Defence Minister to make announcement at Irving’s Halifax Shipyard

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan displays his service medals as he leaves a ceremony in which the Royal Canadian Air Force was presented with new ceremonial flags in Toronto on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017. The Canadian Press/Chris Young

Canada’s Defence Minister is set to take the stage at Irving’s Halifax Shipyard on Friday.

Harjit Sajjan is set to make an announcement at 8 a.m. regarding the “future Royal Canadian Navy fleet.”

Sajjan’s arrival in Halifax comes a day after the federal government awarded contracts worth $7 billion to three shipyards — including Halifax — for maintenance and repair work on Royal Canadian Navy frigates.

READ MORE: Federal government awards $7B in contracts to three shipyards for navy ship maintenance

Public Services and Procurement Canada on Thursday announced the advanced contract award notices to Halifax’s Irving Shipbuilding Inc., Seaspan Victoria Shipyards in Victoria, B.C., and Davie Shipbuilding in Levis, Que.

The contracts are to maintain Canada’s 12 Halifax-class frigates until the end of their operational life, estimated at another 20 years.

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The government says in a statement that after consultations, it was decided the infrastructure and workforce of the three Canadian shipyards were needed to work on the frigates.

It was not immediately clear how the money would be divided among the three locations.

Last month, workers at Halifax’s Irving Shipyard raised concerns about the repair work they currently do being transferred to Quebec.

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said his government has spoken with Ottawa about maintaining work at the Halifax Shipyard.

“We’ve made the case to the national government that we believe the level of work should be maintained at the shipyard so they can hold on to the high-quality talent that they currently have,” he told reporters

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