Ottawa hires retired British admiral as shipbuilding expert adviser
Expert will help government remain focused on shipbuilding strategy, Public Services minister says
The federal government has chosen a retired British Royal Navy admiral to be Canada's expert advisor on the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy developed to rebuild both the navy and Coast Guard.
Steve Brunton served in the Royal Navy for 36 years, most of which was spent in acquisitions. He will provide ministers and senior government officials with advice on different areas of the strategy including risk, program management, construction, competitiveness and performance.
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"Steve Brunton's extensive experience and expert capability make him particularly well-suited for this work, and provide excellent value to Canada," said Judy Foote, Minster of Public Services and Procurement.
"Engaging him will help us to anticipate and address challenges face on, and to continue to make progress on our commitments on the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy," she said.
The strategy was developed by the government to assist in rebuilding the Canadian industry and providing domestic capacity to rebuild the fleets of both the navy and the Coast Guard.
The program had an initial budget of some $39 billion to build as many as 30 large ships for the two capital fleets.
But the program has moved slowly and build contracts have only been let for two of six classes of ships. The program is also now beset by budgetary problems.
The budget for the Canadian Surface Combatant program had been set years ago at $26.2 billion. But CBC News learned that's nowhere near enough cash for 15 modern warships as planned.
The build portion of that budget was set at $14 billion, but it's now estimated to cost $30 billion, bringing the roughly estimated cost for the whole program to more than $42 billion. Those costs were confirmed Wednesday by navy commander Vice-Admiral Mark Norman in an exclusive interview with CBC News.