16 octobre 2018 | Local, Naval

Irving Shipbuilding pushing for two more Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships, all Halifax-class work


Efforts are underway by Irving Shipbuilding to convince the federal government to build two more Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships at its Halifax yard. Irving also wants all Halifax-class frigate maintenance work to remain with the yard in Nova Scotia.

The federal government is looking at splitting up maintenance work on the Canadian navy's frigates between Irving and Davie in Quebec. It is facing objections from Irving and its workers. The Irving employees warn the change will mean lost jobs in Nova Scotia.

There are seven frigates that will need maintenance on the east coast over a five-year period. But military and Department of National Defence officials are concerned the Irving yard in Halifax won't be able to handle all the work as it will also be in the midst of building the new fleet of Canadian Surface Combatant warships. There are concerns that the navy's capabilities could suffer if the work isn't split up between Davie and Irving yards.

Each of the aging Halifax-class frigates will require about a year of maintenance work, and in 2020 the navy expects maintenance will be needed on two frigates at the same time.

Irving argues it needs all the Halifax-class work and the construction of two more AOPS so it doesn't face any downturn in activity at the yard. “ We are hopeful that the Government of Canada will continue the work at Halifax Shipyard,” Irving spokesman Sean Lewis said of the frigate maintenance.

Asked about the need for two more AOPS, Lewis stated the following: “We continue to work closely with the Government of Canada to explore the overall transition between the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) and Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) programs. The construction of additional AOPS for Canada or international export opportunities is being considered and various options pursued. At this time it is premature to comment further.”

In response to Irving's push, Davie official Frédérik Boisvert has noted that while Irving has $ 65 billion in contracts from the federal government and 1900 workers, Davie has received less than $ 1billion in contracts and has less than 200 people working and 1400 laid off workers, waiting to be recalled. “If they (Irving) are concerned about Nova Scotian jobs, they should explain to their union workers why they are building their own tugs in Eastern Europe,” Boisvert added.


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