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December 20, 2019 | Local, Naval

Quebec shipyard selected to be new partner under shipbuilding program - will construct six icebreakers


The Canadian government announced today that Chantier Davie has been pre-qualified to become the third strategic partner under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. The NSS's third yard will build six program icebreakers for the Canadian Coast Guard. Davie has demonstrated it meets initial requirements related to experience, capability and capacity, as defined in the Invitation to Qualify issued on August 2, the federal government noted.

The NSS is to build ships for the coast guard and Royal Canadian Navy.

Davie operates the largest shipyard in Canada.

Chantier Davie will now move to the next stage in the selection process, the Request for Proposal and evaluation stage, according to Public Services and Procurement Canada. This will include a third-party assessment of the shipyard's infrastructure, submission of a formal proposal, and a due diligence process to ensure the shipyard is financially capable of performing the work and making any necessary upgrades to its infrastructure. This assessment is similar to the process previously undertaken in 2011 to select Irving Shipbuilding Inc. and Seaspan Shipyards as strategic partners under the NSS.

Once the phase is completed, Canadian government will begin negotiations for an umbrella agreement with Davie, which is expected to be put in place in late 2020.

On the same subject

  • Federal government to buy two more Arctic ships from Irving to prevent layoffs

    May 22, 2019 | Local, Naval

    Federal government to buy two more Arctic ships from Irving to prevent layoffs

    By Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to announce Wednesday that the federal government is buying two more Arctic patrol ships on the top of the six it has already ordered from Halifax-based Irving Shipbuilding. However, unlike the first six ships, which are being built for the navy at a total cost of $3.5 billion, a government source said the seventh and eighth will be built for the Canadian Coast Guard. The source, who was not authorized to comment publicly, said the move is intended to address the Canadian Coast Guard's desperate need for new ships. Documents obtained by The Canadian Press earlier this year warned that more than a third of the coast guard's 26 large vessels have exceeded their expected lifespans — and many won't survive until replacements arrive. And that advanced age is already affecting the coast guard's ability to do its job, including reduced search-and-rescue coverage, ferry-service disruptions and cancelled resupply runs to Arctic and coastal communities. The second problem is 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 source said. The government sought to address that gap in November when it ordered the sixth Arctic patrol vessel for the navy from Irving and agreed to pay the shipyard to slow production for a total cost of $800 million. Government officials at the time defended the high cost of that move, saying a third-party assessment commissioned by the government, which has never been made public, indicated it would cost even more to allow a gap to persist. "Ultimately what happens is the workforce gets laid off, you rehire people, it's not the same people so you're retraining, and then you have this learning curve," Patrick Finn, the Defence Department's head of procurement, said in January. "From some of the data we've run, doing what we've done, if we don't do it, we're probably going to pay that much money anyways in inefficiencies and get nothing for it. So the analysis shows that this is really a prudent way forward." Even then, federal bureaucrats and Irving both warned more would need to be done as even with those measures, there was still the threat of an 18- to 24-month gap between construction of the two fleets. Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

  • 'Too much noise' on Canadian warship program - DND Deputy Minister admonishes industry executives

    December 17, 2020 | Local, Naval

    'Too much noise' on Canadian warship program - DND Deputy Minister admonishes industry executives

