Quebec’s National Assembly unanimously adopted motion calling on the Trudeau government to amend the National Shipbuilding Strategy to include Quebec. “The federal government is going to invest almost $100 billion dollars over the next 20 to 30 years on its fleet renewal. Quebec represents 50 per cent of Canada’s shipbuilding capacity and 23 per cent of Canada’s tax base, yet is receiving less than 1 per cent of federal spending on shipbuilding,” said Alex Vicefield, Chairman, Davie Shipyard. “Today, Quebec is at risk of losing a significant number of middle-class jobs due to bureaucratic intransigence and roadblocks within a broken procurement system, despite the clear and obvious need for Canada to urgently renew the entirety of its fleet.”
Spencer Fraser, CEO Federal Fleet Services, added “We are pleased that Premier Couillard and all parties within Quebec’s National Assembly are unanimously imploring Ottawa to include Canada’s largest shipbuilder in its long-term shipbuilding strategy in order to add desperately needed capacity to renew the federal government’s fleet in a more expeditious and cost effective manner. This is a critical step in securing the 1200 highly skilled jobs at Davie and supporting its 996 suppliers in the province of Quebec and throughout Canada for the next 20-30 years.”
In a separate move, Opposition critics James Bezan (National Defence), Tony Clement (Public Services and Procurement) and Todd Doherty (Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard) urged the government to take action with respect to the commissioning of a second supply vessel, and issued the following statement:
“Conservatives believe in acting quickly to supply Canada’s Armed Forces with the equipment they need to get the job done. The Royal Canadian Navy desperately needs a second interim supply vessel to ensure our fleets on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts can be supplied at sea. The Davie shipyard has already delivered MV Asterix on time and on budget. Given the needs of our men and women in uniform, the federal government should award a contract to Chantier Davie Canada to build MV Obelix as well. “If the Liberals do not act now to build a second interim supply ship, our naval fleet on at least one of Canada’s coasts will have to continue to rely on our allies for re-supply. For Canada, the nation with the world’s longest coastline, to rely on others to re-supply our Navy for an extended period is simply unacceptable.