Canada to build six new icebreakers, add third shipyard to NSS


The following is text of a news release from the government of Canada:

(OTTAWA) — Canadians across the country rely on the critical services of the Canadian Coast Guard to protect mariners and the marine environment, and to ensure the safe and efficient movement of ships that are key to our vibrant economy. With continued growth in commercial shipping and with climate change already affecting our communities, demands on the Coast Guard continue to grow.

The Coast Guard provides critical icebreaking services to ensure commercial ships and ferries have access to Canadian ports during the winter time, and supports summer re-supply activities in Canada’s Arctic. To ensure the Coast Guard can continue to deliver these essential services, Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, has announced that the Coast Guard will be procuring six new program icebreakers to replace its current aging fleet of icebreakers.

Wilkinson also announced, on behalf of Carla Qualtrough, minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, that the government of Canada is officially launching a competitive process, through an invitation to qualify, to add a third Canadian shipyard as a strategic partner under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). This new shipyard will build the new program icebreakers for the Coast Guard.

Coast Guard program icebreakers are essential to Canada’s economy by supporting year-round marine trade in eastern Canada, the St. Lawrence waterway and the Great Lakes. They enable eastern Canadian ferries to operate during the winter time, and are critical to Canada’s commercial fisheries. The program icebreakers are also used to provide service to Canada’s northern residents by supporting the annual re-supply of goods to Canada’s Arctic communities and their industries.

“The Canadian Coast Guard saves lives at sea, maintains safe shipping, enables an otherwise ice-choked economy, protects the marine environment and supports Canadian sovereign presence in the Arctic. Demands on the Coast Guard will only grow as the impacts of climate change become more frequent and intense. By adding the new program icebreakers to renew the fleet, we are ensuring the women and men of the Canadian Coast Guard have the equipment they need to deliver icebreaking services in the Arctic, on the St. Lawrence waterway and on Canada’s East Coast,” Wilkinson said.

“This is an important undertaking with another significant investment to back it up, and it means even more jobs, more opportunity and more economic development right across the country, while ensuring our Canadian Coast Guard has the ships it needs to do its important work. Together with our partners, we are renewing Canada’s federal fleet, advancing Canadian technological innovation and supporting jobs across Canada," Qualtrough said.

Through the invitation to qualify, the government of Canada will establish a short list of pre-qualified shipyards that will be eligible to submit a formal proposal to become the third strategic partner under the NSS, joining Irving Shipbuilding Inc. and Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards.

Interested suppliers have 15 days, starting last Friday, to respond to the invitation to qualify.

On May 22, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the government of Canada is investing $15.7 billion to renew the Coast Guard fleet, with up to 16 multi-purpose Vessels to be built at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards and two new Arctic and offshore patrol ships to be built at Irving Shipbuilding Inc.

To date, the government of Canada has awarded more than $11.4 billion in NSS-related contracts across the country.

The government of Canada’s NSS is a long-term, multi-billion-dollar program focused on renewing the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy fleets to ensure that Canada’s marine agencies have the modern ships they need to fulfill their missions, while revitalizing Canada’s marine industry, creating good middle-class jobs and maximizing economic benefits across the country.

By Professional Mariner Staff