In a signing ceremony attended by Peter Mackay, Minister of Defence, senior representatives of the Royal Canadian Navy and other dignitaries, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the Government of Canada and Irving Shipbuilding Inc. have reached an agreement in principle that paves the way for the construction of Canada’s combat fleet under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS). 

“We are moving quickly to put in place the contracts required to build the ships that our country needs to defend its waters and do its share on the international stage,” said Prime Minister Harper.  “The agreement in principle reached today with Irving Shipbuilding Inc. is a milestone of our Government’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) – a strategy that will mean jobs and economic growth for the country, stability for the industry, and vital equipment for our men and women in uniform.”

Jim Irving, CEO of Irving Shipbuilding, thanked the Prime Minister for delivering NSPS, and selecting the successful yards through a rigorous merit-based process. He also thanked Minister MacKay for being a steadfast champion of the people at the Irving yard, and for advocating for a “Build in Canada” approach for federal vessels.

The National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy – the largest procurement sourcing arrangement in Canadian history – is expected to ­create thousands of high-value jobs in shipbuilding and related industries across the country.  The Strategy is about undertaking major ship procurements in a way that sustains Canadian jobs, strengthens the ­marine sector and provides the best value for Canadian taxpayers. On ­October 19 it was announced that ­Irving Shipbuilding Inc. and Seaspan Marine Corp had won bids to ­construct large combat vessels for the Royal Canadian Navy and large non-combat vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard having a combined ­estimated value of some $31 billion.