Ontario shipyard withdraws complaint alleging federal favoritism toward Davie

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(OTTAWA) — An Ontario shipyard has dropped a request for an investigation into whether the federal government tried to rig its plan to add a third yard to its National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) in favor of Quebec's Chantier Davie, The Canadian Press and Financial Post reported.

The move by Heddle Marine comes only a few weeks after Canadian government invoked a controversial national-security exception that prevents such investigations by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal.

The tribunal’s role is to ensure the government follows proper procurement rules, including adhering to Canada’s obligations under international trade law and free-trade agreements.

Heddle Marine President Shaun Padulo said his company decided to drop its complaint after lawyers determined there was no point in continuing after the exception was invoked.

The federal government launched its search for a third yard to join Irving Shipbuilding and Seaspan in the NSS in August. The winning yard could be awarded billions of dollars in work associated with building at least six new icebreakers for the Canadian Coast Guard.

Heddle alleged in its complaint that many of the requirements the government said shipyards must meet to qualify for consideration were not legitimate or reasonable — and would disqualify virtually every yard but Davie, which is across the St. Lawrence River from Quebec City.

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By Professional Mariner Staff