The strategy, brought in by the Conservative government, called for Canadian shipyards to be used to build government support ships. Irving Shipbuilding on the east coast and Seaspan on the west coast were to receive most of the orders.
However, local media have now reported that such ships could be built outside Canada if the DND’s privatization plans go ahead.
The Ottawa Citizen says that Public Services and Procurement Canada has asked firms for information about privatizing the services provided by the DND’s ships. Vessels five years old or less could be considered or new vessels built.
The Department of National Defence is developing what it is calling a “business case analysis” for the replacement of the tug and fireboat fleets.
“The objective of the business case is to assess the operational and fiscal impacts of adopting alternate service delivery for tug services,” a statement said. “The intent is to identify the availability and budgetary costs for the provision of tug and fireboat services within the commercial market.”
Canada’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy has been plagued by problems over the last few years with building delays and cost overruns. Last month, it was reported that the cost of some new warships had risen from $14 billion to $30 billion.