Ottawa - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday said Canada would spend an estimated C$15.7 billion ($11.7 billion) to renew its coast guard fleet and that it would partner with a new shipyard to complete the project. Two Arctic icebreakers will be among a total of 18 new ships ordered, Trudeau told reporters in Vancouver.
They will be built by Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax on the east coast, while 16 multi-purpose vessels will be built by Vancouver Shipyards on the west coast. “Our government will be doing a full renewal of the Canadian coast guard fleet and creating new shipbuilding jobs right here in British Columbia,” said Trudeau, who is standing for re-election later this year.
“Canada has the world’s longest coastline and Canadians know its absolutely essential that we protect it and that we patrol it.” With the average age of the vessels in the current fleet almost 38 years, an additional C$2 billion will be spent to extend their operations, Trudeau said. Additionally, a tender process to design a new, smaller ship will be held and a new shipyard - possibly Davie Shipbuilding in Lauzon, Quebec - will be selected to partner with the government on the project.