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QUESTION PERIOD — Public Services and Procurement

Agreement with Davie Shipyard

February 10, 2022

My question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

On December 19, 2019, the Trudeau government announced that the Davie shipyard was the only shipyard that had qualified to build six new program icebreakers for the Canadian Coast Guard. At the time, Canadians were told that an umbrella agreement with the Davie shipyard was expected to be put in place by late 2020. That did not happen. Last May, we were told that an agreement would be in place by the end of 2021. Of course, once again, that did not happen. Two years have passed, and the government has not yet finalized the agreement.

Why is this taking so long? When will the Government of Canada and the Davie shipyard have an agreement? If the answer is “I don’t know,” feel free to say so.

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate) [ - ]

I thank the honourable senator for his question and for highlighting the importance of our procurement program to better protect Canada and Canadians.

I will make inquiries with the government about a specific date and get back to you with an answer as soon as possible.

That sounds a lot like “I don’t know” to me.

It seems likely that excessive delays in finalizing such an important agreement with Davie will delay the start of icebreaker construction and deployment along our coasts.

When will construction on these icebreakers finally start? Does your government still believe that the first ship will be delivered in 2029-30? If not, what is the expected date of delivery? Will the plan be tabled in the Senate so we can get a clear sense of what is happening with the ships and the contract, not only in terms of the seaway, but also in terms of jobs in Lévis?

Senator Gold [ - ]

Thank you. I will add those questions to the others.

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