LEVIS, QUE.- When the Canadian Coast Guard took possession of a new icebreaker at Quebec's Davie Shipyard Friday, a Davie official warned that the national shipbuilding strategy could lead to a "disaster".
Frederik Boisvert, Vice President of Public Affairs, said that yards in British Columbia and Nova Scotia, which so far have won almost all shipbuilding agreements, are not equipped to handle the work.
"We are ready to help. We have capacity," said Boisvert. Davie, he said, "could build parallel six massive ships. The other two lasts Seaspan (in Vancouver) and Irving (in Halifax) can only do one at a time. So frankly, the national strategy can be a bit of a disaster if we are not delivered properly. "
The comments threw a cloud over what was billed as a celebration of a milestone for the yard over St. Lawrence River from Quebec City, delivery of the first new icebreaker floating by the Coast Guard in 25 years. Federal officials announced another $ 90 million in work for Davie to convert two other icebreakers.
The three vessels were purchased from Norway in August, with an announced cost of $ 610 million. Budget documents revealed in November that with fees, brokerage fees, engineering and other costs, the total cost had increased to $ 827 million.
The ship handed over Friday has been called CGCS Captain Molly Kool after the first woman in North America to become licensed shipman.
Myrtle "Molly" Kool was born in a family of seamen in Alma, N.B. in 1916, earned a reputation as an unfaithful captain who carries goods on the sometimes treacherous Bay of Fundy.
Kool, who died in 2009 at the age of 93, qualified as the captain when she was 23. Her certification led to the prefix "she" to the Canada Shipping Act, which previously referred only to navalists as "he"