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Navy ships officially get steel cut in Halifax

Navy ships officially get steel cut in Halifax
Navy ships officially get steel cut in Halifax

Irving Shipbuilding has begun cutting steel for the Royal Canadian Navy’s new fleet of next-generation warships.

According to the government, the 15 warships represent the largest shipbuilding initiative for Canada since World War II.

The project was first announced in 2011 and originally had a price tag of $25 billion.

Defense Secretary Bill Blair says the price has now gone up.

“As a result, this project will probably cost us, above that design phase, somewhere in the range of $50 billion to $60 billion to deliver all 15 ships, so there is a cost escalation,” Blair said.

Blair said in an interview with CTV News on Thursday that the very first ships are expected to be completed in the early 2030s, nine will be completed by 2040 and all 15 ships will be completed by the 2050s.

In a statement to CTV News on Friday, the NDP weighed in on the issue, saying: “Nearly half of the CAF’s equipment is not operational due to deep budget cuts by the Conservative government and the Liberals’ unwillingness to properly invest. A new Democratic government will build a strong domestic manufacturing base to provide the equipment the Canadian Armed Forces and Canadian Coast Guard need and invest adequately in CAF housing and services.”

According to Conservative shadow defence minister James Bezan, the current equipment is outdated.

“Not only has the Trudeau government failed to recruit sufficient sailors to the Royal Canadian Navy, our warships are rusting and aging faster than expected, rendering our navy incapable,” Bezan said.

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