The federal authorities is predicted to finish practically two years of thriller on Thursday and reveal its plan to construct a brand new, lengthy overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard.
The announcement has been extremely anticipated by shipyards in Vancouver and Quebec which have been preventing tooth and nail for the coveted contract because it was taken from the Vancouver yard practically two years in the past.
First introduced by Stephen Harper’s Conservative authorities in 2008 and awarded to Seaspan Shipyards in October 2011, the CCGS John G. Diefenbaker was one in every of seven ships to be constructed by the Vancouver shipyard by way of Ottawa’s multibillion-dollar shipbuilding plan.
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The plan on the time was for your complete deal, valued at $8 billion for all seven ships, to usher in a brand new period of stability and prosperity for shipbuilding on Canada’s West Coast whereas delivering much-needed vessels for the Coast Guard and navy.
The Diefenbaker was arguably the crown jewel of the package deal. Initially budgeted at $721 million, the polar icebreaker was purported to be delivered by 2017 and substitute the Coast Guard’s flagship, the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent.
However scheduling conflicts, technical issues and different points scuttled the timeline and finances — which was elevated to $1.3 billion in 2013 and is now below evaluation once more — earlier than the Trudeau authorities quietly lifted the ship from Seaspan’s order guide in August 2019.
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The federal government has not supplied a lot of an evidence for why it took the Diefenbaker away from Seaspan, substituting in 16 smaller vessels that the Vancouver shipyard argues had been already promised to it by the earlier Conservative authorities.
Ottawa has solely stated it desires to verify the icebreaker is constructed “in probably the most environment friendly method,” noting the rising age of the Coast Guard’s total icebreaker fleet.
Seaspan has stated it’s decided to win the work again.
Ottawa requested shipyards in March to clarify how and why they need to get the contract. Seaspan and Quebec rival Chantier Davie, which misplaced out of the competitors that noticed Seaspan get the Diefenbaker in 2011, had been among the many respondents.
Davie is taken into account Seaspan’s chief competitor for the Diefenbaker. After dropping out of the competitors for work in 2011, the rival yard has since charged again and is now in line to construct six medium icebreakers for the Coast Guard.
The Quebec firm insists it — not Seaspan — is finest positioned to construct the Diefenbaker, notably given it’s already in line to construct the opposite six icebreakers.
The 2 have since engaged in a fierce lobbying marketing campaign to win the deal.
Davie launched a marketing campaign to model itself Canada’s Nationwide Icebreaker Centre whereas Seaspan has teamed up with a number of firms throughout Canada to tout the roles that will be created in several communities if it was awarded the contract.
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