Another Critique of the NSS

By Dr. Ann Griffiths, 27 July 2022

Irving Shipyard as seen in the late evening on 3 June 2022 from the Alderney/Dartmouth Ferry Terminal. Credit: Timothy Choi

It’s been said before -- and it’ll be said again -- that the National Shipbuilding Strategy is not going well. There have been endless delays and massive cost increases. There was hope that once things got started, construction of the ships would proceed quickly. But the delays continue and the costs increase. What is the solution? That’s the $64,000 question. There’s a good discussion of the NSS in the July issue of Frontline Defence. It’s called “The National Shipbuilding Shambles” by Andrew Kendrick. In the final section of the article, Kendrick states “At the end of the day, we need to decide what level of premium we are prepared to pay for build-in-Canada solutions – 100%, 125%? I don’t believe that 300-500% is either reasonable or sustainable – nor is it responsible.” 

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Volume 18, Number 1 (2022)

The world has changed since the last issue of Canadian Naval Review. We had all hoped that Russia was bluffing as it massed troops on the border of Ukraine. It wasn’t. And now we watch in horror at the brutality with which Russia attacks its neighbour.

But spring arrives regardless. And as the flowers and birds of spring appear, it’s time for another issue of Canadian Naval Review. In the spring issue we have a special treat for readers. It’s a theme issue on the Arctic. The topic is timely because even though Russia did not invade an Arctic country, its actions have nonetheless had repercussions in the North.

We are honoured to publish an article written by the former Commanding Officer of HMCS Harry DeWolf, Commander Corey Gleason. Commander Gleason gives us an account of the trip that HDW took through the Northwest Passage in 2021, the first Canadian navy ship to do so since 1954. In our second article, “A Tale of Two Ships: HMCS Labrador and HMCS Harry DeWolf,” Roger Litwiller examines that earlier trip through the North. In this article we learn the details of Labrador’s voyage and compare the experience with that of HDW. In our third article, “The Arctic Council and Oil Pollution Prevention in the Arctic Ocean,” Jeff Gilmour looks at some of the work that has been done by the Arctic Council to address the possibility of large-scale oil pollution in the North. How this will change in the light of the Arctic Council’s pause in activity in protest of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is yet to be seen. We are very pleased to have a contribution from Natan Obed, President of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), who talks about the Inuit relationship with the lands and waters of the North/Northwest Passage and perspectives on future developments there. And we have a contribution from Captain Simon Dockerill who discusses his experiences in the Arctic with the Canadian Coast Guard.

This just scratches the surface of the interesting material in this theme issue. We also include commentaries about the value of the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships, landing craft for the navy in the Arctic, getting serious about Arctic defence, and Russian naval capabilities in the North. And we have a commentary from Andreas Østhagen who examines Norway’s Arctic Policy – a commentary and policy that has had to be re-thought since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

And, of course, we have amazing photos that you won’t want to miss.

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