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  • Government uses procurement to help small businesses grow and create jobs

    December 18, 2017 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Government uses procurement to help small businesses grow and create jobs

    Innovative Solutions Canada is a $100-million program to fuel innovation and create middle-class jobs December 14, 2017 – Ottawa As the single-largest purchaser of Canadian goods and services, the Government of Canada will use procurement to help Canadian small businesses innovate and create employment opportunities for Canadians. The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, together with the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, today announced the $100-million Innovative Solutions Canada program that invites Canadian small businesses to develop novel solutions to challenges proposed by federal departments and agencies. Whether the challenge is developing a way to make armour more resistant to chemicals or improving wireless connectivity in connected vehicles, the federal department or agency will ask small businesses to innovate and propose a solution. The government will work with the winning business and act as its first customer, helping the companies take their idea to market and advance the next generation of solutions that can become viable commercial products. Twenty federal departments and agencies will participate in the new program and identify problems spanning the military, economic and environmental sectors. Innovative Solutions Canada is a key component of the Government of Canada's Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class. Quotes “Our government's new Innovative Solutions Canada program is a big winner on several fronts. We're being proactive and transforming our challenges into opportunities—opportunities for innovation, economic growth and small business success that will result in a vibrant innovation economy and more middle-class jobs for Canadians.” – The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development “We believe innovative Canadian small businesses are well positioned to help the government solve some of its more persistent challenges. Through Innovative Solutions Canada, we are asking entrepreneurs to develop new products and services that will help to solve these challenges, while also enabling these entrepreneurs as they work to expand to new markets and sell to new customers around the world. The benefits from this program are clear: the Government of Canada will be able to acquire new products and services that will improve our work, while hard-working small business owners will be able to grow their businesses and create more well-paying middle-class jobs.” – The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism “Our community of early-stage investors, incubators and accelerators provides much-needed coaching, connections and capital to Canada's early-stage companies seeking to grow and scale up. Many times, their ‘first customer' serves as critical validation that allows these companies to penetrate their markets locally and globally. The Innovative Solutions Canada program announced today will help Canadian companies gain early customer traction while also allowing Canadians to benefit from the adoption of homegrown innovative solutions.” ‑ Sandi Gilbert, Chair of the Board, National Angel Capital Organization (NACO Canada) Quick Facts Program funding will come from the 20 departments and agencies participating in Innovative Solutions Canada. Each department will set aside 1 percent of its research and development expenditures for this initiative. Innovative Solutions Canada is modelled on the U.S. Small Business Innovation Research program and is an essential component of the Government of Canada's efforts to help small businesses. Innovative Solutions Canada will encourage submissions from businesses owned and led by women, Indigenous peoples, youth and other traditionally under-represented groups. https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/news/2017/12/government_uses_procurementtohelpsmallbusinessesgrowandcreatejob.html

  • American exodus? 17,000 US defense suppliers may have left the defense sector

    December 14, 2017 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    American exodus? 17,000 US defense suppliers may have left the defense sector

