CCGS AmundsenClick image to enlarge

The federal government has announced that it will be spending $15.7 billion to build 18 new Coast Guard ships.

Up to 16 of the vessels will be built as part of a fleet renewal project based in Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards, reports CBC News. The other two are going to be designed for Arctic and offshore service and will be built at Irving Shipyards in Nova Scotia.

"Canadians deserve better than to have this fleet rust out," Prime Minister Trudeau said during a Vancouver visit. "This fleet renewal is going to create jobs in everything from ship design and engineering to construction, welding and inspection while strengthening this world class Canadian industry."

The $15.7 billion is an estimate, and the cost of each new ship will be announced when contracts have been negotiated.

Ottawa has also announced that it will spend up to $2 billion to refit the existing fleet, which has aged to the point that its effectiveness is suffering. And the government is launching a competitive design process for a new class of smaller ships that will work in shallow waters.

Ottawa has also launched a competitive process to add a third Canadian shipyard to the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

Photo: CCGS Amundsen

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