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Ottawa announces $2.5B for 61 new small Coast Guards vessels

By Evan Taylor May 26, 2023 | 2:04 PM

Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray announced $2.5 billion in funding to procure 61 new small Coast Guard vessels. Photo: Government of Canada.

The Canadian Coast Guard unveiled plans for a substantial investment to complete the renewal of the country’s small vessels fleet.

The investment of $2.5 billion, will facilitate the acquisition of up to 61 small vessels, replacing older craft with state-of-the-art equipment.

The primary objective is to modernize the Canadian Coast Guard’s small vessel fleet, bolstering their capacity to ensure the safety of Canadian waterways. Additionally, this initiative is expected to generate numerous high-paying job opportunities across the country, stimulating economic growth.

The completion of the small vessels fleet renewal program will see the Canadian Coast Guard acquire a range of vessels, including six Mid-shore Multi-Mission Vessels, one Near-Shore Fishery Research Vessel, and 16 Specialty Vessels. The Specialty Vessels will consist of two Special NavAids Vessels, four Special Shallow Draft Buoy Tenders, four Inshore Science Vessels, four Special Enforcement Vessels, two Lake Class Vessels, four Air Cushion Vehicles, and 34 Cape Class Search and Rescue Lifeboats.

Notably, this procurement endeavor will create opportunities for smaller shipyards and suppliers throughout Canada, bolstering the marine industry and providing a significant boost to the job market.

The nation’s three largest shipyards in Halifax, Vancouver and Levis will be ineligible to bid for this project due to ongoing commitments with programs to build larger vessels.

Minister Joyce Murray expressed the critical importance of this investment, stating, “This is a critical investment that will help modernize the Canadian Coast Guard’s small vessel fleet. We are making sure the Canadian Coast Guard has the equipment it needs to keep Canadians and Canada’s waterways safe, while also creating good-paying jobs across the country.”

Echoing her sentiments, Minister Helena Jaczek emphasized the broader benefits of the National Shipbuilding Strategy, stating, “Through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, the government is providing the members of the Canadian Coast Guard with the ships they need to carry out their important work for Canadians. This significant investment also will create more jobs, generate significant economic benefits and help grow the marine industry throughout Canada.”

The $2.5 billion investment will play a pivotal role in the ongoing renewal of the Canadian Coast Guard’s small vessel fleet, ensuring they possess the modern equipment necessary to deliver vital services to Canadians. Small vessels are integral in providing search and rescue services, aiding disabled vessels, and supporting navigation programs.


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