Taxpayers may have to shell out another $300 million to a Halifax shipyard so it can modernize its facilities to build navy vessels. This decision contradicts an earlier stipulation that public funds would not be required for such upgrades.
Irving’s Halifax shipyard won a multi-billion dollar program in 2011 to construct the country’s new fleets of warships. However, legal requirements for winning the bid included a provision that taxpayers wouldn’t need to contribute funding to outfit facilities for the task.
Industry sources say the Liberals are considering providing at least $300 million to the shipyard owned by one of Canada’s richest families.
Irving Shipbuilding president Kevin Mooney recently told The Canadian Press that the shipyard needed several upgrades that were not originally anticipated so it could build the new Canadian Surface Combatant Ships.
Procurement Minister Filomena Tassi declined to confirm how much Irving was asking for from taxpayers or when the Liberal government intended to make its decision.
“I, along with my department, continue to work with our NSS (National Shipbuilding Strategy) partners to ensure the ships that the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard require are delivered in a timely and efficient manner,” she noted in a statement to this newspaper. “This involves continually monitoring progress and mitigating against risks to timelines and budgets. I cannot discuss any specific request at this time.”