Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Canadian Ship Building Contracts

Today's poll question; should the government spend $33 billion to upgrade the Canadian navy and coast guard? This morning it was announced that Halifax was awarded the bulk of this massive contract, with British Columbia getting the consolation prize and Quebec being awarded nothing (though they will surely see some of the money through parts manufacturing). This was not awarded by the Harper government, but rather an independent group that had support from opposition parties. It was not a partisan decision, though I'm sure you'll hear accusations that Nova Scotia won the contracts to get Peter MacKay re-elected. Canada requires a larger navy than most countries because we have a substantially larger coast line than any other country in the world.

Frankly I don't care which province won the contracts, just so long as they were the best bids. John Ivison is already upset that we did not accept foreign bids, which could have produced better vessels at a lower price. It is a fair argument, and perhaps will be my next poll question. If we sent the contract to Germany we could get boats that are 20% better for 20% cheaper, but would not receive the benefit of domestic economic activity (and the tax revenue it brings). Let's just hope that we don't end up with a bunch of Bricklins and Fast Ferries...

This has to be BC's largest ship building contract since the Pacificat Fast Ferry fiasco, so hopefully our local ship builders are able to do a better job this time. Christy Clark was really jazzed up at the press conference with over the top enthusiasm that was bordering on comical. You will rarely see that level of excitement for finishing in 2nd place, but this is the first good news of her tenure as Premier, so I'm not shocked by her outpouring of emotion.

The pundits were saying that this will cost the Tories more support in Quebec, even though they were not involved in the decision. Quebec deserved their fair share, even if their bid was lousy...


  1. The Fast Ferry job in BC was about $500 million. This new contract for BC is $8 Billion.

    BC git the better deal. Halifax got $25 Billion, but 75% of that will be spent for electronics & weapons that come from elsewhere.

  2. Thanks for your contribution Fred. I never said that the Fast Ferry contract cost more and BC did not "git" a better deal.

  3. Get on board Fred - "independent group!" This is a key word you should pay attention to.

    John Ivison's upset because he knows nothing about the bidding process and is a fringe-writer at best. Who the heck is John Ivison? LOL

    Good Morning!

  4. The Bloc is already dissing the dippers for not standing up to Quebec. Also read there could be dissent in that ndp caucus, 58 from Que very upset, but those from BC and NS very happy.

  5. Why should Quebec receive a share of this contract? Levis has been on the verge of bankruptcy for the past ten years. During the Canadian Frigate Program proposal phase, a consortium from Quebec was formed and dissolved within 24 hours of losing the contract. That's a perfect demonstration of Quebec's involvement in military procurement. They're not in it for the long run and they were properly rejected in this round.

  6. I'm pretty happy with the outcome of the bidding process. With regard to accepting bids from offshore, not a good idea. All of the money goes away from the country, the country does not develop an important industry and all of the spin-off money stays here. Even if it costs us more, we still benefit from Van. and Halifax doing the work. Quebec not getting in on it. No surprise. They came late to the table with a bankrupt company.

  7. WRT foreign shipbuilding, you would have to accept that the Navy would be beholden to a foreign power for decades to ensure the ships could be upgraded and refurbished, or even regular dockyard maintainence work would be done.

    It could only be done on their time and their budget, and of course if their interests align with ours.