Back to news

January 12, 2023 | Local, Aerospace

Achats de F-35 : Des travaux de 500 M$ à prévoir à Bagotville

Des travaux d'au moins 500 millions de dollars auront lieu à la base militaire de Bagotville, à Saguenay, en vue de l’acquisition par Ottawa de 88 appareils F-35.

On the same subject

  • Saudis fall $1.8B behind in payments for arms deal with Canada

    December 20, 2018 | Local, Land

    Saudis fall $1.8B behind in payments for arms deal with Canada

    NORMAN DE BONO Saudi Arabia has fallen behind in making payments on its $15-billion arms deal with Canada, a contract that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he's looking for ways to halt. The Saudi government was short $1.8 billion in payments to the end of September for light-armoured vehicles assembled at General Dynamics Land Systems Canada (GDLS) in London, according to financial statements from the Canadian Commercial Corp., the federal Crown corporation overseeing the controversial contract. “It is a problem. There is concern, absolutely,” a federal official with knowledge of the agreement told The London Free Press on Wednesday. The arrears on the deal can be traced to a new regime in Saudi Arabia since the agreement was signed in 2014, and there have been delays in payments since the change, said the official, who declined to be identified. “That changed the way everything worked, including payments,” he said of the desert kingdom's new leadership. However, since September the oil-rich country has been making payments and has reduced the amount owed, the official added. The deal, which the Liberals are under pressure to scuttle amid Saudi human rights abuses, including the slaying of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the country's consulate in Turkey, affects thousands of workers in the London area and in a supply chain that extends nationwide. Trudeau, whose government inherited the deal from former prime minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives, said publicly this week for the first time that the Liberals are trying to find a way to stop the sale involving hundreds of light-armoured military vehicles built by the Canadian division of American defence giant General Dynamics. The report by the Crown corporation handling the sale says “trade receivables” are short $1.86 billion as of quarterly statements ending Sept. 30, and that payments have been sparse over the course of about one year. “The significant increase in past due trade receivables, is mostly attributable to the ABP contract,” the report says, referring to the armoured brigades program. “Trade receivables are considered past due when the payor has failed to make the payment by the contractual due date.” The payment issue hasn't been helped by recent public musings by Trudeau, who on Sunday told CTV's Question Period the government is looking for a way to halt the sale. “We are engaged with the export permits to try and see if there is a way of no longer exporting these vehicles to Saudi Arabia,” he said, without being specific. Such a move would devastate GDLS Canada's 1,800-member workforce in London, as well as thousands of jobs with supplier companies, said David Perry, a senior analyst with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute think-tank. The Saudis may now feel even less inclined to write a cheque, he added. “It does not give the Saudis a reason to catch up on payments. The government of Canada is responsible for making sure GDLS gets paid for the work it has done,” said Perry. It also makes even less sense that Ottawa should want out of the deal now, he added. Not only would the federal government incur billions of dollars in penalties, according to GDLS Canada, but the Saudis aren't likely to pay the balance owed. “It does not make sense. It would leave the government out of pocket,” said Perry. A review of the quarterly reports suggest payments began slowing about a year ago, he added. “We are right back to dealing with an unreliable client, and that is a problem,” said London-Fanshawe NDP MP Irene Mathyssen. “Work has been done and they have not seen fit to pay their obligation.” She also slammed Trudeau for creating uncertainty around the issue. “It is a problem, it creates stress. The PM cannot make up his mind about what to do.” As for why payments aren't being made, Mathyssen cites reports of financial issues with the Saudi government. Media in May reported soaring debt in Saudi Arabia and economic woes as a result of low oil prices. “There have been reports they overspent, they do not have the cash they once did,” said Mathyssen. “Saudis are used to dictating to the world because they hold such significant oil reserves. They are used to calling the shots.” The Canadian Commercial Corp. (CCC) helps businesses sell overseas and works with foreign governments to buy here. It declined comment on the quarterly reports, saying financial matters between the Crown corporation and business are confidential. “CCC is bound by commercial confidentiality, and, as such, we are not able to disclose the details of our contracts or their management,” the company wrote in an email message. James Bezan, the Conservative critic for national defence, blamed Global Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland for the slowing cash flow. Her tweets in May criticizing the Saudi human rights record coincide with fewer payments made, he said. “It is concerning. It occurred after irresponsible tweets from Freeland rather than working through proper diplomatic channels,” he said. “The Liberals are prepared to trade away good jobs in London and southern Ontario rather than deal with this at a diplomatic level.” Bezan encouraged the government to find other ways to pressure the Saudis, such as targeting oil imports here, instead of cancelling a contract that would result in massive job losses. “GDLS has been on time, and on budget,” and would be the ones punished. “The government has the responsibility to work through the payments in a timely fashion,” he said. TRUDEAU WEIGHS IN ON SAUDI DEAL Speaking to reporters at a year-end news conference, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked about whether he'll cancel the Saudi arms deal serviced by a major London defence contractor. “Our priority since Day 1 has been thinking about the Canadian jobs, the workers in London, and in the supply chains that have fed into this contract. We know that there are a lot of hard-working families in London who rely on these jobs, and we're going to keep those jobs in mind.” Says the contract, signed by the previous Conservative government, includes a confidentiality clause that prevents him from discussing what's in it, or the nature of the penalties for breaking the contract. Says Canadians are increasingly questioning whether the country should do business with Saudi Arabia. Called it a “complex situation.” Says he's been answering questions about the deal since taking office Says he'll continue to reflect on the “best path forward for Canada and for Canadians.”

