May 25, 2016
Ottawa, Wednesday May 25th 2016 - Davie commends Irving Shipbuilding on taking a positive and innovative approach to solving some of the major capability gaps facing the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard with regards to the current federal shipbuilding programs. Last week, Irving Shipbuilding provided an unsolicited proposal to the Government of Canada for the provision of a converted ship for humanitarian relief operations. Over the past months it has become widely acknowledged that Canada faces significant and long-term capability gaps in its fleet capability, particularly as a result of delays in the delivery of Canada’s much-needed non-combat vessels. Realizing this, East coast shipyards in Canada’s key shipbuilding hubs in Nova Scotia and Québec have pro-actively provided alternative, cost-efficient and innovative ways to convert existing commercial vessels to fill gaps in Canada’s non-combat fleet. In particular, for Humanitarian Relief, Icebreaker and Multirole Support vessels. Speaking at the CANSEC exhibition in Ottawa, Alex Vicefield, Davie’s Chairman today commented “Irving Shipbuilding is confirming what has been universally recognized over the past months, including by the Government of Canada in the Canada Transportation Act review. That there are several classes of ship which Canada urgently needs and the current shipbuilding program is not capable of delivering. This is a great initiative from Irving Shipbuilding – these kind of unsolicited proposals where industry takes what it has learnt in how to provide fast-track, cost-efficient solutions to address critical operational gaps, is exactly what is needed right now.” Mr. Vicefield added “We must pursue these kind of interim and supplementary programs to ensure that we can close the capability gaps which either currently exist, or shortly will, in Canada’s federal fleet. Of course this can’t be done without bringing in the capacity of Canada’s largest and highest capacity shipbuilder. We must look back to the origins and the original recommendations that industry made to the previous government and reconsider how the full capacity of Canada’s shipbuilding industry can optimize fleet renewal and ensure a continuous work flow.” Just prior to the launch of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, Davie and Irving Shipbuilding signed a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure sufficient capacity within the shipbuilding programs to deliver the number of ships required, on budget and on time. The agreement was based around seven key principles involving collaboration in technology, management, shipbuilding capacity and work sharing to ensure value for money for Canada.