[HALIFAX, NS] — If there are any delays or changes being considered for the multi-billion National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, the federal government is not anxious to speak to them.
Postmedia News reported on Monday that the shipbuilding plan is “in danger of floundering” as the federal Conservatives revisit plans to spend $490 billion on military procurement over the next two decades.
The report cited the current political quagmire surrounding the F-35 joint strike fighter program, suggesting the shipbuilding initiative could face the same fate.
Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose’s office, which is currently overseeing the NSPS, declined to speak directly to the report. Defence Minister Peter MacKay’s office issued a prepared statement, but did not speak directly to the report.
“We are months into a process that is expected to run for decades and boost our region’s economy for the duration of the contracts,” the statement from MacKay read.
Premier Darrell Dexter was also not available for comment.
No contract has been signed between the federal government and Irving Shipbuilding, which won the lion’s share of the work in October 2011. An umbrella agreement has been reached, but there are already indications work could be delayed for some time.
At a press conference last week, Rear Admiral David C. Gardam said the navy will have to reevaluate their priorities on their wish list.
“We’re going to have to look at our appetite, to take a bit of an appetite suppressant, and re-evaluate exactly what are those priorities to ensure we maintain the best level of defence we can with the money that is being provided by the taxpayers of Canada,” Gardam said on June 5.