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Statement from the Canadian Coast Guard on the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s report on Polar Icebreakers

The Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer published its report, titled The Polar Icebreaker Project: 2024 Update, on the procurement of two Polar Icebreakers for the Canadian Coast Guard. We welcome this report because it provides us with valuable data that will support our goal of investing every taxpayer dollar in the best way.

We are now carefully reviewing the findings of the report, and would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work gathering and preparing this data.

With their enhanced capabilities, these larger, more powerful Polar Icebreakers will enable the Canadian Coast Guard to conduct year-round operations in Canada’s Arctic. Their greater endurance will ensure they can operate further North, for longer periods. Ultimately, they will allow the fleet to better support Indigenous peoples and Northerners, strengthen Arctic sovereignty, advance high Arctic science, in addition to better respond to maritime emergencies.

It is important to note that the initial costs were calculated based on the Polar Icebreaker design from 2014. In 2022, the ship’s design was improved to reflect the latest standards and technological innovations. This necessary update has inevitably led to cost increases. That said, it will be better able to respond to the many missions of the Canadian Coast Guard, and for a longer period of time.

More than a decade since the launch of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy, three Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels later, and more vessels under construction, we remain more confident than ever that the National Shipbuilding Strategy will deliver the fleet of the future that the Canadian Coast Guard needs to deliver its critical services to Canadians.

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