Coast Guard to get two new Arctic patrol ships

New vessels part of broader plan to revamp aging fleet

The HMCS Harry DeWolf, which launched in September, is the first of six Arctic and offshore patrol ships being built for the Royal Canadian Navy. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that two similar vessels will be built for the Coast Guard. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

The Canadian government will build two new Arctic and offshore patrol ships for the Coast Guard, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today.

These ships will be built by Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax.

Six similar ships are currently being built for the Royal Canadian Navy.

These 130-metre vessels are meant to work in the North during the navigable season, roughly from July to October, and can travel in medium first-year ice up to a metre thick.

The first of these vessels to be completed is the HMCS Harry DeWolf, which launched in September.

This coming Monday, May 27, a news conference is planned in Iqaluit “to mark the formalization of a relationship between the Royal Canadian Navy and Inuit through the first affiliation between the future HMCS Harry DeWolf and the Qikiqtani region of Nunavut,” according to a news release.

Nunavut’s premier, the president of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association and representatives of the Royal Canadian Navy are all set to attend the event at Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum.

The new Arctic patrol vessels form part of a broader plan to renew Canada’s Coast Guard. In all, 18 large ships will be built at a cost of $15.7 billion, Trudeau said, during his announcement in Vancouver.

An accompanying news release acknowledged that many of Canada’s Coast Guard vessels are in need of replacement.

“The Canadian Coast Guard saves lives, protects the environment, and helps our economy grow, while keeping our waters safe, secure, and open,” the release states. “But the Coast Guard fleet is aging, with most ships beyond their normal life expectancy. There is an urgent need to renew the fleet to ensure the Coast Guard can continue its essential and, often, life-saving work.”

Another $2 billion will be spent on repairing Canada’s existing Coast Guard fleet.

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(11) Comments:

  1. Posted by Inquiring Minds on

    Since the patrol ships are intended for the Arctic, it would only make sense to work towards developing the capacity to build future ships here in Nunavut.

    Article 24 of the NLCA requires the federal government to help Inuit owned, Nunavut based businesses compete for government contracts.

    What is the government doing to help us get ready to compete successfully for the contract to build the next generation of patrol ships?

    • Posted by Compete How? on

      With what dockyard?
      What shipbuilders?
      What expertise?
      How would the material get here?
      How could a Nunavut based company ever begin to compete on this kind of contract?
      They should focus on realistic goals.

      • Posted by SKam on

        Bidding on contracts is not like bringing someone back from the dead. It is a very realistic and attainable goal for Nunavutmiut.
        No dockyard? Build one, every goal starts with small steps, but if you quit before you start it will never get done. How about new questions?
        Dockyard, what do we need?
        Materials? Where do we find it?
        Training and expertise? Learnable
        Nunavutmiut do these things every day.
        Stop thinking like a guppy and be the shark, your obviously confident and smart enough.

        • Posted by Compete How? on

          Bidding on contracts is easy. Winning them is hard. Especially when you need to sealift up all your materials and all your labour is more expensive than down south due to location and cost of living.
          A dockyard that can’t access the water for over half the year. Because it’s frozen.
          Shipbuilding is a small community with deeply entrenched competitors that sometimes fail or nearly disappear when they don’t win contracts. Is that a boom or bust situation that Nunavut should take a risk on?
          The north has no advantage in shipbuilding, so why would that be a goal for Nunavut?
          In fact, most communities would love a small harbour for themselves.
          Stop thinking that unrealistic ideas are smart and come up with ideas that suit the location.

        • Posted by Consistency on

          These ships take a LONG time to build, and they are not built in the water. they just need to be launched into water when they are done. this would be done in the summer.

          But if you would like to go this way… and why not try. first start with building boats for Nunavumuit, like Stanley, or Zag Fab… If we can not build small boats we are not ready to even consider ships.

    • Posted by Why u dum on

      Really, you want the Canadian government to build coast guard ships in Nunavut or the north for that matter. You do know there is no infrastructure to do that, nor is their the expertise. More southerners in the north, is that what you really want? It would also inflate the costs. Shake my head

  2. Posted by part time hunter on

    more Patrol ships in the north = more traffic in the north..
    doesn’t sound good to me.

  3. Posted by Jim MacDonald on

    Poof… no tender. Surprise, surprise Liberals give Shipyard, 2 ship building contracts after Vice Admiral Mark Norman breach of trust charges stayed by Crown prosecutors.

    Last thing Canada needs are 2 more ships, only capable of operating during slushy ice and open water season.

    Where are real ice breakers? The one large ice breaker, still 12-14 years away before the build starts.

    Last year, 3 old and used medium-sized ice breakers purchased for under $600 million. Now waiting for retrofitting and reinforcement upgrading.  Replaced 3, 38 plus, year-old rust buck icebreakers.

    China has powerful icebreakers as do Russia. Russia, busy building full military, massive distance icebreakers. Including laser mounted, capable of cutting through 2 meters of ice. USA acknowledgers behind in icebreaker build.

    After decades waiting, Arctic rangers get new rifles, and that’s about it.

  4. Posted by Pissed off on

    Guys,get your head out of your a….. about arcticle 24
    Do you really think that building ships in the North is anywhere near feasible ?
    The land claim line of thougth has clouded your mind.
    Not everthing applies. You should save your efforts for things that attainable otherwise you look like fools and loose all credibility.
    As for those that don’t want more icebreakers because they would create too much traffic, wait till your relatives need to be rescued or when the .yearly sealift cannot come to your community.
    Then you will complaine that the Feds are notdoing their job and neglecting the Northern people


  5. Posted by Captain Obvious on

    To all those who say that building ice breakers in the Arctic is impossible, remember all those who said Nunavut was impossible.

    I’m not saying it should be done. I’m not saying will be done. But it could be done if there is a desire to do it.

    “The future begins first in the imagination, then in the will, and then in reality.”

    Perhaps this time the life boats for the icebreakers could be built in Nunavut. Start somewhere. Do something.

    Once the federal government has paid for the infrastructure necessary to design and build lifeboats here in Nunavut, we will have the capacity to build and repair our own small boats, instead of having to import them from southern Canada.

  6. Posted by Paul on

    As a worker at a shipyard, I must say that my eyes have been opened to how challenging shipbuilding is. It takes years of experience and lots of outside help from Europeans and Americans.

    Shipbuilding is just starting to gain a footing again in Canada in Halifax and Vancouver. I don’t think it will ever be feasible to build ships in the north.

    I think it would make sense to build more permanent military bases there however, like the one on Baffin Island.

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