HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, June 28 (UPI) -- Canada is planning to procure 18 to 21 new vessels in the next seven years for the country's Coast Guard.
Announcement of the planned procurement and $356.6 million in funding for the project was announced at the 2013 Mari-Tech Conference by Minister of National Defense Peter MacKay on behalf of Keith Ashfield, the minister of Fisheries and Oceans.
The vessels include search-and-rescue lifeboats, specialty vessels, near-shore fishery research vessels, channel survey and sounding vessels, mid-shore science vessels and special navigational aid vessels.
Canadian shipyards not part of the government's National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy are eligible to enter the competitive bidding process, the government said.
"Our government has made it a priority to equip the men and women of the Coast Guard with the vessels they need to do their important work," Ashfield said. "Renewing the fleet will enable the Coast Guard to continue serving Canadians from coast to coast to coast for future generations."
"In doing so, we are revitalizing Canada's shipbuilding industry and stimulating jobs and growth in communities right across our country," MacKay said.