NDP Defence Critic Jack Harris issued the following statement today in response to the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy Secretariat’s announcement regarding the NSPS non-combat package.
“Thanks to Conservative mismanagement, Canadians are going to have to pay more and wait longer to ensure that both the Navy and Coast Guard have the vessels they need to operate. Due to a scheduling conflict, the Canadian Coast Guard will now have to pay an additional $55 million to ensure the continued operation of the ice-breaker CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, a 44-year-old vessel that will have to serve the Coast Guard until a replacement is completed in 2022.
Let’s be clear: these critical shipbuilding projects are facing delays because of the Conservative decision to cancel the Joint Support Ship procurement process in 2008. That restart means that the Canadian navy will now face a two-year gap in resupply capacity, during which time Canada will have to rely on allies for essential resupply capabilities. The Canadian navy’s capacity to conduct independent marine operations during this period will be greatly reduced.
The men and women of the Canadian Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Navy deserve to be able to work with the best equipment to do the job as soon as possible – not as soon as the Conservatives sort out their mismanagement.”