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

Just Posted

Trail Smoke Eaters open trimmed down Main Camp

Forty players will compete for a spot on the Trail Smoke Eaters roster this week

Update: 75th annual Rossland-Trail Open crowns three-time champion

Kevin Hogg wins the Birchbank Golf Course’s 75th Rossland-Trail Open … again

Jail time for driver involved in Castlegar road rampage

Sean Patrick Byrne caused havoc on Castlegar roads in November

Schroder pitches Team Canada to win over Dominican

Greater Trail native leads Team Canada to opening game win at Pan Am women’s baseball tournament

Keep motorized vehicles off Trans-Canada Trail

Government considers allowing off-road vehicles on Trans Canada Trail

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

Most Read