National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS)

What is the NSS?

The National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) is an unprecedented long-term, multi-billion dollar commitment to renewing Canada's federal fleet. The NSS established strategic relationships with two Canadian shipyards, Irving's Halifax Shipyard and Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyards, and designated them as the source of supply to build the Navy and Coast Guard's combat vessels and non-combat vessels. This strategy is designed to help build and maintain an effective federal fleet for maritime security and services while maximizing economic benefits across the country.

For the construction of smaller ships, Canada has set aside the individual projects for competitive procurements amongst shipyards other than the selected shipyards and their affiliated companies that are building the larger vessels. Smaller vessels represent those with less than 1,000 tonnes of displacement.

All shipyards will have the opportunity to compete for the repair, refit and maintenance of vessels as per the current practice.

The NSS is designed to help the shipbuilding industry avoid the historical boom and bust cycle that has characterized industry activity in the past by creating a long-term, steady work flow that will sustain highly skilled jobs for Canadian companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises.

For more information about the procurement process, consult the NSS section of the PWGSC website.

What is Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada's role in the NSS?

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada's mandate is to help Canadian industry become more productive and competitive in the global economy, thus improving the economic and social well-being of Canadians. With regards to the NSS, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada administers:

The NSS Value Proposition (VP)

In recognition of the on-going relationship established under the NSS, the selected large vessel shipyards committed to provide ‘value proposition’ investments that would benefit the greater Canadian marine industry. The shipyards have agreed to re-invest the equivalent of 0.5% of the value of their NSS resultant contracts in the three priority areas:

  1. Human Resources Development
  2. Technology Investment
  3. Industrial Development
The Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) and Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policies

The IRB Policy and the ITB Policy apply to the two large NSS shipbuilding packages. Irving and Seaspan are required to undertake IRB business activities in Canada equal to the value of their contracts. Administered by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, the IRB Policy and the ITB Policy leverage major government procurements to encourage long-term industrial development and significant economic activity in Canada. For more information, visit Canada's IRB and ITB policy web page.

As recipients of major NSS contracts for the Government of Canada, both Seaspan and Irving will have NSS VP and IRB/ITB obligations.

What's in it for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises?

There are opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SME) to provide their goods and services to the selected shipyards and other suppliers involved in building the ships. For the large ships to be built by the two selected Canadian shipyards, SMEs have the opportunity to become part of the shipyards' supply chain: Register through the Irving Shipbuilding's Online Supplier Registry and Seaspan' Online Supplier Registry .

The Industrial and Regional Benefits Policy and the Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy encourage the shipyards to commit to providing a level of work to small and medium enterprises.