North Van’s Seaspan Shipyards gets $500M for new Canadian Coast Guard vessels

The federal government is giving a massive financial injection to the B.C. shipbuilding industry.

The Seaspan Shipyards in North Vancouver will receive more than $490 million over two contracts for the next stages in building Multi-Purpose Vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard.

“The Multi-Purpose Vessel project will help ensure that members of the Canadian Coast Guard have versatile vessels to complete essential missions in Canada’s oceans and waterways,” Minister of Public Services and Procurement Jean-Yves Duclos said Tuesday.

The federal government explains the two contracts will help Seaspan undertake pre-construction work, refine designs, and procure essential materials to begin construction.

“The Multi-Purpose Vessel (MPV) project will result in highly versatile icebreaking ships designed with multi-mission capabilities. These new vessels will support a wide variety of critical services, such as icebreaking, maritime search and rescue, scientific research, environmental response, emergency towing, maintenance and deployment of buoys, as well as support for offshore fisheries patrols,” the federal government explained in a statement.

This marks the second time Seaspan has been awarded money from the federal government to work on the Coast Guard’s new vessels. In August 2020, it received the first contract to develop the design for the MPV vessel.

The first delivery of the new vessels is slated to be in 2030, the government explains, with deliveries of the MPV to continue through the mid-2040s.

“The Canadian Coast Guard saves lives at sea, keeps waterways open and safe for the movement of goods and services, protects the marine environment, and supports Canadian sovereignty and security,” said Mike Kelloway, parliamentary secretary to the minister of fisheries, oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard.

“The Multi-Purpose Vessels will be key assets for the Canadian Coast Guard’s future fleet, giving our personnel the modern, reliable tools they need to continue their vital work from coast to coast to coast,” Kelloway added.

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