Canada to acquire two new ferries for the Eastern Canada Ferry Services

News release

May 17, 2019 - Lévis, Quebec - Public Services and Procurement Canada

Canadians in Eastern Quebec and Atlantic Canada, as well as tourists and businesses, rely on safe and efficient ferry services to support vibrant and sustainable communities and economies.

Today, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, and the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, on behalf of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, announced the Government of Canada will issue an Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN), signalling its intention to enter into a contract with Chantier Davie of Lévis, Quebec, for the construction of two new ferries for Transport Canada. This ensures a fair, competitive process allowing any supplier with a comparable option to also submit a proposal before a contract is awarded.

The Government of Canada conducted industry analysis, which concluded that Chantier Davie is the only known Canadian shipyard with the capacity, recent experience and capability to build these ferries in the required timeframe.

The new ferries will replace the Motor Vessel (MV) Madeleine, which is currently used for service between Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec, and Souris, Prince Edward Island (PEI), and MV Holiday Island, one of two vessels used to provide service between Wood Islands, PEI, and Caribou, Nova Scotia. Both vessels are nearing the end of their life cycle.

The ACAN confirms Canada’s intention to enter into a contract with Chantier Davie. Other interested suppliers will have 15 calendar days to submit a Statement of Capabilities to show they meet the requirements laid out in the ACAN.

The construction of these two new ferries will create skilled, well-paying jobs for our marine industry.


“If selected, Chantier Davie will have the important responsibility to build the two new ferries for the Eastern Canada Ferry Services announced in the last budget. Investing in new ferries at a Canadian shipyard will support the Canadian marine industry, create jobs and grow the middle class now while building a strong foundation for a sustainable economic future. The ferry services, supported by the Government of Canada, are important to the regional economy and provide essential transportation services to tourists and residents in Eastern Canada.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

“Our government is proud to be fulfilling its Budget 2019 commitment to build new ferries for Transport Canada. We are leveraging our procurement tools and our skilled shipbuilding workforce to deliver on this commitment as well as the needs of Canada’s federal fleets, while supporting economic growth and jobs for our skilled workforce in Quebec and in shipyards from coast to coast to coast.”

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough
Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility

“This announcement demonstrates the strategic role of Chantier Davie in the Canadian naval construction industry. From the beginning, our government has been working on rebuilding its relationship with management and employees at Davie. Today, our government is turning once again to Davie workers for their expertise, since they are best placed to respond to the needs of our government for ferry services across the country. We know that Chantier Davie and its workers have the capacity and the talent to meet this challenge and, as the Member of Parliament for Québec, I’m proud to be here today to support our workers and our regional economy.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Quick facts

  • Through the Ferry Services Contribution Program, the federal government provides funding to private operators to support three interprovincial ferry services in Eastern Canada.

  • The three services, delivered by four vessels owned by the Government of Canada, referred to as the Eastern Canada Ferry Services, operate between:

    • Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec, and Souris, PEI
    • Wood Islands, PEI, and Caribou, Nova Scotia; and
    • Saint John, New Brunswick, and Digby, Nova Scotia.
  • Budget 2019 committed to replace two of the ferries as well as extending the Ferry Services Contribution Program for another two years, until March 31, 2022.


Ashley Michnowski
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough

Media Relations
Public Services and Procurement Canada

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