Government of Canada makes important shipbuilding investment

News Release

For Immediate Release

March 14, 2016 — Vancouver, British Columbia — Public Services and Procurement Canada

The Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Judy M. Foote, today announced $65.4 M in funding under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) for Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd.

Canada remains committed to re-establish a world class shipbuilding industry that will create good-paying jobs and generate sustainable economic growth for Canadian communities from coast to coast to coast.

The two new contracts will allow Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd. to initiate early discussions with potential suppliers and to purchase material and equipment to build the Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel (OOSV) and the Joint Support Ships (JSS).

With these contracts, the Government will be able to purchase material—such as propulsion systems, scientific equipment, generators, and other specialized parts—before construction starts. This will allow plans to be finalized, delays to be avoided, and construction to begin on these ships as quickly as possible.


“These investments demonstrate our long-term commitment for continuous shipbuilding projects which will not only rejuvenate our marine industry, but also provide the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard with the ships they need to do their jobs at best value-for-money for Canadian taxpayers. By building these ships here in Canada we are bringing jobs and prosperity to many communities across the country.”

The Honourable Judy M. Foote
Minister of Public Services and Procurement

“The Government is committed to building a more agile, better-equipped military. I am pleased that we are now one step closer to building the first Joint Support Ship and delivering on a critical capability needed by the brave naval men and women of our Royal Canadian Navy so that they can continue to defend Canadian waters and take part in international missions well into the future.”

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan
Minister of National Defence

“The Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel is the second class of Coast Guard vessels being built by Vancouver Shipyards—critical first steps in the renewal of the Coast Guard Fleet. The Oceanographic Vessel will support the Government of Canada’s next 30-plus years of cutting edge scientific research that will help us protect our fisheries, oceans and coastal areas.”

The Honourable Hunter Tootoo
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“Today’s announcement is a strong reminder of the progress being made under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. Its impact will continue to increase opportunities for Canadian companies and provide jobs for Canadians that flow from our delivery of vessels to the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy.”

Brian Carter
President, Seaspan Shipyards

Quick Facts

  • The National Shipbuilding Strategy is a 30 year initiative. An estimated 15,000 jobs and $2 billion in annual economic benefits are expected to be generated through the implementation of this strategy.
  • To date, Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd. has awarded $211 million in contracts to suppliers in Canada, and more than 160 companies in Canada have already benefited from these investments.
  • The NSS was established to renew the fleets of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard. As part of the Strategy, the Government is committed to building the OOSV and the JSS along with a range of other non-combat vessels, through an umbrella agreement with Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd.

Associated Links


Annie Trépanier
Office of the Honourable Judy M. Foote

Media Relations
Public Services and Procurement Canada

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Government of Canada makes important investment toward shipbuilding

Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel (OOSV)

  • This contract, valued at up to $30 M (including taxes) will enable Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd. to purchase material and equipment such as propulsion systems, engines, scientific equipment, and steel for the construction of the OOSV.
  • In November 2015, the first phase of the OOSV Construction Engineering contract, valued at $5.3 M (including taxes), was awarded to Vancouver Shipyards to perform a Basic Design Assessment to confirm that the ship can be built to meet the Canadian Coast Guards’ (CCG) requirements.
  • The OOSV is the second project in the non-combat package after the Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel (OFSV), which began construction in June 2015. The construction of the OOSV is expected to be completed in 2018/2019, in time for the 2019/2020 science season.
  • The OOSV will allow critical scientific research to be performed. The vessel will be 86 metres long and have capacity for 33 crew members and up to 23 scientists.

Joint Support Ships (JSS)

  • This $35.4 M (including taxes) contract will enable Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd. to engage suppliers and select the equipment needed to finalize the design and to build the JSS. The contract value will increase over time as the design progresses and additional commitments are made regarding equipment purchases.
  • The first group of long lead items includes propulsion systems, generators, switchboards, and other specialized parts and equipment.
  • The JSS are part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy’s non-combat vessels package, with an estimated project budget of $2.3 billion and will be built after the OFSV and the OOSV. The first Joint Support Ship will be delivered in 2020 and will be operational later that year. The second ship, should be delivered a year later and be operational in late 2021.
  • These vessels will replace the Royal Canadian Navy’s Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment vessels, Protecteur Class, which were recently taken out of service.
  • The JSS will allow Naval Task Groups to remain at sea for long periods of time without going to shore for replenishment. They will provide fuel, ammunition, spare parts, food, and water to Canadian and allied vessels. The ship will also support deployed forces with modern medical and dental care facilities, as well as helicopter repair capabilities.

Socio-Economic Benefits

  • Both contracts fall under the Government of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy which was implemented to renew the fleets of both the Royal Canadian Navy and the CCG.
  • This 30-year initiative is expected to generate an estimated 15,000 Canadian jobs and $2 billion a year in economic benefits for Canada.
  • As part of the Shipbuilding Strategy’s non-combat package, the shipyard has committed to investing, out of its own funds, 0.5% of the value of all resulting contracts into the Canadian marine sector in the areas of Human Resources, Supply Chain Development, and Technology Development.
  • Vancouver Shipyards has also invested $170 million of its own money to build a world-class infrastructure. 
  • To date, Vancouver Shipyards has awarded $211 million in contracts to suppliers across the country, and more than 160 companies in Canada have already benefited from these investments.
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