Government of Canada enters into negotiations with Chantier Davie for construction of two ferries

News release

June 19, 2019 - Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec - Public Services and Procurement Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to providing Canadians in Eastern Quebec and Atlantic Canada, as well as tourists and businesses, with safe and efficient ferry services to support vibrant and sustainable communities and economies.

Today, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, on behalf of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, announced that the Government of Canada is entering into contract negotiations with Chantier Davie of Lévis, Quebec, for the construction of two new ferries for Transport Canada.

The contract value and construction timelines will be determined once negotiations with the shipyard are completed. The Government of Canada will also begin discussions with the current operators of the ferries to consult them on the technical features required in the construction.

The Government of Canada had issued an Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN) on May 22, 2019, signaling its intention to enter into a contract with Chantier Davie for the construction of the ferries. Other interested suppliers had 15 calendar days to submit a Statement of Capabilities to show they met the requirements laid out in the ACAN. None were submitted.

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 the 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 Government of Canada wants to ensure the timeline for the construction of the ferries is determined swiftly and that they are delivered within the set timeframe.

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


“The Government of Canada understands the importance of the ferry service to the people of Îles-de-la-Madeleine, and that’s why we’re committed to ensuring its continued and reliable delivery. Investing in this project will support the Canadian marine industry, creates jobs and grows the middle class now while building a strong foundation for a sustainable economic future.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

“The ferry that links Cap-aux-Meules to Souris is the continuity of Road 199 for Magdalen Islanders. Today, the Government of Canada is here and present, and confirms to the people of the Magdalen Islands that they will soon be able to count on a new ferry resistant to ice for their transportation needs.”

The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier
Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament for Gaspésie–Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine

“The Government of Canada is committed to providing Canadians in Eastern Quebec and Atlantic Canada with safe and efficient ferry services. This is yet another example of how we are taking action to fulfill federal shipbuilding requirements, while strengthening Canada’s marine sector and supporting good middle-class jobs at the same time.”

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

Quick facts

  • Budget 2019 committed to acquiring two new ferries to replace the MV Madeleine and the MV Holiday Island.

  • 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 and 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.
  • 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.

Associated links


Marielle Hossack
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough

Media Relations
Public Services and Procurement Canada

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