An artist’s rendering of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship, Lockheed Martin’s proposed design for Canada’s $60-billion fleet of new warships. COURTESY LOCKHEED MARTIN CANADA

Feds to buy Arctic ships from Irving to prevent layoffs

The federal government is looking at buying two more ships

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to announce Wednesday that the federal government is buying two more Arctic patrol ships on top of the six it has already ordered from Halifax-based Irving Shipbuilding.

However, unlike the first six, which are being built for the navy at a total cost of $3.5 billion, a government source tells The Canadian Press that the seventh and eighth will be built for the Canadian Coast Guard.

According to the source, who was not authorized to comment publicly, the move is intended to address the Canadian Coast Guard’s desperate need for new ships as its current fleet is extremely old, which has affected its ability to do its job.

READ MORE: Tribunal orders feds to postpone contract in $60B warship project

That includes everything from search-and-rescue operations and resupplying Arctic communities, to clearing ice for ferries in the St. Lawrence River and Atlantic region.

The source says it’s also to address the threat of layoffs, which Irving has long warned will happen unless the government fills a gap between when the last Arctic patrol ship is finished and construction on the navy’s new $60-billion warship fleet.

The government sought to address that gap in November when it ordered the sixth Arctic vessel for the navy and agreed to slow production on the fleet, at a total cost of $800 million.

Half of that cost was for the ship and the other half was to stretch out the work at Irving.

But federal bureaucrats and Irving both warned at that time more would need to be done as even with those measures, Irving was facing an 18-to-24-month gap — during which time it said it would need to lay off workers.

READ MORE: Justin Trudeau credits immigration for Canada’s growing tech sector

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

City commissions another fire hall roof study

Fernie City Council has authorized staff to reallocate the existing budget from… Continue reading

Pride Festival just around the corner

The Fernie and Elk Valley Pride Festival is just around the corner,… Continue reading

Kootenay Learning Campus opens in Fernie

School District 5 celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the… Continue reading

Diamond of the Elk Valley turns 30

Island Lake Lodge, located only 14 km from Fernie, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Kootenay-Columbia incumbent MP responds to Trudeau brownface scandal

Stetski proud of NDP leader Singh’s reaction, which focused on people not power

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

Fernie Fire Department celebrates FireSmart education

“The greatest safety is a neighbourhood that is FireSmart,” said Alan Westhaver.

Trails in Fernie’s Ridgemont area reopen

Fernie Trails Alliance urging trail users to abide by and obey closures still in place

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Most Read