Mark Collins – RCN Joint Support Ship Stopgap: Feds Talking with Davie, Québec

Further to this post (and note competing Irving, Halifax, interest mentioned in “Comments”),

RCN Joint Support Ship Stopgap: Contract for Davie, Québec (i.e. porc)?

one wonders furiously if a deal will not be struck until after the October 2015 federal election to avoid political problems–that would be typical of this government (and note the apparent service slippage date for the Seaspan JSSs).  On the other hand the government may really be hoping for votes in the Québec city region while getting ready to pretty well write off Nova Scotia:

Ottawa to talk with Davie shipyard about temporary naval supply ship
Preliminary discussions to determine whether government enters into contract

The Government of Canada will have “preliminary discussions” with Quebec’s Davie shipyard about retrofitting a commercial ship to serve as a temporary naval supply ship, Defence Minister Jason Kenney announced today [June 23] in Ottawa.

The discussions, starting tomorrow, will determine whether Davie could provide an interim solution “at a cost, time and level of capability acceptable to Canada and the Royal Canadian Navy,” Kenney said.

If the government chooses to enter into a contract with Davie to retrofit a ship, it would bridge the gap until a navy support ship is operational, expected in 2021 [very recently the government was saying full operational capability would be in 2020].

The ship would have modest capabilities and wouldn’t conduct full military operations in high-threat or combat environments.

The move is necessary because existing supply ships were forced into early retirement. The government’s decade-long plan to purchase new supply ships is still in the design phase and construction has not yet begun.

Move forward quickly

Kenney said the government has been in “consultations” with a number of industry stakeholders since last year, ultimately choosing to explore the proposal put forth by Davie.

Davie shipyard is located in Levis, Que., the riding of Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney…

You don’t say.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

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18 thoughts on “Mark Collins – RCN Joint Support Ship Stopgap: Feds Talking with Davie, Québec”

  1. Globe and Mail’s emphasis–sole-sourcing:

    “The Conservative government is forgoing a competition and turning to a shipyard in the Quebec City area to fill a major hole in Canada’s naval capability – a move that would secure jobs in a region where the Tories hope to win seats in October.

    The beneficiary of what critics decried as vote-buying is Davie Shipyard, based in Conservative Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney’s riding.

    The Harper Conservatives announced on Tuesday they are starting exclusive negotiations with Davie Shipyard to provide a commercial vessel to serve as the Royal Canadian Navy’s supply ship until 2021, when the first of two new ones being built for the military are ready…”
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/tories-lease-commercial-supply-ship-for-navy-from-quebec-shipyard/article25075797/

    Mark Collins

  2. Mistral(s)? At Milnet.ca:

    “Well to be blunt we did leave it up to the “Professionals” (as in senior leaders management of DND) who knowingly ran our AOR’s into the ground and did not have a replacement plan. So it’s a bit ripe for them to tell the amateurs what to do. 8)

    The Mistrals with leased helicopters and landing craft could resupply the other ships with everything but fuel and provide a useful hanger space to keep the SeaKings (and spare aircraft) running till replaced with fully kitted Cyclones for the ASW role. We would still struggle on the Oiler side and leasing one seems to be the only option unless our betters bite the political bullet and build one/two overseas.”
    http://milnet.ca/forums/index.php/topic,90990.msg1382378.html#msg1382378

    Mark Collins

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