Queen's University

$35 billion shipbuilding announcement

2011-11-11

Christian Leuprecht from the Queen’s University Centre for International and Defence Policy and Ugurhan Berkok, the adjunct chair of Defence Management Studies at Queen’s, are both available to discuss today’s federal government announcement of two shipbuilding contracts totaling $35 billion – the largest military procurement in modern Canadian history.

Three Canadian cities – Vancouver, Halifax and Quebec City – are fighting for only two contracts. Dr. Leuprecht can talk about some of politics that go behind making the decision.

“The ridings around the Halifax shipyard are all NDP, ditto around Vancouver although some of the adjacent ridings went Conservative. The ridings around Quebec City where the Davie shipyard is located also went NDP, although some ridings around St. Catharines, which would also benefit from the Levi bid, went Conservative. So there are no obvious pork-barrel political choices here. But if you are trying to prop up Canada's industrial heartland (Ontario and Quebec) which has been hurting pretty bad economically and where the Conservatives would be likely to get the most political bang for their buck in terms of votes, the core bid would go to the Davie shipyard. Whatever the outcome, the decision is likely to unleash a firestorm,” says Dr. Leuprecht, a fellow at the Centre for International Relations and Defence Policy.

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“Whatever shipyard gets the contract will get about one third of the value of the contract. The other two thirds go to such items as combat and navigation systems that will be built in the Montreal-Toronto corridor or be imported from other manufacturers. The actual production contracts with consortia will be negotiated later this winter. Some names that have being floating around are French manufacturer Thales, which has ties to the Vancouver bid; Lockheed Martin, which is rumoured to be trying to partner up with the Halifax bid; and the Korean shipbuilder Daewoo, which is connected to the Quebec City bid,” says Dr. Berkok.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 or michael.onesi@queensu.ca or Christina Archibald at 613-533-2877 or Christina.Archibald@queensu.ca at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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