An artist’s rendering of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship, Lockheed Martin’s proposed design for Canada’s $60-billion fleet of new warships. COURTESY LOCKHEED MARTIN CANADA

Feds to buy Arctic ships from Irving to prevent layoffs

The federal government is looking at buying two more ships

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to announce Wednesday that the federal government is buying two more Arctic patrol ships on top of the six it has already ordered from Halifax-based Irving Shipbuilding.

However, unlike the first six, which are being built for the navy at a total cost of $3.5 billion, a government source tells The Canadian Press that the seventh and eighth will be built for the Canadian Coast Guard.

According to the source, who was not authorized to comment publicly, the move is intended to address the Canadian Coast Guard’s desperate need for new ships as its current fleet is extremely old, which has affected its ability to do its job.

READ MORE: Tribunal orders feds to postpone contract in $60B warship project

That includes everything from search-and-rescue operations and resupplying Arctic communities, to clearing ice for ferries in the St. Lawrence River and Atlantic region.

The source says it’s also to address the threat of layoffs, which Irving has long warned will happen unless the government fills a gap between when the last Arctic patrol ship is finished and construction on the navy’s new $60-billion warship fleet.

The government sought to address that gap in November when it ordered the sixth Arctic vessel for the navy and agreed to slow production on the fleet, at a total cost of $800 million.

Half of that cost was for the ship and the other half was to stretch out the work at Irving.

But federal bureaucrats and Irving both warned at that time more would need to be done as even with those measures, Irving was facing an 18-to-24-month gap — during which time it said it would need to lay off workers.

READ MORE: Justin Trudeau credits immigration for Canada’s growing tech sector

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Arena served Summerland for 26 years

Warm winters meant short ice seasons in early 1950s

Keremeos winery co-owned by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C.’s provincial health officer is part of the original ownership group of Clos du Soleil in Keremeos

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan, Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecasting strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours in parts of the Interior

WorkSafe BC conducted 70 inspections in the Okanagan amid B.C.’s reopening plan

WorkSafe BC has conducted 100 inspections at restaurants across the province since May 19

EDITORIAL: Revisiting alcohol consumption

A proposal to allow alcohol consumption in some public spaces in Penticton deserves consideration

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of the world of summer sports

In a typical year, there are plenty of summer sporting events and tournaments held across Canada

District offers safety tips after cougar spotted near Lake Country school

The animal was seen on a walking trail near Peter Greer Elementary Saturday morning

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Shuswap man reported missing by RCMP has been found unharmed

Salmon Arm resident apologizes for having caused anyone concern

Emergency crews rush youth to hospital after quadding accident in West Kelowna

West Kelowna Fire Rescue’s new off-road vehicle was used in the rescue

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

Most Read