De­spite cost, build­ing war­ships in Canada good for navy

The Western Star - - Canada -

OT­TAWA — The top De­fence of­fi­cial for Canada’s multi­bil­lion-dol­lar mil­i­tary pro­cure­ment sys­tem says spend­ing more to build naval war­ships in the coun­try doesn’t just cre­ate jobs — it pro­tects the navy.

Crit­ics of the fed­eral ship­build­ing plan have long said build­ing 15 ves­sels in Canada to re­place the navy’s frigates and de­stroy­ers will cost bil­lions more than out­sourc­ing the work to for­eign coun­tries. The gov­ern­ment has in turn ar­gued that build­ing them in Canada, at an es­ti­mated cost of around $60 bil­lion, will cre­ate jobs in Hal­i­fax and other parts of the coun­try. Pa­trick Finn, the as­sis­tant deputy min­is­ter of ma­teriel at the De­part­ment of Na­tional De­fence, says it also means the navy won’t have to rely on for­eign com­pa­nies to sup­port the new ships.

Finn say one of the rea­sons De­fence has had such a hard time get­ting its four sub­marines up and run­ning is be­cause of a lack of spare parts and other tech­ni­cal sup­port. The sub­marines were pur­chased used from the U.K. in the 1990s, by which point Finn says many of the Bri­tish com­pa­nies in­volved in their con­struc­tion had moved on to other projects.

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