Defence Minister Peter MacKay remains tight-lipped about an 'important milestone' announcement concerning the multi-billion dollar National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announces an agreement-in-principle between the federal government and Irving Shipbuilding Inc. to build $25 billion worth of warships at the Halifax Shipyard last year. (Ryan Taplin/Metro)
[HALIFAX, NS] — Defence Minister Peter MacKay will be in Halifax today to announce the federal government has reached a deal with Irving Shipbuilding Ltd., Metro News has learned.
MacKay’s office is being tight-lipped about an “important milestone” announcement concerning the multi-billion dollar National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.
But a source familiar with the file told Metro Halifax that MacKay will reveal that the federal government and Irving Shipbuilding have reached a contract agreement.
The announcement scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at the shipyard comes almost nine months after the feds selected Irving to do the bulk of $35 billion in shipbuilding work, and five months after Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the two sides had arrived at an umbrella agreement.
Contract negotiations have been ongoing since late last year. The apparent delay fed fears that the shipbuilding strategy would be scaled back as the Department of National Defence rethinks their 20-year, $400 billion Canada First Defence Strategy.
MacKay will make the announcement on behalf of Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose, whose department is spearheading the procurement program.
Josh Zanin, a spokesman for the minister’s office, would not comment on the content of the announcement, except to say that it will be “more complicated” than simply a contract for a single ship.