Speech Article from  Government of Canada

Canadian Coast Guard Vessels Contract Award Announcement

Speaking Notes

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

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

January 22, 2016

Check Against Delivery

Good day, everyone.

It is great to see all of you.

I am very pleased to be with you for this announcement working together with my colleague the Honourable Hunter Tootoo, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

The fact that the Canadian Coast Guard has been added to Minister Tootoo’s official title tells you the value our government places on the Coast Guard.

With more coastline than any country in the world, Canada needs a well-equipped Coast Guard.

That is why Prime Minister Trudeau has asked Minister Tootoo and me to work together to support renewal for the Canadian Coast Guard fleet and prioritize the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

In addition to the construction of new vessels, the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy calls for the repair, refit and maintenance of the existing fleet.

As part of that, I am pleased to announce the awarding of a contract valued at $6.2 million to Wärtsilä Canada Incorporated.

Wärtsilä Canada Incorporated was established in 1991. Today, it employs more than 140 professionals in five offices across the country, including one here in St. John’s.

With the Government of Canada its largest customer, Wärtsilä has its engines, propulsion, and electrical equipment fitted on numerous Canadian frigates, minesweepers, coast guard vessels, as well as on provincial ferries.

This contract is for the design and supply of new propulsion control systems for two vessels—Canadian Coast Guard Ships Ann Harvey and Sir William Alexander.

These new systems will enhance the navigators’ control over how the vessels move through the water. With these new systems, these vessels will need less maintenance and be able to spend more time at sea ensuring the safe passage of vessels in Canadian waters.

The Ann Harvey and the Sir William Alexander are used for icebreaking, tending buoys, and search and rescue, as well as for fisheries enforcement.

These ships are also capable of responding to environmental emergencies, whether man-made or the work of Mother Nature.

The contract announced today also includes options for four additional propulsion control systems, for Canadian Coast Guard Ships Edward Cornwallis, Martha L. Black, George R. Pearkes and Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

This flexibility in the contract allows the Coast Guard to test and assess the first two propulsion control systems before deciding on whether or not to exercise the options for more.

If these options are exercised, the total contract value will be about $19 million.

This contract was awarded by Public Services and Procurement Canada through a fair, open and transparent process, and is part of an overall $360-million investment to extend the life of Canada’s Coast Guard fleet.

Coast Guard vessels need to be well-maintained to carry out their work on behalf of the fishery, for marine safety and environmental response.

In addition to renewing ships, investments such as this one are helping local economies across Canada.

In this case, contracts awarded since 2013 to Wärtsilä Canada under the Canadian Coast Guard vessel life extension program are sustaining 12 jobs out of their office here in St. John’s.

There is a story behind the name of the Ann Harvey. Ann Harvey was the daughter of a fisherman from Isle aux Morts (on the southwest coast of Newfoundland and Labrador).

In 1828, when she was 17, Ann and her younger brother helped their father rescue 160 crew members and passengers from the ship Despatch, after it had been driven onto the rocks near their home.

A decade later, Ann and her father again came to the rescue—this time, of 25 crew from the ship Rankin.

Ann Harvey was clearly a woman of strength, determination and courage—those same qualities embodied by the men and women who serve in the Canadian Coast Guard. It is only fitting they have the equipment they need to carry out their jobs.

That is why I am proud the Government of Canada is keeping the commitments made to the Coast Guard under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

The strategy is generating jobs and benefits for Canadians, and it will continue to do so.

Industry analysts have estimated that government shipbuilding projects would create, both directly and indirectly, 15,000 jobs and generate $2 billion a year through the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

Already the two main shipbuilders, Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards and Irving Shipbuilding, have together awarded over $1 billion* in contracts to 330 suppliers across Canada. [*$1.037 billion]

This includes a contract from Vancouver Shipyards to Genoa Design International (Mount Pearl, N.L.) for their work on the design of the Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel.

I am also pleased Public Services and Procurement Canada is working with all Canadians to make our economy and our country strong.

Thank you.

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