Canada to spend $15.7B on new coast guard ships, Trudeau says

Canada plans to build up to 18 new coast guard ships at a cost of $15.7 billion in an effort to renew Canada’s Coast Guard fleet, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday.

Up to 16 of the ships will be constructed in a fleet renewal project anchored in Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards. Two others — Arctic patrol ships that will be modified for the Canadian Coast Guard — will be built at Irving Shipyards in Nova Scotia.

“Canadians deserve better than to have this fleet rust out,” Trudeau said during his visit to Vancouver.

“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,” he said in a statement.

Trudeau also announced the government is launching a competitive process for the design of a new class of smaller ships. The mid-shore multi-mission ship will work with the large fleet in shallow areas and perform some science activities.

A plan to refit and extend the life of existing vessels at shipyards across the country will cost up to $2 billion.

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Aside from the shipbuilding plan, the federal government is providing an additional $351.3 million to enhance capacity of the coast guard, strengthen management and oversight and promote a greener way of doing business.

According to a government statement, the $15.7 billion figure is an “early estimate” of the cost for construction, support, infrastructure, project management and cost overruns, or contingency funding. The costs of each ship will be announced, the government said, after contract negotiations have been completed.

According to a statement, the government also intends to launch a competitive process to add a third Canadian shipyard as a partner under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

“The National Shipbuilding Strategy is the right approach to ensure our Coast Guard, Navy, and marine activities are supported by modern vessels,” Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility Carla Qualtrough said in a statement.

The 16 multi-purpose vessels will be used for light icebreaking, environmental response and search and rescue while the two new Arctic and offshore patrol ships will perform duties further offshore.


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