    WASHINGTON — A large number of American companies supplying the U.S. military may have left the defense market, according to a study announced Thursday, raising alarm over the health and future of the defense industrial base. The Center for Strategic and International Studies study said the number of first-tier prime vendors declined by roughly 17,000 companies, or roughly 20 percent, between 2011 and 2015. The full study, due to be released in January, was authored by CSIS Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group Director Andrew Hunter, Deputy Director Gregory Sanders and Research Associate Rhys McCormick. It was sponsored by the Naval Postgraduate School and co-produced by the Aerospace Industries Association, which released an executive summary on Dec. 14, the day of its annual aerospace and defense luncheon in Washington. The authors, who used publicly available contract data, write that it's unclear — due to the limitations in the subcontract database —whether the companies have exited the industrial base entirely or still perform work at the lower tiers. “There is no doubt that a huge portion of the recent turbulence in the defense industrial base has taken place among subcontractors, who are less equipped to tolerate the defense marketplace's funding uncertainly and often onerous regulatory regime — yet it remains extremely difficult to determine the real impact of these conditions on subcontractors,” the authors conclude. Further details may yet be revealed by the Trump administration's ongoing review of the resiliency of the defense-industrial base. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' assessment is due to President Donald Trump by mid-April 2018. The CSIS summary links 2011 Budget Control Act caps, subsequent short-term budget agreements, and Congress' “unpredictable and inconsistent” appropriations process to the “lost suppliers, changes in competition and market structure, and other turmoil” it found. The years 2011-2015 are considered a period of defense drawdown and decline. The authors, rather than focus strictly on the total decline of defense contract obligations over the entire period, chose to chart the “whipsaw” effect that struck certain sectors of the industrial base amid the imposition of sequestration in 2013 and subsequent budget caps. Though the defense budget had been declining in the years leading up to the Budget Control Act, the implementation of an across-the-board sequestration budget cut in 2013 “marked a severe market shock that had a considerable impact on the defense industry,” the authors say. Compared to the pre-drawdown fiscal 2009-2010 period, the start of the drawdown in fiscal 2011-2012, average annual defense contract obligations dropped 5 percent. When sequestration was triggered in fiscal 2013, defense contract obligations dropped 15 percent from the previous year. Average annual defense contract obligations fell 23 percent during the so-called BCA decline period, fiscal 2013-2015. The Army, which has a checkered modernization history, bore the brunt of the decline. Average annual defense contracts dropped 18 percent at the start of the drawdown, then 35 percent during the BCA decline period. Missile defense contract obligations actually gained 7 percent at the start of the drawdown and then dropped only 3 percent under budget caps. During his presidency, Barack Obama reversed course from early cuts to missile defense to spur the development and deployment of missile defense systems in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson reacted to the internally circulated findings earlier this month, saying budget cuts are responsible for the industry being “more fragile and less flexible than I've seen it, and I've been in the industry many, many years.” “What we've seen in the industry, I'll give you an example at Lockheed Martin: At the outset of budget cuts we were about 126,000 employees; today we are at 97,000 employees,” Hewson said at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California. “Our footprint has shrunk dramatically. We see some of our small and medium-sized business, some of the components that we need, there's one, maybe two suppliers in that field where there were many, many more before.” Budget cuts have squeezed the Defense Department to unduly prioritize low-cost contracts over innovation and investment. Cost “shootouts,” she said, are endangering the military's plans to grow in size and lethality. AIA Vice President for National Security Policy John Luddy said companies have coped through a variety of “healthy efficiencies,” such as mergers and acquisitions, consolidating facilities, exploring shared services, and offloading certain contracting activities. “Our companies have done an amazing job of managing the downturn, they've pulled all kinds of levels to make it work, they've shown the ingenuity of the American free market system,” Luddy said. “Nonetheless, the uncertainty of the budgeting process has become a huge challenge for us.” Army Secretary Mark Esper, formerly of Raytheon, warned lawmakers at a Senate hearing Dec. 7 that uneven funding is driving small suppliers — “an engine of innovation” — out of the defense sector. “If you're a small mom and pop shop out there, and I'm referring to my industry experience, it's hard for them to survive in the uncertain budgetary environment,” Esper said. “And we risk losing those folks who may over time decide that they're going to get out of the defense business and go elsewhere. So that's a big threat to our supply chains.” But the CSIS study found that small vendors either increased their share of platform portfolio contract obligations or held steady, while large and medium vendors were most harmed by the market shock from sequestration and the defense drawdown. https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-news/2017/12/14/american-exodus-17000-us-defense-suppliers-may-have-left-the-defense-sector/

  • Bold move backfires as Canada declines Naval Group-Fincantieri frigate offering

