March 10, 2016 3:53 pm

N.S. premier wants Ottawa to set Quebec yard straight on who builds ships

The 6,400-tonne ships are being built like giant lego projects inside the cavernous assembly hall, which the company says is the largest covered shipbuilding facility in North America.

Rebecca Lau/Global News
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Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says he expects Ottawa to honour its commitment to the Irving shipyard under the national shipbuilding strategy.

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McNeil was reacting to a Canadian Press report that Quebec-based Chantier Davie Canada Inc. submitted an unsolicited bid late last month to provide icebreakers and multi-purpose ships for the coast guard.

READ MORE: Irving mounts public relations push as questions swirl around frigate program

The proposal has the potential to undercut one pillar of the national shipbuilding strategy, which delegates the construction of civilian ships to Vancouver’s Seaspan shipyard.

Halifax-based Irving is building up to six new Arctic patrol vessels, but has yet to sign a final contract for the building of what is expected to be 15 new frigates for the navy.

READ MORE: First look at Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship under construction

McNeil expressed surprise at the report concerning Davie, saying the unsolicited bid “seems odd to me.”

He said Ottawa should make it clear to the Quebec yard that existing commitments under the strategy have already determined the two shipyards who get to build the new vessels.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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