    David Pugliese • Ottawa Citizen Dec 14, 2020 • Last Updated 3 days ago • 6 minute read Defence industry executives have been told by a top bureaucrat to stop raising concerns about the controversial program to build a new fleet of warships that is now estimated to cost $70 billion and could go even higher. Company officials have been complaining to politicians and media outlets that the Canadian Surface Combatant project has fallen far short on its promises of creating domestic employment. Another company is in the middle of a lawsuit over the Canadian Surface Combatant or CSC, alleging the procurement was bungled. Federal lawyers are trying to limit the amount of information that can be disclosed in court about the project, with the next hearing to be held Jan. 13. Other industry executives have been warning politicians the rising price tag for CSC will jeopardize funding for other equally important military equipment projects. But Jody Thomas, deputy minister of the Department of National Defence, told executives Oct. 5 that they are hindering the project and she characterized their efforts as being those of sore losers. “I think there's still too much noise from unsuccessful bidders that makes my job and Bill's job very difficult,” she said, referring to Bill Matthews, deputy minister at Public Services and Procurement Canada. The CSC project would see the construction of 15 warships for the Royal Canadian Navy at Irving Shipbuilding on the east coast. Construction of the vessels, to replace the current Halifax-class frigate fleet, isn't expected to start until 2023. But the project has already faced delays and significant increases in cost as the price tag has climbed from an original $14 billion estimate to around $70 billion. In an email to this newspaper about Thomas's statement to defence executives, the DND noted that industry officials have the right to raise their concerns with politicians or turn to the courts if needed. “However, the Department of National Defence, including the Deputy Minister, works for Canadians,” the DND stated. “While we maintain close, positive working relationships with industry, our primary responsibility is to the Canadian taxpayer.” But Thomas's admonishment didn't surprise industry representatives; although they won't go on record with their names for fear of jeopardizing future military contracts, a number of executives point out that for years federal officials have tried to keep a lid on questions and concerns as well as information about the CSC. A review of past actions by the current Liberal and previous Conservative governments and internal documents obtained by this newspaper through the Access to Information law appear to support that view. Federal officials have on two occasions tried to stymie attempts by the Parliamentary Budget Officer to obtain details and budget outlines of the CSC project, as well as with other vessel construction programs under the government's National Shipbuilding Strategy. In 2019, officials with Public Services and Procurement Canada issued a directive that firms interested in maintenance work on the Canadian Surface Combatant program could not talk to journalists and instead must refer all inquiries to the department. That was the fifth such gag order on military equipment projects issued by government over a year-long period. In one case, Procurement Canada threatened to punish any firms who violated the gag order on the proposed purchase of a light icebreaker. That prompted one unnamed company to submit a question to the department on whether a government ban on talking to journalists was even legal, according to records. Industry executives pointed out last year the secrecy was not based on security concerns, but on worries the news media would be able to use the information to keep close tabs on the problem-plagued military procurement system. After this newspaper reported on the gag orders, Procurement Canada claimed last year it would no longer use such bans. Michael Byers, a professor at the University of British Columbia who has produced two studies on the troubled federal shipbuilding program, said government officials have repeatedly tried to limit the amount of information available on the CSC and other shipbuilding projects. “These projects are in serious trouble and when you have those problems, combined with politics, the pressure to keep things secret are very very high,” he explained. Federal officials appear to be concerned specifically about journalists who might be reporting on two particular ship projects; the CSC and the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships or AOPS. Both projects involve Irving Shipbuilding. Documents show Irving representatives and bureaucrats from Procurement Canada (then called Public Works) warned DND procurement official Ian Mack in April 2013 that CBC journalist Terry Milewski was working on a story about the high costs of the AOPS and the fact that other nations paid a fraction of what Canadian taxpayers were being charged for similar vessels. Six days after Mack sent his warning out to other bureaucrats, Milewski produced his report. In 2016, Public Works officials alerted Minister Judy Foote's office this newspaper was asking questions about the CSC. Foote's office, in turn, warned Irving representatives. In March 2019, the DND and Public Services and Procurement Canada warned Irving Shipbuilding this newspaper was asking questions about problems with welds on the AOPS. Documents show that after a series of questions were submitted by this newspaper to the DND, PSPC deputy minister Bill Matthews, DND deputy minister Thomas and Pat Finn, then DND's top procurement official, held a conference call with Irving President Kevin McCoy. McCoy briefed “Jody, Bill, Pat” about the company's plans to sue this newspaper if it “published anything that impugned our professional reputation.” There is no indication in the document that the bureaucrats raised any objections to the company's strategy. Thomas took no notes during the conference call, according to the department's Access to Information branch. Matthews responded to Irving's decision with a supportive email. “Welcome to my world,” Matthews wrote to McCoy. Matthews has declined requests to be interviewed by this newspaper. In an email, the department stated the deputy minister's comment was referring to the fact defence procurement “is a highly complex environment, in which we often face criticism about our processes and decisions.” DND confirmed to this newspaper that there had been minor issues with welding on the AOPS and the article was published. In May 2019, the Globe and Mail also reported federal officials alerted Irving the newspaper was seeking information from the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development about whether the French fry plant investment qualified as an industrial benefit for the Arctic ship project. After the Globe sent two emails to the department's media relations branch, the newspaper received a letter from a lawyer working for Irving. The letter threatened legal action if the article contained any allegations of improper conduct. Innovation, Science and Economic Development spokesman Hans Parmar stated in an email that Irving was told of the media inquiry as part of the department's policy to ‘'encourage transparency.'' At the time, Irving spokesman Sean Lewis said while the firm respects the work of journalists, in the case of the Globe and this newspaper the company threatened legal action because the news organizations “had highly inaccurate information that would cause our company, and the reputation of our hardworking employees, considerable reputational damage.” In the case of the Globe, Irving confirmed it had received the approximately $40 million industrial benefit credit for the French fry plant. The incident with the Globe and Mail also revealed bureaucrats at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada had a system to alert Irving each time a journalist asked questions about AOPS. The department claimed it was required to do so according to its contract with Irving. However, that contract contains only a general reference to coordinating public communications. It is unclear whether the department has established a similar system for the CSC project. The department did not answer questions about how many times it has shared information about journalists with Irving officials. Asked about how many times Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada has alerted Irving about journalists asking questions about shipbuilding matters, company spokesman Thomas Ormsby responded: “We do not discuss customer contracts.”

