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National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh?

17 August 2018. There has been some rustling and flapping lately about the National Shipbuilding Strategy. A memorandum dated 23 January 2018 to the Deputy Minister of Finance, obtained by CBC News under access to information legislation, notes that there was ‘tangible progress’ in ship construction in 2017, but also refers to impending production gaps at Irving-owned Halifax Shipyard and Seaspan in Vancouver. It is clear that the procurement process is still not proceeding as quickly and as smoothly as hoped. Although the government states that it is still committed to the NSS, apparently it is thinking about a ‘refresh’ of the strategy. But what that means is anyone’s guess, and it has Halifax Shipyard and Seaspan a bit concerned. This was not helped by the decision to give Chantier-Davie Shipbuilding the nod to help the Coast Guard fill the gap in its icebreaking capability with $610 million for the refurbishment of three commercial ships. By recent public statements, it’s clearly that Irving and Davie are not on the best of terms. See this interesting article by Murray Brewster, “The Liberals want to 'refresh' the shipbuilding strategy. What does that mean?” http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/SOMNIA-1.4785465

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