Davie Shipyards gets $7.1M contract from feds to refit 53-year-old coast guard icebreaker

Seaspan Shipyards in Vancouver has been tapped to build its replacement

A ship sits in drydock at the Davie shipyard, Friday, December 14, 2018 in Levis, Que. The federal government is awarding Davie Shipyards a contract worth more than $7.1 million to refit the Canadian Coast Guard’s largest icebreaker. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot)

The federal government is awarding Davie Shipyards a contract worth more than $7.1 million to refit the Canadian Coast Guard’s largest icebreaker.

The refit of the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent is the latest contract awarded to Davie amid complaints from the Quebec shipyard about a lack of work.

Davie is leasing a converted civilian ship to the navy as a temporary supply vessel and has been pressing the government to accept a second such vessel for around $500 million.

It also wants to be included in the government’s multibillion-dollar shipbuilding strategy, through which Ottawa is contracting rival shipyards in Halifax and Vancouver to build dozens of new ships.

READ MORE: Last day to bid for a BC Ferries boat

The government has said the navy does not need another interim supply ship and has instead been handing Davie maintenance and refit contracts for existing coast-guard and naval vessels.

It is also buying three second-hand icebreakers from Davie, which the shipyard has started to convert for the coast guard and which will likely remain in service for the next 15 to 20 years.

The contract announced Tuesday is being awarded without a competition and will see Davie put the Louis St-Laurent in drydock.

“Canadians from coast to coast to coast rely on the Canadian Coast Guard to protect their coastlines and their livelihoods,” Public Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough said in a statement. “This contract will ensure the men and women of the Canadian Coast Guard are properly equipped to do their important work, while also helping sustain good middle-class jobs at the Davie Shipyard.”

Recent briefing notes obtained by The Canadian Press through access-to-information law indicate Davie is the only shipyard big enough to drydock the icebreaker.

First launched in 1966, the 53-year-old vessel was once supposed to be decommissioned in 2000 but has since undergone several rounds of upgrades and refits to keep it in the water.

Seaspan Shipyards in Vancouver has been tapped to build its replacement, the CCGS John G. Diefenbaker, but the project has experienced numerous delays and its delivery date is up in the air.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many jobs the latest contract will create at Davie, which says it has been forced to lay off hundreds of workers over the past few years.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ride For Doug Muscular Dystrophy fundraiser to proceed

It will be shorter and much of it will be online due to COVID-19 restrictions

Abbotsford football star Samwel Uko dies at age 20

Panthers star running back dies on May 21, cause of death not yet known

LETTER: Angels come to aid of elderly couple in distress

In the craziness of the moment, letter writer forgot to get names, and is anxious to say thanks

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Aldergrove Star to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

‘Not a joke’: Promoter wants to rocket-launch man the length of White Rock pier

Brooke Colby says he’s building an eight-foot rocket in his backyard

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Boy, 2, left with ‘soft tissue injuries’ after being hit by car in Squamish intersection

Boy was release from hospital, police continue to investigate

Most Read