the 18 large ships is $15.7 billion, which 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.

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

It was also announced that repairs, refits, and vessel life extension work will be carried out on the existing fleet until the new ships are delivered, with over $2 billion to be invested on a competitive basis for this purpose.

“By renewing the Coast Guard fleet, we’re making sure our Coast Guard has the ships they need to carry out their important work for the entire country in the years to come. Today’s announcement goes far beyond one shipyard, one industry, or one part of the country. We’re re-invigorating Canada’s world-class marine industry, supporting technological innovation, and creating good, middle class jobs from coast to coast to coast. We’re building a fleet for the future, today”, said the Prime Minister.

“The Canadian Coast Guard saves lives at sea, maintains safe shipping, enables an otherwise ice choked economy, protects the marine environment and supports Canadian sovereignty and security. With increasing shipping trade and the impacts of climate change already upon us, demands on Canada’s Coast Guard will continue to grow. A renewed Coast Guard fleet ensures the confidence of Canadians – and the confidence of industries that rely on Coast Guard services to remain competitive”, said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

“The National Shipbuilding Strategy is the right approach to ensure our Coast Guard, Navy, and marine activities are supported by modern vessels. In addition to adapting to meet evolving federal shipbuilding requirements, the Strategy is creating jobs, generating benefits and prosperity in communities across Canada, and supporting a sustainable marine sector. We remain firmly committed to the National Shipbuilding Strategy, and will continue to work closely with our shipbuilding partners to continue its success into the future”, said Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility.

The Government of Canada also announced that it intends to add a third Canadian shipyard as a partner under the NSS. The Government of Canada will move forward with a competitive process to select the third shipyard in the coming months.

The NSS is Canada’s long-term plan to renew the fleets of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard. It aims to deliver vessels to these organizations, create jobs and generate economic growth for Canada, and build a sustainable Canadian marine sector.

In 2018, the Government of Canada awarded approximately $1.8 billion in new contracts to Canadian companies under the NSS. Of that amount, more than $173 million went to small businesses with fewer than 250 full-time employees.

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