Canada Announces Plans for Six New Icebreakers

CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent
The heavy icebreaker CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent courtesy Canadian Coast Guard

The Government of Canada has announced plans for the construction of six new icebreakers for the Canadian Coast Guard.

The new vessels will replace existing vessels in the Coast Guard’s aging fleet of icebreakers.

The government has issued an ‘Invitation to Qualify’ which will establish a short list of pre-qualified shipyards eligible for submitting a formal proposal to become the third strategic partner under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy, joining Irving Shipbuilding Inc. and Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards.

The announcement follows Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement in May that the Government of Canada is investing $15.7 billion to renew the Coast Guard fleet, with up to 16 Multi-Purpose Vessels to be built at Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards and two new Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships to be built at Irving Shipbuilding Inc.

The new shipyard will build the new program icebreakers for the Coast Guard.

The NSS is a multi-billion program focused on renewing the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy fleets. To date, the Government of Canada has awarded more than $11.4 billion in NSS-related contracts across the country.

“The Canadian Coast Guard saves lives at sea, maintains safe shipping, enables an otherwise ice-choked economy, protects the marine environment and supports Canadian sovereign presence in the Arctic,” commented The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. “Demands on the Coast Guard will only grow as the impacts of climate change become more frequent and intense. By adding the new program icebreakers to renew the fleet, we are ensuring the women and men of the Canadian Coast Guard have the equipment they need to deliver icebreaking services in the Arctic, on the St. Lawrence waterway and on Canada’s East Coast,” Wilkinson added.