  • North American aviation product, support & services businesses that are remaining open during the COVID-19 crisis

    March 31, 2020 | Local, Aerospace

    North American aviation product, support & services businesses that are remaining open during the COVID-19 crisis

    At Skies, we've heard from a number of Canadian aviation product, support and services businesses that are doing their best to keep our industry moving during this global pandemic. To ensure that operators can still access the support they need, here is a non-exhaustive list of companies who are still open for business in some capacity. This list will be updated regularly. If you would like your company to be added to the list, please email Airbus Helicopters Canada Air Georgian AirSuite Inc. Alpine Aerotech Anodyne Electronics Manufacturing Corp. Apex Industries Inc. ARTEX Atlantic Avionics Aurora Jet Partners Aviation Business Support Inc. Avmax AvroTecknik Aviation B.C. Aviation Council Boeing Distribution Inc. Cadorath Calm Air International Canadian Airports Council Canadian Air Parts, Ltd. Canadian Air Transport Security Authority Canadian Council for Aviation & Aerospace CanRep Inc. CanWest Aerospace Inc. CarteNav Solutions (Mission systems) Custom Helicopters DART Aerospace Eagle Copters Essential Turbines, Inc. EuroTec Canada Exchange Petroleum Execaire Fast Air – Air Charter Services Fast Air Jet Centre (FBO) Flight Data Systems FlightPath International FlightSafety Canada (Toronto and Montreal) Flying Colours Corp. FreeFlight Systems Global Airparts Inc. Heli-One Helitowcart Helitrades Heliwelders Canada Ltd. HM Aero Aviation Consulting ICARUS Aero, Inc. Image Air Innotech Aviation KADEX Aero Supply Ltd. Keewatin Air (Aircraft maintenance and hangarage) KF Aerospace Latitude Technologies Levaero Aviation Maxcraft Avionics Ltd. Mid-Canada Mod Center Moncton Flight College Morningstar Air Express National Airlines Council of Canada National Helicopters Inc. Nav Canada Pacific Coastal Airlines (Emergency charter services and reduced WestJet Link flights) PAL Aerospace PAL Aviation Services (Full-service FBO) Passport Helico (Commercial 702/703 and AMO) Perimeter Aviation Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. Precision Aero Components Premier Aviation Québec Inc. Rocky Mountain Aircraft Rotor Services Ltd. Sander Geophysics Limited (Air cargo) SEI Industries Select Helicopter Services Ltd. Signature Flight Support – Edmonton Skyservice Business Aviation SKYTRAC Systems StandardAero Sunwest Aviation Szabo Aviation International TEAAM Aeromedical Technisonic Industries Ltd. Tradewind International, LLC TSL Aerospace Technologies Ltd. Turbolyft Aerospace Upper Valley Aviation Ltd. Vanguard Air Care Vmo Solutions Voyageur Aviation Corp. Wasaya Airways Western Propeller Wilderness Helicopters WinAir We're all in this together! #CanadianAviation

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