    December 8, 2017 | Local, Naval

    Bold move backfires as Canada declines Naval Group-Fincantieri frigate offering

    PARIS, ROME, and VICTORIA, British Columbia — Naval Group and Fincantieri are out of the running to compete in Canada's program to acquire a fleet of new surface combatants after they failed to submit a bid through the formal process and instead sent a proposal directly to the Canadian government. The companies had offered Canada a proposal to construct 15 ships at Irving Shipbuilding in Nova Scotia for a fixed cost. But the proposal circumvented the government's procurement procedure, which required formal bids to be submitted to Irving by Nov. 30. Naval Group and Fincantieri did not follow that requirement. The Canadian government announced Tuesday it had rejected the proposal from the two firms. “The submission of an unsolicited proposal at the final hour undermines the fair and competitive nature of this procurement suggesting a sole source contracting arrangement,” Public Services and Procurement Canada, or PSPC, which is overseeing the procurement, said in a statement. “Acceptance of such a proposal would break faith with the bidders who invested time and effort to participate in the competitive process, put at risk the Government's ability to properly equip the Royal Canadian Navy and would establish a harmful precedent for future competitive procurements.” Canada's decision effectively removes Naval Group and Fincantieri from taking part in the program since the companies never submitted a formal bid, government officials noted. Public Services and Procurement Canada declined to say how many bids were received for the Canadian Surface Combatant project. Besides a bid from the BAE-Lockheed Martin Canada consortium for the Type 26 frigate, only two other companies have acknowledged bidding. A team led by Alion Canada is offering the Dutch De Zeven Provinciën-class air-defense and command frigate. The Spanish shipyard, Navantia, has submitted a bid based on its F-105 frigate design. Canada expects to make a decision on the winning bid sometime in 2018. The program to build 15 new warships is estimated to be worth CAN$62 billion (U.S. $49 billion). The program was originally estimated to cost CAN$26 billion, but that figure has been revised a number of times and has been climbing steadily over the last several years. Fincantieri and Naval Group had hoped the proposal of a fixed price tag of about CAN$30 billion for a new fleet might sway the Liberal government, as it would eliminate much of the risk and would offer a proven warship design. The proposal had the backing of the French and Italian governments and was made directly to Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. Naval Group and Fincantieri took note Canada had rejected their joint bid that filed outside the competition for a frigate fleet, but they were still ready to offer the design of their warship for local assembly, the companies said Wednesday. “We acknowledge the position expressed by the Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) not to take into consideration the offers submitted outside the process of the Canadian Surface Combatant program (CSC) Request For Proposal (RFP),” Naval Group and Fincantieri said. “Nevertheless, Naval Group and Fincantieri remain at the disposal of Canada to contribute to the modernization of Canadian forces with a sea-proven warship, currently in service with the French and Italian Navies, that would minimize the scheduling gaps for design and construction of all the ships in Canada and maximize value for money,” the companies said. Asked on Wednesday how Fincantieri and Naval Group will react to Canada's rejection, Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono declined to give a direct response but did suggest there might be room for compromise. “We don't want to take risks,” he said, adding: “we need to see what makes sense” and “the customer is always right.” In addition, he said the design of the ship offered to Canada would be more similar to the Italian version than the French. “We have made a joint offer of a FREMM, which is close to the Italian version if only because Italy has an anti-submarine warfare version,” he said. The terms of the Canadian competition posed a problem as the tender required bidders to hand over intellectual property and there was danger it might end up in the wrong hands, an analyst said. “The problem from the outset is how the Liberals have set the competition,” said Robbin Laird, of consultancy International Communications and Strategic Assessments, based in Paris and the Washington, D.C., area. “One would think that with ... the U.S. and Australia launching new frigates as well as the French and Italians working on a new frigate program, the approach would be to leverage the allied global recapitalization effort,” he added. “Yet what the Canadian government has focused upon is simply forcing competitors to provide intellectual property to their own Canadian shipyard without any real protection against leakage of that technology to China or to other competitors.” In their direct bid to the Canadian government, the European partners offered a speedy start of shipbuilding in 2019, which they said would help sustain local jobs. A frigate generally takes about four years to build. The Franco-Italian frigate was offered with the Thales Sea Fire radar, a multifunction digital system, an industry executive said. Naval Group offered its Senit combat management system, with Fincantieri delivering the ship design. Thales developed the flat-paneled Sea Fire for the FTI, an intermediate frigate ordered for the French Navy and aimed mainly for export markets. Anti-submarine systems included Thales Captas hull-mounted and towed array sonars, specialist website Mer et Marine reported. The weapons could include a 127mm gun and two vertical launchers for surface-to-air missiles, which would likely be Aster but would also be available for American weapons. https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2017/12/06/bold-move-backfires-as-canada-declines-naval-group-fincantieri-frigate-offering/

  • French and Italian governments endorse long-shot bid for 15 new ships for Canada's navy

    December 8, 2017 | Local, Naval

    French and Italian governments endorse long-shot bid for 15 new ships for Canada's navy

