|The new National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy opens ship construction and repair contracts to commercial bidding processes. Photo: iStockphoto
The Government of Canada has created a new policy for its shipbuilding buys.
The new National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy sets out the commercial bidding process for the construction of the large ships included in the federal fleet renewal program. The $40-billion program will see the construction of approximately 50 vessels for the Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard over the next 30 years.
As part of the deal, the government will procure large vessels from two Canadian shipyards—one for combat vessels and one for non-combat vessels. According to government officials, the selection of the two shipyards will be done in a “competitive, fair, open and transparent” manner under the observation of a fairness monitor and independent third-party experts.
The construction of smaller ships will be open to competitive bids from other Canadian shipyards. And the repair, refit and maintenance of ships will continue to be sourced through competitive tendering.
“Our government made the decision to support the Canadian marine industry, to revitalize Canadian shipyards and to build ships for the Navy and Coast Guard here in Canada,” announced Rona Ambrose, minister of public works and government services. “The strategy will bring predictability to federal ship procurement and eliminate cycles of boom and bust, providing benefits to the entire marine industry.”
The decision to buy local has gone over well among suppliers and other stakeholders in the Canadian shipbuilding industry.
“We are pleased that the government is moving forward with this strategy that will ensure a balanced workload in the shipyards for the years to come and help develop a strong expertise in shipbuilding in Canada,” said Gustav Johan Nydal, president and CEO of Levis, Quebec-based shipbuilder Davie Yards.
And labour groups are satisfied, too. “We are glad our construction contractors and shipbuilding industry partners will have a chance to bid on this work,” said Mark Curtis, local business manager for the Sheet Metal Worker International Association in Victoria, British Columbia.