  • CCGS Hudson to be responsibly deconstructed

    December 7, 2022 | Local, Naval

    CCGS Hudson to be responsibly deconstructed

    Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - Following an illustrious 59 years of service supporting ocean science work in Canada and around the world, the CCGS Hudson is taking its final voyage and is set for deconstruction and environmentally-responsible disposal. On November 28, 2022, after an open competitive process, Public Services and Procurement Canada, on behalf of the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG), awarded the contract for the vessel’s deconstruction to Antigonish-based marine contracting company R.J. MacIsaac Construction Ltd (RJMI). The cost for this environmentally-responsible disposal contract is $1.6 million. In the coming weeks, the Canadian Coast Guard will sign over the care and custody of the decommissioned vessel to RJMI. The vessel will then be towed from the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia to a temporary storage site in Halifax Harbour for a few months. In Spring 2023, RJMI will tow the vessel to their Sheet Harbour facility where the hazardous material remediation and disposal process will be performed. By Fall 2023, the vessel will be removed from water and the hull and superstructure will be disassembled. The overall project is expected to be completed by the end of Fall 2023. RJMI will ensure that any steel, stainless steel, aluminum, or other recyclable materials onboard the vessel are recycled while non-recyclable materials are disposed of in an environmentally-responsible manner, in compliance with federal, provincial, and municipal regulations. As well, the contractor will salvage and return the CCGS Hudson’s hull transducers and propellers to the CCG.  Quotes “Today is a bittersweet day as the Canadian Coast Guard responsibly disposes of the CCGS Hudson, a trailblazing vessel that has served Canadians and Canadian scientists for nearly 60 years. The Canadian Coast Guard taking this step serves as a reminder to all vessel owners across the country to have a plan to dispose of their ships in an environmentally responsible way to protect our lands and oceans.” The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard "For over half a century, the CCGS Hudson has proudly served our country. As this vessel retires, I’m thrilled to see a local company in Sheet Harbour receive the contract to deconstruct the vessel which will create jobs in Sheet Harbour and support the local economy." The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship “As we mark the final chapter of CCGS Hudson’s illustrious history, I’m reminded of all of the Canadian Coast Guard personnel that sailed on the ship and left their mark on Canadian ocean science. I am particularly proud that some of the CCGS Hudson’s history will be preserved as a reminder to celebrate the past as we navigate the future in oceanographic science missions.” Mario Pelletier, Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard Quick facts Prior to the handover of the ship to R.J. MacIsaac Construction Ltd., Canadian Coast Guard personnel removed a number of items including the ship’s bell, the wheel, chronometer, anchors, and photographs from the CCGS Hudson which are currently being safely stored. The historic items will be archived or donated to maritime museums, installed on the future Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel currently under construction at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyard, installed on other CCG vessels where appropriate, or placed as historical decorative pieces at departmental sites. The CCGS Hudson was a key platform for Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s oceanographic science program. The yet to be named Offshore Oceanographic and Science Vessel, isn’t expected to be delivered until 2025. The Canadian Coast Guard continues to work closely with Fisheries and Oceans Canada to mitigate the impacts on science programming. The future Offshore Oceanographic and Science Vessel is being built as part of the Government of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS).  The Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel (OOSV), the second class of Canadian Coast Guard vessels being built by Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards, is a critical step in the renewal of the Coast Guard Fleet. The OOSV will support the Government of Canada’s next 30 plus years of cutting edge scientific research that will help inform decisions about protecting our fisheries, oceans and coastal areas.

  • Canadian generals push for industry to go to 'war footing,' but hurdles remain

    October 17, 2022 | Local, Aerospace, Land

    Canadian generals push for industry to go to 'war footing,' but hurdles remain

    National Defence and top firms that produce arms, such as Lockheed Martin, are financing a conference in Ottawa on Oct. 25.

All news