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

Active number of COVID cases rises to 61 in central zone

Cases increased by 13 over the past 24 hours

Samson Cree Nation warns residents about COVID-19 case

A non-resident member who recently visited Maskwacis and Ma-Me-O beach has tested positive.

Break and enter at the Wetaskiwin Heritage Museum

Wetaskiwin RCMP is seeking help from the public to identify two suspects.

230 new COVID-19 cases reported over the weekend

City of Red Deer has nine active cases

Experts say Twitter breach troubling, undermines trust

Twitter swiftly locked down accounts to investigate

Walmart latest retailer to require customers to wear masks

Similar policies at Starbucks and Best Buy in U.S.

Most Read