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Canada amends shipyard search after accusation of bias in favor of Davie

Aug 28, 2019 05:56 PM

After a complaint, Ottawa adjusts vessel size requirements related to the National Shipbuilding Strategy

Davie Shipyard in Levis, Quebec

Courtesy The Canadian Press

Davie Shipyard in Levis, Quebec

(OTTAWA) — The Canadian government has amended its search for a third shipyard to add to the National Shipbuilding Strategy after allegations of bias for Quebec’s Chantier Davie yard, The Canadian Press and The Globe and Mail reported.

Public Service and Procurement Canada said in a statement Monday it had corrected an “inconsistency” in the size of vessel that interested shipyards must be able to build to qualify for consideration as the third yard.

Shipyards will now be required to show they can build vessels that are at least 110 meters in length and 20 meters wide, smaller than the original requirements of 130 meters in length by 24 meters wide.

The original requirement was one of several flagged by Hamilton, Ontario-based Heddle Marine in a complaint to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal last week as not legitimate or reasonable — and potentially biased toward Davie.

Not only would the condition have disqualified all Ontario-based shipyards — their vessels must be 23.8 meters or less in width to traverse the St. Lawrence Seaway — but Heddle said in its complaint that the requirement didn’t make sense.

That’s because the third shipyard will be building six new Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers measuring only 20 meters in width, according to the government. And those ships will be used in the Great Lakes — meaning they must fit through the Seaway.

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