SHIPBUILDING INDUSTRY DAY HOPES TO SET LONG TERM NAVAL STRATEGY BY DAVID PUGLIESE OTTAWA CITIZEN

By David Pugliese

Ottawa Citizen

As you may have read in my article in today’s Citizen, DND is co-ordinating an industry day in Gatineau next Monday and Tuesday for the shipbuilding industry. The idea is to get feedback from industry on coming up with some kind of coherent long-term shipbuilding strategy.

The stakes are high. The projected value of the upcoming contracts to rebuild the federal government’s fleets (Navy, Coast Guard) varies depending on who you talk to. Industry organization CADSI has been using $30 billion for the new ships and $20 billion for the in-service support contracts. Others use a starting figure of $40 billion, with a total around $60 billion. These are estimates of course but it’s obvious there is big money at stake.

Some industry reps have wondered whether this is going to be a repeat of the Fixed Wing Search and Rescue industry day, which was deemed by many of those who attended as a “disaster.” During that long-awaited industry day there was little information on the FWSAR project provided to industry, some of whom traveled across the country at great expense.

But Peter Cairns, president of the Shipbuilding Association of Canada, predicts the shipbuilding industry day will be much different.

“Is this going to be another industry day so government can say it consulted and that’s it?, asked Cairns. “I like to take the other view; we were further down the road with industry days than they were with Fixed Wing SAR.  We have already gone through AOPS industry days, we’ve been writing articles, we’ve been doing a lot of (advance) work, Senator (Colin) Kenny has been on this issue. So a lot of work has been done.”

Cairns is convinced that the federal government wants to develop this long-term strategy and that federal officials have already done a lot of the leg work.

“We really have an opportunity here,” he added. “There’s a lot of talk, there’s a lot of interest. But the question is;  ‘Who’s the champion for this (new policy)? Who’s in charge?”

He noted that DND was organizing the industry day as it had the biggest stake in getting a positive outcome. Public Works and Industry Canada are expected to take part as well.

The idea is to get input from industry on how to proceed.

“It is an opportunity for people to say their piece,” explained Cairns. “If you can get all these opinions and distill them into some kind of way ahead that would be really positive.”

If you want information on books by David Pugliese check out his Web site , view his biography or his photo website. Go to:

http://members.shaw.ca/dpugliese/

http://members.shaw.ca/dpugliese/David_Pugliese_Biography/index.html

http://davidpugliesemilitaryphotos.blogspot.com/

For more Canadian Forces and Defence Department news go to the Ottawa Citizen and David Pugliese’s Defence Watch at:

http://communities.canada.com/ottawacitizen/blogs/defencewatch/

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