    DANIEL LEBLANC OTTAWA PUBLISHED DECEMBER 8, 2017UPDATED 3 DAYS AGO The French and Italian governments are officially backing an unsolicited proposal to supply 15 military vessels to the Royal Canadian Navy outside of the ongoing competition for the $60-billion contract, documents show. The French and Italian ministers of defence submitted a letter last month to their Canadian counterpart, Harjit Sajjan, stating that they "fully support" the joint bid by Naval Group and Fincantieri to replace the RCN's existing frigates and retired destroyers. The support from the French and Italian governments could give additional weight to the long-shot proposal, which aims to bypass the official procurement process for new Canadian Surface Combatants. "Under the umbrella of an intergovernmental agreement, we will provide project management support so that the Royal Canadian Navy can operate the purchased warships, sustain their operational capabilities and manage their evolving capabilities throughout their entire lifecycle," said the letter from French Defence Minister Florence Parly and Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti. The submission from Naval and Fincantieri has shaken up the process put in place by the federal government to acquire 15 new vessels. Halifax-based Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is the government's prime contractor, with a competition under way to select a warship design. Defence-industry sources said the leading contender in the process is a joint bid by U.S.-based Lockheed Martin and British-based BAE Systems. The same sources said only three of the 12 prequalified bidders submitted a formal proposal by the Nov. 30 deadline, a number the federal government will not confirm. Under Canada's defence policy unveiled earlier this year, the federal government is planning to get its first Canadian Surface Combatant in 2026, with the entire project costing between $56-billion and $60-billion. Under the Franco-Italian proposal, the 15 vessels would also be built at the Irving shipyard. Based on production costs in Europe, the two companies said they could provide the vessels to the Canadian government for $20.9-billion (€13.8-billion), with construction starting in late 2019. The bid from Naval and Fincantieri was unsolicited, essentially relying on the possibility that none of the bidders under the existing process will be deemed compliant. The defence-industry sources described the offer as a "Hail Mary" that could succeed if the ongoing process unravels, like many previous military procurements. "Everything depends with what happens with the process that is under way right now," said David Perry, senior analyst at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. "If they can get two compliant bids or ideally all three ... I wouldn't see a need to go back and do a comparison with the [Naval/Fincantieri] bid." The federal government said this week that it will not even analyze the unsolicited bid. "To be clear, any proposals submitted outside of the established competitive process will not be considered," Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) said in a statement. "The submission of an unsolicited proposal at the final hour undermines the fair and competitive nature of this procurement suggesting a sole-source contracting arrangement. Acceptance of such a proposal would break faith with the bidders who invested time and effort to participate in the competitive process, put at risk the government's ability to properly equip the Royal Canadian Navy and would establish a harmful precedent for future competitive procurements," the statement said. In addition, the government rejected the notion that the Franco-Italian bid could generate significant savings, stating that the acquisition of the ships accounts for only about half of the price tag. "It is important to note that a warship project budget must cover more than just delivering the ships. It must also include the costs associated with design and definition work, infrastructure, spare parts, training, ammunition, contingencies and project management," PSPC said. The Naval/Fincantieri proposal is based on the European multimission frigate program, under which the two firms are supplying 18 ships to the French and Italian navies. The two companies said their "off-the-shelf solution" is less risky than other projects still in development. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/french-and-italian-governments-endorse-long-shot-bid-for-15-new-military-ships/article37275099/ CSC

  • Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS)

    December 5, 2017 | Information, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS)

    A New Approach to Innovation for Defence and Security The Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program will support research to help solve Canada's challenges in defence and security. IDEaS will: provide financial support to innovators and researchers to perform research, generate knowledge or solve problems to address defence and security challenges that DND and security partners will identify; support research and development (R&D) networks to address such challenges; and support innovation from problem definition to early adoption of the solution. How is IDEaS different? The IDEaS Program will introduce new approaches by: facilitating partnership opportunities between innovators, industry and other defence and security stakeholders; providing ongoing calls for innovation to highlight emerging requirements and opportunities for innovators to engage in defence and security challenges; supporting projects to allow for development of promising ideas; acquiring limited pre-production quantities of innovations to be evaluated in operational settings; and using a web portal to broadcast defence and security challenges to recruit appropriate S&T expertise across academia, industry, government and other partners. Why is IDEAS necessary? Innovative technology, knowledge, and problem solving are critical for Canada and its allies to mitigate new threats, stay ahead of potential adversaries, and meet evolving defence and security needs. In this environment, Canada's defence and security stakeholders need a fundamentally new approach to innovation to allow them to better tap into the extraordinary talent and ingenuity resident across the country. The IDEaS program will launch a number of coordinated new initiatives that will transform the way we generate solutions to complex problems. Launch of the IDEaS Program is expected in Fall 2017. More details about the program will be forthcoming. https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/programs/defence-ideas.html

