Canada Global (Web News) According to the federal government, it is unknown when the Canadian Coast Guard will get a fleet of brand-new icebreakers from Quebec shipyard Chantier Davie.
Negotiations with the shipyard, which was last week formally included to Ottawa’s multibillion-dollar shipbuilding strategy, will determine the schedule, according to officials.
Long-standing worries exist regarding the current icebreakers used by the Coast Guard and whether replacements will be delivered in time.
The fleet is already, on average, over 40 years old, getting older, more prone to failures, and more expensive to operate, according to a report by the Auditor General Karen Hogan last year.
If Ottawa wants to maintain its current icebreaking capabilities, which are essential for keeping Canada’s rivers accessible for trade and resupplying northern communities, Hogan came to the conclusion that there is little tolerance for delays.
The government’s decision to purchase three used icebreakers from Davie will help in the interim, according to Rob Huebert, a professor at the University of Calgary, but developing new icebreakers takes time even without the additional complexity of negotiations.