Shipbuilding and Independence

The strategy for achieving an independent foreign policy through development of naval capacity appears to be maturing almost exactly 100 years after it was first articulated. The plan was first advocated in the debates in the House of Commons preceding development of a naval service in 1910.

The announcement of eight Arctic patrol vessels is welcome. The refit of the Halifax class is a routine expenditure that assures that the investment can last out for the next 15 years.

The next step in the progression toward Canada as an independent maritime nation, is a serious plan to develop a class of capable, made in Canada warships for the next generations. These vessels will be a replacement for the Halifax class and be useful into the future.

Lead-time is a critical factor. Buildings, facilities and particularly training and education of people need to be funded to a level where shipbuilding will once again contribute to the economy. It requires that the yards and their supporting communities be revived in order to be producing those ships within 10 years which then can be expected will have a 10 to 30 year useful life span.

The strategic interests of Canada still require that Canada develop the facilities to build and repair ships. Timely action will assist Canada to fulfil its destiny as an independent, maritime country.

Debate is needed on a national level.