An artist’s rendering of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship, Lockheed Martin’s proposed design for Canada’s $60-billion fleet of new warships. COURTESY LOCKHEED MARTIN CANADA

Feds to buy Arctic ships from Irving to prevent layoffs

The federal government is looking at buying two more ships

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to announce Wednesday that the federal government is buying two more Arctic patrol ships on top of the six it has already ordered from Halifax-based Irving Shipbuilding.

However, unlike the first six, which are being built for the navy at a total cost of $3.5 billion, a government source tells The Canadian Press that the seventh and eighth will be built for the Canadian Coast Guard.

According to the source, who was not authorized to comment publicly, the move is intended to address the Canadian Coast Guard’s desperate need for new ships as its current fleet is extremely old, which has affected its ability to do its job.

READ MORE: Tribunal orders feds to postpone contract in $60B warship project

That includes everything from search-and-rescue operations and resupplying Arctic communities, to clearing ice for ferries in the St. Lawrence River and Atlantic region.

The source says it’s also to address the threat of layoffs, which Irving has long warned will happen unless the government fills a gap between when the last Arctic patrol ship is finished and construction on the navy’s new $60-billion warship fleet.

The government sought to address that gap in November when it ordered the sixth Arctic vessel for the navy and agreed to slow production on the fleet, at a total cost of $800 million.

Half of that cost was for the ship and the other half was to stretch out the work at Irving.

But federal bureaucrats and Irving both warned at that time more would need to be done as even with those measures, Irving was facing an 18-to-24-month gap — during which time it said it would need to lay off workers.

READ MORE: Justin Trudeau credits immigration for Canada’s growing tech sector

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

First Energy Metals set to start gold exploration work in the West Kootenay

The work will be conducted at two of its sites near Nakusp and Nelson

Nelson skateboarders charged with assaulting Trail police officer

Incident happened at the skate park in Trail

RDCK closes all indoor recreational facilities until at least August 18

The district said closures are necessary to meet financial plan and to deliver safe programming

Flooding: Why the RDCK ordered hundreds of properties evacuated

All evacuation orders have now been rescinded

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Vancouver Island school principal mourns brother, cousin killed during U.S. protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

Bank of Canada keeps key interest rate target on hold at 0.25%

Central bank now expects GDP to decline between 10 and 20 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2019

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

Most Read