National Shipbuilding Strategy

What is the National Shipbuilding Strategy?

The National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) is an unprecedented long-term, multi-billion dollar commitment to renew Canada’s federal fleet. The NSS established strategic relationships with three Canadian shipyards—Irving’s Halifax Shipyard, Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyard, and Chantier Davie of Lévis—and designated them as the source of supply to build the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard’s fleet of large 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 with shipyards other than the selected shipyards and their affiliated companies that are building the larger vessels. Smaller vessels are those with less than 1,000 tonnes of displacement.

All shipyards will have the opportunity, where possible, 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, 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 Public Services and Procurement Canada website.

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

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s (ISED’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 regard to the NSS, ISED administers:

The NSS Value Proposition

In recognition of the ongoing relationship established under the NSS, the selected large vessel shipyards have committed to provide value proposition investments that would benefit the greater Canadian marine industry. The shipyards have agreed to reinvest 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) Policy and the Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy

The IRB Policy and the ITB Policy apply to the three large NSS shipbuilding packages. Irving, Seaspan, and Davie are required to undertake business activities in Canada equal to the value of their contracts. Administered by ISED, 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 ITB policy web page.

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

What's in it for small and medium-sized enterprises?

There are opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) 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 three selected Canadian shipyards, SMEs have the opportunity to become part of the shipyards’ supply chain: Register through Irving Shipbuilding's online supplier registry, Seaspan' online supplier registry and Davie’s online supplier registry.

The IRB Policy and the ITB Policy encourage the shipyards to commit to providing a level of work to SMEs.