Canada announces tweaks to National Shipbuilding Strategy

Judy M. Foote, Canada's Minister of Public Services and Procurement Judy M. Foote, Canada's Minister of Public Services and Procurement CBC

MAY 26, 2016 — The Government of Canada today announced a series of enhancements to strengthen the National Shipbuilding Strategy "so that needed vessels are delivered to the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard as quickly as possible."

The Trudeau administration inherited the strategy from its predecessors. Critics have seen the strategy as not only costly, but slow to deliver needed replacement tonnage to the Navy and Coast Guard.

To the surprise of some, the tweaks to the strategy announced today did not include calling itself something else.

The enhancements were spelled out in a keynote address at the CANSEC 2016 event in Ottowa by Judy M. Foote, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, who reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to the strategy, but said  improvements are planned or underway in the following areas:

Greater expertise and stronger oversight—Engaging an Expert Advisor and improving governance and communication with the shipyards

Increased internal capacity—Hiring additional shipbuilding staff and increasing training.

More accurate planning—Introducing more accurate costing approaches.

Detailed monitoring—Implementing measures to track the performance of the shipyards.

Increased transparency and accountability—Regularly updating Canadians and parliamentarians with both annual and quarterly reports.

Something that emerges from the full text of the Minister's speech is that more government employees will be hired to support the Strategy and that changes in the approach to budgeting mean that "we will not be announcing a new cost estimate for the Canadian Surface Combatant until we have signed a build contract."

She also said that the government is "determined to be straightforward with Canadians about the progress of individual projects, shipyard investments, contract awards and other pertinent data"   adding that "today we are releasing a report that provides this information for the first three years of the Strategy."

You can read the text of the Minister's speech HERE

You can read the status report on the first three years of the strategy HERE

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