  • Canadian Surface Combatant

    December 4, 2017 | Information, Naval

    Canadian Surface Combatant

    Offering the most advanced and modern warship design with Canadian-developed combat and platform systems, BAE Systems, CAE, Lockheed Martin Canada, L3 Technologies, MDA, and Ultra Electronics Maritime Systems Inc. (Ultra) are partnering (on a non-exclusive basis) as Canada's Combat Ship Team for the Royal Canadian Navy's future fleet of Canadian Surface Combatants (CSC). http://canadascombatshipteam.com/canadian-suppliers/ https://twitter.com/CSCHomeTeam

  • EU-Canada joint ministerial committee meeting

    December 4, 2017 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    EU-Canada joint ministerial committee meeting

    The first meeting of the EU-Canada joint ministerial committee took place in Brussels on 4 December 2017. The committee adopted a joint statement: Joint statement: 'EU and Canada: A progressive and dynamic strategic partnership' "We are completely likeminded partners and since the signing of recent agreements our relations moved to an even deeper and stronger partnership. We are both committed and we are both supporting first of all multilateralism and rules-based international order. The importance of this could not be underestimated in these days. So our partnership is strong and beneficial not only for our citizens but also for serving a certain idea of multilateralism and of the world." Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy "From Canada's perspective, we value very much our partnership with the European Union and today more than ever we value what the European Union stands for in the world. It stands for democracy, it stands for a strong voice in support of human rights, the European Union is a strong voice in favour of the international rules-based order. We appreciate that, we support you and we are very grateful. We look forward to working as allies in all of these issues in the days and months to come." Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada EU-Canada bilateral relationship The committee agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the EU and Canada. The cooperation has entered a new era with the provisional application of the strategic partnership agreement (SPA) since 1 April 2017 and of the comprehensive economic and trade agreement (CETA) since 21 September 2017. The committee discussed in particular how to step up security and defence cooperation in areas such as crisis management and security, cyber security and responding to hybrid threats. The EU and Canada also committed to working together on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The Committee agreed that the EU and Canada will co-chair a Women Foreign Ministers meeting in 2018. The committee also reviewed how to strengthen EU-Canada cooperation in third countries in regions such as Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. Foreign policy coordination A number of key issues on the international agenda were also discussed, including the situation in eastern Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and Myanmar/Burma. Global issues The EU and Canada discussed global issues, including climate change, human rights and democracy, as well as migration and counter-terrorism. Signing ceremony In the margins of the meeting, the EU and Canada signed an agreement allowing for the exchange of classified information between them. This agreement enables greater cooperation, including in the framework of common security and defence policy (CSDP) missions and operations. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/international-ministerial-meetings/2017/12/04/

  • Mobilisation pour le chantier Davie

    December 4, 2017 | Local, Naval

    Mobilisation pour le chantier Davie

    Il y a eu une grande mobilisation citoyenne et politique en fin de semaine pour le chantier de la Davie. Quelque 800 travailleurs pourraient être mis à pied d'ici la fin de l'année. Patrice Roy s'entretient avec Steve MacKinnon, député de Gatineau et secrétaire parlementaire de la ministre des Services publics et de l'Approvisionnement. http://ici.radio-canada.ca/info/videos/media-7822031/mobilisation-pour-chantier-davie

