Government of Canada Moves Ahead With Construction of New Mid-Shore Patrol Vessels

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and the Regional Minister responsible for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, today announced the start of construction for the Canadian Coast Guard’s new mid-shore patrol vessels.

“Today marks an important milestone in the Government of Canada’s commitment to build and maintain an effective fleet of federal ships and the Canadian Coast Guard’s Fleet Renewal Program,” said Minister Shea. “These new vessels will help the Coast Guard support fisheries enforcement and enhance the security of coasts and waterways for years to come.”

Ministers Gail Shea and Peter MacKay were in Halifax to celebrate with shipyard workers as the first steel plate was cut for the new vessels. Irving Shipbuilding Inc. was awarded a $194 million contract for the nine new mid-shore patrol vessels in September 2009. The first vessel should be ready for service in 2011, with the rest to be delivered by 2013.

“Canada’s marine industry is a key economic driver and the lifeblood of many communities from coast to coast to coast,” said Minister MacKay. “By following through on its commitment to have federal ships built in Canada, our Government is giving a significant boost to the Coast Guard fleet and to our shipbuilding industry – creating jobs and supporting local businesses.”

The Canadian Coast Guard fleet presently includes seven mid-shore patrol vessels. The new vessels will replace existing vessels nearing the end of their life expectancies. Five of the vessels will be used primarily to support Fisheries and Oceans Canada conservation and protection programs in the Maritimes, Quebec and Pacific Regions. The other four vessels will be used in a joint program with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to enhance the maritime security along the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway system.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting a vibrant Canadian shipbuilding industry while also ensuring the highest value for taxpayers’ money.

Backgrounder: New Mid-shore Patrol Vessels

Contacts: Fisheries and Oceans Canada Ottawa, Ontario       Nelson Kalil Media Relations 613-990-7537 Fisheries and       Oceans Canada Office of the Minister Nancy Bishay Press       Secretary 613-992-3474     

SOURCE: Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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