North Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipywards to build Polar Icebreaker

NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The awarding of a federal contract to build a Polar Icebreaker will translate to more than 1,400 jobs for North Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards.

The new vessel will replace the aging Louis S. St-Laurent, and will be the largest ship in the Canadian Coast Guard’s fleet.

“It will play a critical role in enabling the Canadian Coast Guard to patrol and protect 243,000 km of coastline – the longest national coastline in the world. Nearly 70 per cent of that coastline is in the Arctic, a region of increasing interest from other countries and a growing national priority for Canada,” according to a statement.

“The multi-mission ship will also provide vital resupply to Arctic communities, support Arctic science, help ensure the free flow of trade and safe commercial shipping, and conduct search and rescue and environmental response.”

Amy Macleod with Seaspan exxlains the scope of the undertaking.

“It’s an incredible economic and employment opportunity for Seaspan, for the marine industry in B.C and right across the country. Everything from naval architects, to engineers, to logistics experts, to supply chain experts, right through to the skilled trades, folks who physically construct the ship — welders, pipefitters, electricians, painters, the whole gamut,” she says.

“It is an incredible scale of work that will be required to build this vessel, it will — once completed — be the most complex and largest vessel in the Canadian Coast Guard fleet.”

Mcleod says time is of the essence, and workers are ready to start immediately.

“We built our yard, purposely to accommodate this vessel. It is large, it is complex, it requires specialized infrastructure and capability. So, we are ready to go. We’re very excited, and frankly, we need to get going because Canada and the Coast Guard need this,” she says.

“We have an aging vessel that has done incredible work in the service of Canada, but it cannot be extended anymore we need to get to work on this project, particularly as the climate in the far North, in the Arctic changes with climate change, increased traffic.”

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