Canada's Leading Defence Magazine


Seaspan Shipyards Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Building Ships Under the National Shipbuilding Strategy

Seaspan Shipyards is proudly celebrating ten years of building ships for Canada under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS).

On this day in 2011, Seaspan was selected as Canada’s long-term strategic shipbuilding partner to construct large, non-combat vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy.

As a result of the NSS and the certainty it provides, for ten years now, Seaspan has invested in its infrastructure and its people, helping rebuild a sustainable, competitive marine industry; built its cross-Canada supply chain; and renewed the federal fleet with ships built in Canada by Canadians.

Seaspan invested more than $185 million to transform its shipyard into one of the most modern in North America, with a purpose-built infrastructure to deliver much-needed ships for Canada’s federal fleets. Seaspan’s NSS program of work includes three Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSVs), one Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel (OOSV), 16 Multi-Purpose Vessels (MPVs), and one Polar Icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard as well as two Joint Support Ships (JSSs) for the Royal Canadian Navy. These vessels will play a vital role in ensuring Canadian sovereignty; conducting climate and ocean research; and protecting the world’s longest coastline, including our fragile Arctic waterways.

Seaspan’s team has now delivered to the Coast Guard all three world-class OFSVs—completing the first full class of large vessels delivered under the NSS. Several other vessels are under construction and in design.

Seaspan also released today a new socioeconomic impact study, conducted by Deloitte, which highlights the significant economic and job creation engine that the NSS and Seaspan have become. Over the period from 2012 to 2021, Seaspan contributed $2.6 billion to Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through its NSS-related activities alone (and an additional $1.4 billion through its repair, refit and maintenance activities). Seaspan has awarded more than $1.8 billion in NSS-related contracts to more than 660 Canadian suppliers from coast to coast, many of which are small and medium-sized businesses. They, in turn, have been able to grow; develop advanced technologies; reinvest in R&D, infrastructure, and skills development; and leverage new opportunities at home and abroad.

Over the past decade, Seaspan has also grown its workforce into a team of approximately 2,700 engineers, naval architects, procurement specialists, and highly skilled tradespeople – from welders, pipefitters, shipfitters, electricians and mechanics to millwrights, machinists, riggers, joiners, and painters. In the process, Seaspan has become a major employer in British Columbia and a workplace of choice not only for its employees and new graduates but also for hundreds of apprentices and interns. Seaspan is also a significant contributor to training and skills development initiatives across the region that will help ensure a pipeline of top marine talent for generations to come.

“I want to congratulate Seaspan Shipyards as well as all those involved in Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) on ten years of successful work. The efforts of companies like Seaspan and its more than 660 partners contribute greatly to the success of the NSS. From renewing our fleets for the Canadian Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Navy with made-in-Canada vessels, to rejuvenating Canada’s shipbuilding industry and creating good jobs, the NSS is a cornerstone of our long-term plan for a stronger and more prosperous Canada.” – The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Member of Parliament for North Vancouver

“Shipbuilding is in British Columbia’s DNA, and we are proud to see a new generation of workers building on its rich history in our coastal communities. Seaspan is celebrating its 10th year in the National Shipbuilding Strategy by bringing Canada’s next polar icebreaker to B.C. shipyards. Seaspan continues to rejuvenate the shipbuilding industry and play an integral role in a stronger, more resilient province, for everyone.” –        The Honourable John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia

“The shipbuilding industry in Canada has benefitted significantly from the National Shipbuilding Strategy. It has eliminated boom and bust cycles in shipbuilding, provided benefits to the entire marine industry and created good-paying jobs both directly and indirectly. The NSS has helped position our domestic marine sector to become an engine of industrial development and economic growth.” – Craig Alexander, Chief Economist, Deloitte Canada

“Our first decade of NSS partnership has been a remarkable story of vision and transformation, of strength and resilience. We now have a sustainable, competitive industry on the West Coast that is enabling us to build world-class ships and a new generation of shipbuilders and marine experts here at home in Canada. The hard work and collaboration of the talented teams at Seaspan, across our marine supply chain, and in the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy are setting the stage for success for many decades to come.” – Mark Lamarre, Chief Executive Officer, Seaspan Shipyards



2011 — Government of Canada selects Seaspan to build Canada’s non-combat fleet

2012 — Signing of Umbrella Agreement to deliver Canada’s non-combat fleet

2014 — Completion of privately funded shipyard modernization

2015 — Steel cutting on first Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel (OFSV)

2016 — Steel cutting on second OFSV

2017 — Steel cutting on third OFSV

2018 — Steel cutting and start of construction of first Joint Support Ship (JSS), the longest naval vessel ever to be built in Canada

2019 — Delivery of the Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Sir John Franklin, the first OFSV and first vessel delivered to Canada under the NSS, now stationed in Patricia Bay, British Columbia; and the CCGS Capt Jacques Cartier, the second OFSV, now stationed in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

2019 — Government of Canada announces Seaspan will build fleet of multi-purpose vessels (MPVs) for Canadian Coast Guard

2020 — Keel laying of the first Joint Support Ship

2020 —Delivery of the CCGS John Cabot, the third and final OFSV now stationed in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, completing delivery of the first full class of vessels under the NSS

2021 — Steel cutting and start of construction of Canada’s most modern climate and ocean research ship, the Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel

2021 – Government of Canada announces Seaspan will build a Polar Icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard



  • The NSS objectives are to develop a sustainable, competitive marine industry and to renew federal fleets with ships built in Canada by Canadians.
  • Seaspan has invested more than $24 million to support education, learning, research, and skills development in the marine industry, with a special focus on reducing barriers for underrepresented groups, bringing a broad range of new talent into the industry and the trades, including more women and Indigenous people, and creating opportunities for youth through internships and apprenticeships.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Please fill out the following information to be added to our newsletter distribution list.
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.