The following is the text of a news release from the government of Canada:
(OTTAWA) — The government of Canada today announced a series of enhancements to strengthen the National Shipbuilding Strategy so that needed vessels are delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard as quickly as possible.
While addressing representatives from the defense and security industries at CANSEC 2016, Judy M. Foote, minister of public services and procurement, reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the strategy and acknowledged that needed improvements are planned or underway in the following areas:
• Greater expertise and stronger oversight — Engaging an expert adviser and improving governance and communication with the shipyards.
• Increased internal capacity — Hiring additional shipbuilding staff and increasing training.
• More accurate planning — Introducing more accurate costing approaches.
• Detailed monitoring — Implementing measures to track the performance of the shipyards.
• Increased transparency and accountability — Regularly updating Canadians and parliamentarians with both annual and quarterly reports.
“The National Shipbuilding Strategy is good for Canada, but it needs to be improved," Foote said. "Our government reviewed the strategy’s successes and shortcomings and identified key areas for improvement. These changes aim to provide our men and women in uniform with needed ships as quickly as possible. At the same time, we are ensuring working-class Canadians will benefit from economic opportunities and jobs, and keeping the public informed of our progress.”
“I am pleased to see the enhancements our government is making to the National Shipbuilding Strategy so that our brave women and men of the Royal Canadian Navy can continue to do the jobs that are asked of them," said Harjit S. Sajjan, minister of national defense. "I am proud to see Canada making significant investments in the marine sector to strengthen the work force needed for this historic fleet renewal.
“The National Shipbuilding Strategy and the renewal of the Canadian Coast Guard fleet are essential to our ongoing efforts to keep Canadians safe on the water and to help navigate the billions of dollars in cargo that travel through Canadian waters each year," said Hunter Tootoo, minister of fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.
“By ensuring these ships are built here in Canada, the National Shipbuilding Strategy is re-establishing an important industry and supporting Canadian technological innovation," said Navdeep Bains, minister of innovation, science and economic development. "The strategy is creating work for Canadian companies that generate and maintain jobs across the country.”
• The total value of contracts awarded to date for large vessels under the National Shipbuilding Strategy will contribute nearly $4.4 billion of gross domestic product and create or maintain up to 5,500 jobs per year between 2012 and 2022.
• The shipyards selected to build Canada’s large vessels modernized their respective facilities at no cost to Canada, to build the vessels efficiently. Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards invested $170 million in its modernization, while Irving Shipbuilding’s infrastructure upgrades are estimated at $350 million.
• Construction is underway at both shipyards. The first Arctic offshore patrol vessel is being built at Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax, and the second one is scheduled for later this year. Construction has started on the first two of three offshore fisheries science vessels at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards.
Click here to read Foote's CANSEC address.