Plans to Enhance Canadian Coast Guard Announced

Preventing drowning deaths is a goal of the Canadian Coast Guard
The Canadian Coast Guard rescues many boaters who might otherwise drown

OTTAWA – The Government of Canada has announced that Irving Shipbuilding will build two new Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships, which will be adapted for the Coast Guard to perform a range of critical missions, including Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization patrols. Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards will build up to 16 Multi-Purpose Vessels to support a variety of missions, including light icebreaking, environmental response, and offshore search and rescue.

“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,” states Jonathan Wilkinson,
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

Irving Shipbuilding today released the following statement in response to Government of Canada’s announcement that the company will build two Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships for the Canadian Coast Guard:

Congratulations to the men and women of the Canadian Coast Guard on today’s announcement that Halifax Shipyard will build two Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships for its fleet. We are proud to be selected to build the two ice-capable, multi-purpose Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships that will increase the Coast Guard fleet’s capability and capacity and enhance its important work in the Arctic.

On behalf of our 2,000 shipbuilders, we would like to thank the Government of Canada for their confidence in our shipbuilding team, and for their proactive approach to creating a sustainable shipbuilding industry in Canada, a key objective of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

Construction of two additional Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships for the Coast Guard along with continuous Halifax-class maintenance work will ensure steady workload at the Halifax Shipyard leading up to construction of the Canadian Surface Combatants in 2023. We look forward to working closely with the Canadian Coast Guard on the construction of these two additional Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships.

Big Spending and No Plan to Deliver – Conservatives

Todd Doherty, Conservative Shadow Minister for Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, released the following statement today regarding the Trudeau government’s announcement for the Canadian Coast Guard:

“While Conservatives support the much-needed procurement of new ships for the Canadian Coast Guard, we are concerned that the Liberals have waited until the last minute to make this announcement and have no plan to actually deliver.  Just like we saw with their defence plan, the Liberals continue to make big spending promises, with no plan to actually pay for them.

“The Liberal record on shipbuilding is abysmal. There have been numerous delays because of Liberal mismanagement, which has cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.  This includes repeated extensions to the design competition for the Canadian Surface Combatant.  Justin Trudeau has also refused to award the conversion contract for the second supply ship, Obélix, to the Davie shipyard despite the fact that they delivered the Astérix on time and on budget.

“Our previous Conservative government was proud to launch the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, to deliver the ships our men and women in uniform need and deserve. However, clearly more must be done. No Canadian shipyard should be sitting idle.  The Canadian Coast Guard needs new ships, especially heavy icebreakers, as soon as possible.

“Conservatives have been pressuring the Trudeau government for years on this very issue. With the longest coastline in the world and oldest coast guard fleet, it is about time these Liberals took notice. Conservatives will continue to support the Canadian Coast Guard to ensure that they get the ships they need to keep Canadians safe while ensuring the best value for taxpayers.”