Irving Shipbuilding pushback on Quebec shipyard pays off
'This government is committed to getting these ships built and getting them built in Halifax'
Irving Shipbuilding says it's satisfied the federal government has shut down a Quebec shipyard trying to get back into the national shipbuilding program through the back door.
"We think the federal government has closed this issue down. The competition is over," said Kevin McCoy, the president of Irving Shipbuilding.
Irving has been pushing back hard since word leaked that Chantier Davie Canada Inc. had made an unsolicited offer to the federal government to build two icebreakers for the Canadian Coast Guard.
- Davie shipyard makes unsolicited bid to build for coast guard
- Irving Shipbuilding's deal to build Arctic patrol vessels questioned
Supposedly settled 5 years ago
The job was supposed to go to Seaspan in Vancouver after it won a competition in 2011 to build large, non-combat ships for the federal government.
It was the same National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy competition that led to Irving Shipbuilding being selected to build Canada's warships.
McCoy said Davie had its chance.
"Canada has decided, and yet the one shipyard that lost wants to come in and undermine that process," McCoy told CBC News on Friday.
Nova Scotia taxpayers have spent hundreds of millions upgrading Irving's Halifax Shipyard.
The pushback on Davie from Halifax this week also included the premier of Nova Scotia and mayor of the Halifax Regional Municipality.
On Friday afternoon, the federal government issued a statement reaffirming the results.
"The government is committed to a National Shipbuilding Strategy which adheres to an established and competitive procurement process," said Michèle LaRose, a spokesperson with Public Services and Procurement Canada, in a statement to CBC News.
"There are currently no requests for proposals for icebreakers and multi-purpose ships for the coast guard. Two shipyards, considered centres of excellence, were competitively selected to build Canada's combat and non-combat large ships."
'This government is committed'
Andy Fillmore, the MP for Halifax, likened the unsolicited bid from Davie to someone looking for work submitting a resume.
"This government is committed to getting these ships built and getting them built in Halifax," Fillmore told CBC News.
Irving argues Davie and Seaspan have already made substantial investments since winning the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy competition.
"Irving Shipbuilding is the warship provider. We are pressing on. We don't like it when anybody questions that in a third party and we're very glad the federal government shut it down," McCoy said.
The Halifax yard is on track to produce its first vessel under the program in 2018 — an Arctic offshore patrol ship to be named Harry DeWolf.
Irving Shipbuilding has not yet signed the contract for the biggest part of the warship work, to build 15 navy warships.
To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.
By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.
Become a CBC Account Holder
Join the conversation Create account
Already have an account?