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Re: “Will Halifax lose shipbuilding work?

Good morning,

I rarely write responses to blogs, however this got my attention this morning. I've written to you for two reasons; The politics behind it don't seem realistic and your blogger has demonstrated a remarkable lack of understanding of his background material.

For the first point, I have my doubts that the U.S government would be pressuring us to re-role and arm our coastguard. Why would they be so specific? The details of exactly how we divide tasks between the Navy and the Coast Guard are probably below their notice. They would be more concerned about whether we are meeting or obligations for the collective defense of North America in general as opposed to the specifics of what government department gets what type of ship. Also, due to the ongoing disputes between Canada and the US about the North West passage and its status as internal waters or a international straight, they may actual prefer Canada to maintain a weaker Coast Guard as it would weaken our ability to exercise our sovereignty in the arctic.

My second concern is my biggest, the author of the Blog and his sources demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of what ships Halifax Shipyards will be building for the government and who will be using them once they are built. Halifax Shipyards was awarded the Surface Combatant portion of the contracts for the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. The ships they have been contracted to build are the Arctic Offshore Patrol Vessel and the Single Surface Combatant. None of these ships were ever destined to serve with the Coast Guard as your writer asserts. As well the AOPV will be armed, which is also contrary to your author's source information. If you examine the design, which the Navy has already purchased and provided to Irving, you will see that the AOPV was never small and fast-- another claim by your author. The AOPV is designed to be able to operate in ice, but not to act as an icebreaker. Some other details the author got wrong, the U S Coast Guard is no longer a branch of it's armed forces, but is now a part of the Department of Homeland Security. The harbour watcher's worst case scenario about out of country suppliers has already happened, to a small extent, the Navy purchased the design from a foreign designer and payed a Canadian firm to customize it for the Navy's requirements. With all of these mistakes how can we take the author's conclusions seriously?

The AOPV was never meant for the Coast Guard, It was never the small and fast ship he described, It has always been the Navy's intent to arm it. This removes it from the question of changing the role of our Coast Guard. Therefore pressure from the US will not cause Irving to loose the contract, which will not lead to the follow on contracts failing. On a positive note the government has awarded Halifax Shipyards a contract to turn the AOPV design into an actual construction plan and to finalize the other details required, such as machinery and electronics.

I would recommend that the author spend more time familiarizing himself with the background material before speaking to his sources in order to ensure a complete understanding of the story.

The only real threat to the NSPS would be a worsening fiscal situation for the Federal Government.



33 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Sdyson on 12/20/2012 at 1:37 PM

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