Ontario shipyard has alleged that the federal government is favouring a Quebec shipyard.
As I reported last week, the Trudeau government is facing allegations that they are rigging the search for a third shipyard in Canada’s national shipbuilding strategy.
Heddle Marine in Ontario had said that under the requirements of the shipyard search proposal, the only shipyard that qualified was the Chantier Davie shipyard in Quebec.
“That ‘requirement’ refers to the fact that the winning shipyard must either have a current contract or recent contract building a ship that weighs over 1,000 tonnes, and must have the ability to launch vessels that are wider than 24 metres.
No Ontario shipyard meets those specifications.
The report also notes that Justin Trudeau has made comments that seem to favour Davie, having said “We recognize that it’s an opportunity for Davie to apply to become that third shipbuilding facility because there will be a tremendous amount of work in the coming years.”
Now, the government says they are amending the search, according to the CP:
“Public Service and Procurement Canada said in a statement Monday it had “corrected” an “inconsistency” in the size of vessel that interested shipyards must be able to build to qualify for consideration as the third yard.
Shipyards will now be required to show they can build vessels that are at least 110 metres in length and 20 metres wide, smaller than the original requirements of 130 metres in length by 24 metres wide.
The original requirement was one of several flagged by Hamilton-based Heddle Marine in a complaint to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal last week as not legitimate or reasonable — and potentially biased toward Davie.”
This will go some way towards addressing the concerns that the process was biased and rigged. However, the stipulation that the selected shipyard must either have a current or recent contract for building a shift weighing over 1,000 tonnes may still leave the Chantier Davie shipyard as the only remaining choice when the process is completed, a ‘convenient’ situation as the federal election approaches.
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