The Canadian Marine Industry and Shipbuilding Association (CMISA), representing marine suppliers and shipyards from all across Canada, has voiced its objections to the current Request for Proposal (RFP) published for the Canadian Coast Guard, where it is again purchasing a used ship from offshore, instead of building this ship right here at home.  

The bid solicitation is for an existing Light Icebreaker Vessel and for former crew support.  The closing date for bids is October 28, 2020, and the government anticipates accepting the vessel by June 2021.

CMISA maintains that its members are quite capable of designing, engineering, supplying material and building this ship in Canada where so many Canadians can benefit from this work. A fast track project to build this light icebreaker would be a winning solution for its members, the marine industry, and Canadian taxpayers.

CMISA is asking that the icebreaker procurement return to its original strategy of leasing or chartering a ship for the next 3 years and allow its membership to start on a fast track build-in-Canada solution.

In addition to the light icebreaker RFP, Transport Canada announced it had procured used tonnage from Europe with another purchase of a large ferry from Spain called the Villa de Terror. CMISA estimates that these two procurements will represent a loss of over 2.5 million person hours of labour and over $250M in material purchases in Canada.

With COVID-19 disrupting lives and the Government searching for ways to stimulate the economy, building this light icebreaker would certainly stimulate work for Association members and allow the industry to continue to rejuvenate its domestic icebreaking expertise.