  • Chantier Davie won’t take ‘no’ for an answer

    December 1, 2017 | Local, Naval

    Chantier Davie won’t take ‘no’ for an answer

    By Kevin Dougherty. Published on Dec 1, 2017 10:46am QUEBEC – Chantier Davie in Lévis, across the St. Lawrence from Quebec City, will be forced to lay off 800 shipyard workers before Christmas without a new contract to build a second supply vessel for the Canadian navy. “We're not taking no for an answer on that,” Davie CEO Alex Vicefield said in a telephone interview on Thursday, after Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan told Le Journal de Québec last week through his press attaché that the government does not plan to buy a second supply ship. In an email response Thursday, Sajjan's press attaché Bryne Furlong reiterated that, “Navy and Coast Guard supply requirements have been extensively studied and are subject to long-term planning, which does not include a second supply vessel‎.” The layoffs have begun, now that the Davie workforce has completed — on time and on budget — conversion of the German-built container ship Asterix into a supply ship to deliver fuel, water, food and supplies to the ships of the Royal Canadian Navy. Davie's plan now is the $600 million conversion of the Obelix, a sister ship to the Asterix, into the navy's second supply ship. Vicefield said Ottawa's plan calls for paying $2 billion each for two new supply vessels, the first of which will only be available 10 years from now. “Why do we need to build these ships for $2 billion each?” Vicefield asked, noting the Asterix and Obelix cost $600 million each and are superior vessels. “I'm not a political activist but we believe in the project and we delivered,” Vicefield said. In 2011, the Harper government unveiled its National Shipbuilding Procurement Program, awarding $38-billion in contracts to build ships for the Navy and Coast Guard to Irving Shipbuilding Inc. of Halifax and Seaspan Shipbuilding of Vancouver. Davie, emerging from bankruptcy at the time, is Canada's largest shipyard and was excluded. Cost estimates have risen since then, Vicefield noted, with the cost ballooning to over $100 billion. And in the six years since the plan was announced, the two winning shipyards have delivered no ships. Officially, Seaspan is to launch its first replacement supply ship in 2021. But Vicefield noted that Andy Smith, the official responsible for shipbuilding in the federal department of fisheries and oceans, told a Commons committee Nov. 7 that Seaspan has a backlog of three ships to build before work on the first supply ship can begin in 2023, for delivery in 2027. Vicefield said that in spite of granting the lion's share of shipbuilding contracts to Halifax, the Conservatives where shut out in Atlantic Canada in the 2015 election, and Steven Blaney, the Conservative MP representing Lévis, was re-elected even though Davie was excluded from the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. “The key point here is that shipbuilding contracts do not win votes,” Vicefield said. “But major procurement scandals bring down governments. “If I was in government, I would be worried about a major procurement scandal, where you are spending five, six times the cost to buy a ship than any other country in the world pays and nothing is being delivered.” The Asterix is also a hospital ship and can deliver humanitarian aid in the event of major natural disasters, such as a tsunami or a devastating hurricane. Davie stepped into the breach in 2014, when the navy's two existing supply ships were scrapped and plans by Seaspan to build two replacement supply ships were a distant prospect. The Harper government granted Davie a contract to convert the Asterix into a supply ship for about $600 million as a private-public partnership, with Davie managing the project from stem to stern, its financing, as well as providing its civilian crew and leasing the ship to the federal government for five years. When Justin Trudeau led his Liberals to power in 2015, Irving Shipbuilding leaned on Liberal ministers from the Maritimes to have the contract cancelled. But the work was underway and Ottawa did not block the Asterix project. The Halifax-based and crewed Asterix will supply Canadian navy ships off the east coast, while off the west coast Canadian naval vessels will be supplied by Chilean and Spanish navy supply ships. “Why would you do that when you can put the money back into Canada and ensure the jobs of 800 people here for another two years?” Vicefield said. “It makes no sense.” Vicefield regards the Harper government's plans, renamed by the Liberal government as the National Shipbuilding Strategy, as “mind-boggling” and “a bit of a joke.” And he believes Canada can have three shipyards, including Davie, to build and maintain naval and Coast Guard vessels. “There are about 50 large ships that need replacing,” he said, noting the average age of the Coast Guard fleet is 40 years. “So there is enough work for sure for three shipyards for the next 30 years.” “We haven't been pushing against the National Shipbuilding Strategy,” Vicefield said. “I think it is going to fall on its own.” Irving, which is now building ships in Romania, and Seaspan, which has ordered two ferries to be built in Turkey, are defending the plan, and so far have political support. “They see the writing on the wall,” Vicefield said. “They want to destroy the competition. They see that now they have the upper hand. “But we're not going to let that happen,” he insists. “We're convinced the new government, the Liberals, will actually see sense. “But it is taking time for them to get their feet under the desk.” https://ipolitics.ca/article/chantier-davie-wont-take-no-answer/

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