Mark Collins – Canadian Coast Guard Vessel Acquisitions Sliding Right

Quelle sinking feeling surprise!  Here are the current best guesses (hah!) of our government–FY 2015-16’s are here.  Delivery of the one Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel had been scheduled for 2017-18; now it’s just a “Tentative Delivery” in 2018-19.  That “tentative” almost certainly means “later” as a result of delays with the preceding fisheries science vessels (see just below).   Note that the $144.4 million costing does not reflect the realities pointed out at this February post:

New Canadian Coast Guard Vessels: Sticker Shock and Never Never Land, Oceanographic Section

The shipyard, Seaspan Vancouver, is building three Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels first.  These are included in the FY 2015-16 project listing but have for some mysterious reason vanished from the 2016-17 listing.  Uncertainty about costs and delivery dates smells likely to me.  The three ships were supposed to cost a (ridiculous) $594 million with this schedule: “First two vessels to be delivered: 2016-17 [-] Delivery of final Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel: 2016-17…The final vessel is expected to be delivered in 2017-18 [CONFUSED?]”.  But then see this post from June 2015,

New Canadian Coast Guard Vessels: Sticker Shock and Never Never Land (media scrutiny?)

in which the government admits the cost will be (at least) $687 million, “with delivery of the first vessel scheduled for Spring 2017, the second vessel to be delivered 5 months later, and the third 3 months after that…”  So the first two vessels will not be in 2016 and final one should be early 2018.  Mesdames et messieurs, faites vos jeux.  Keep this in mind: “Preliminary Project Approval: October 2005″.  SO ALMOST 13 YEARS TO BUILD THREE SHIPS.

Then there is the Polar Icebreaker.  Cost stays at $1.3 billion (bonne chance given the examples of the other vessels Seaspan is building) with delivery slipping from 2021-22 to 2022-23.  This ship will follow after the two–no talk about three any more–RCN Joint Support Ships that are supposed start building once a contract is awarded to Seaspan in the fall of 2017.  Bets on how that schedule goes?

And now for something completely different and confusing!

Davie Québec Wants to Build Icebreaker for, Unload Other Vessels on, Canadian Coast Guard

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


7 thoughts on “Mark Collins – Canadian Coast Guard Vessel Acquisitions Sliding Right”

  1. Gov’t tries to stop CCG oceanographic vessel and RCN JSS slides at Seaspan, spends money–and rebrands shipbuilding program:

    See here for JSS slide:

    Mark Collins

  2. Oceanographic vessel now more than $170 million–being built by an industry that had not existed. Madness:

    This is the second cash infusion for the science vessel since the Conservatives’ initial $108-million budget in 2008 was boosted by $35 million a year later. Monday’s announcement puts the project’s overall cost at more than $170 million, or 60 per cent over budget.

    The Conservatives did not respond to a request for comment.

    [Procurement minister] Foote left the door open to the possibility of further cost overruns and downplayed the suggestion that Seaspan is to blame for the spiralling price tag.

    “It’s not about fault. We have not had a shipbuilding industry in this country in 20 years, so getting it right is really important,” she said, adding that more funds would be made available if necessary…’

    Great way to run a, er, railroad.

    Mark Collins

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