Canada’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy can serve as a catalyst for Canada’s development of a robust Arctic shipping capability. Working together as a nation, with the involvement of government and the private sector, the Arctic shipbuilding could become Canada’s mega-project of the 21st century. This will require a concerted effort and a global view, looking at the changes coming in the next decades. We can start by assisting the U.S. in protecting the Arctic waters of North America. Both our nations require a high Arctic capability. Canada can draw on its history in the Beaufort Sea, look to the future and move forward with confidence.
K. Joseph Spears (in this May 14, 2012, article in Canadian Sailings) argues that Canada’s marine industry is world-class, and we are an Arctic nation. The Polar Icebreaker Project has a budget of $720 million for the design, development and construction of the Polar class vessel. A$9.5-million contract has been awarded to STX Canada to develop the detailed design effort for the new icebreaker. This will be completed by 2013, after which construction will begin. The CCGS John G. Diefen baker will be delivered to coincide with the decommissioning of the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent in 2017. The CCGS John G. Diefenbaker could overwinter if needed, and will be used solely for Arctic operations. The vessel will be between 120 and 140 metres in length, and will carry a crew of 100 with additional accommodation for 25 more. This will help Canada realize the opportunity to become a world leader in polar vessel.