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

Play revolves around teenagers in thought-provoking dialect

Chemainus Theatre’s I & You focuses on the development of an unlikely friendship

Stouffer in a class of her own without Proteau in the field

Fairwinds golfer captures Mount Brenton ladies’ golf tournament by 15 strokes

Tour de Rock cyclists gear up on training ride

Stops in Ladysmith and Chemainus part of the fanfare and preparations

Sculpture relocation plan works perfectly in Chemainus

Heavy lifting required to place Cline’s work into Heritage Square

Police seek tips in 2015 death of Brown

Four years has passed since the body of Penelakut Island teen was discovered

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Vancouver Island RCMP hunt for man after pair of indecent exposure incidents

Elderly Qualicum Beach woman grabbed by man who had been masturbating in the woods

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Pile of wood mulch ‘spontaneously combusts’ at Vancouver Island industrial site

Business owner thanks fire department for quick response

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

Most Read