DARTMOUTH, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwired - June 18, 2015) - Public Works and Government Services Canada

Today the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, along with Scott Armstrong, Member of Parliament Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, cut steel on a test module for the Harry DeWolf, the lead Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS). Building this test module will enable the shipyard to test its new processes, get personnel familiar with the new equipment, and streamline construction for when full production begins in the fall of 2015.

Through the historic undertaking of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS), Canada will deliver the ships needed by the men and women of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard to protect the security and interests of Canadians at home and abroad. This work will also bring long-term economic benefits to the marine industry and related sectors in communities across Canada. In fact, as of April 2015, Irving Shipbuilding had awarded over $720 million in contracts to 128 suppliers from across Canada through the modernization of its shipyard and the AOPS project.

As part of its commitment to invest a portion of its profits for the benefit of the greater marine industry, Irving Shipbuilding entered into a partnership with Women Unlimited. This program will provide education funding and job opportunities to 19 women who will participate in the welding and metal fabrication programs at the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) Akerley Campus. The partnership is an outcome of Irving Shipbuilding's Centre of Excellence funding announced in October 2012. The mandate of the Centre of Excellence is to provide Nova Scotians, with particular focus on under-represented Nova Scotians, with applicable programs and training to optimize opportunities to work in the marine industry.

Quick Facts

  • The DeWolf-class ships will play a critical role in protecting Canada's offshore sovereignty in the Atlantic, in the Pacific as well as in the Arctic Ocean.

  • The Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships will have a number of features, such as modern surface search radars, a gun armament and the capacity to carry and operate the new Cyclone naval helicopters. They will also be able to: operate in first-year ice up to one metre in thickness, sustain operations for up to four months and exchange real-time information with the Canadian Armed Forces' Marine Security Operations Centres.

  • The AOPS project will sustain approximately 1,000 direct jobs at Irving Shipbuilding as well as many jobs at suppliers across Canada. Industry analysts have estimated that government shipbuilding projects would create, both directly and indirectly, 15,000 jobs and generate $2 billion annually.


"Today, we are achieving another major milestone under our Government's National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. Cutting steel on this module brings us one step closer to the full construction of the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship. Let's celebrate this achievement that will serve our men and women in uniform, bolster our shipbuilding industry and benefit the Canadian economy."

The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services

"I am proud to celebrate this achievement in the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship project. Our men and women in the Royal Canadian Navy are excited about this new capability and our Government is committed to delivering the equipment needed to get the job done."

The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defence

"As we celebrate yet another milestone in the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship project at Irving Shipyards, I am proud of the spirit of cooperation that has been fostered between management, employees, and our Government. This has led to the creation of economic opportunities for hundreds of families and businesses across our province, and will allow our men and women in uniform to better protect Canadians and our sovereignty."

Scott Armstrong, Member of Parliament Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley

"I am very excited with this milestone in the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship build process. The Royal Canadian Navy will employ the DeWolf-class to conduct surveillance operations in Canadian waters on all three coasts, and will be instrumental in our ability to further assert our sovereignty, particularly in the Arctic."

The Honourable Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence

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Contact Information:

Marcel Poulin
Office of the Honourable Diane Finley

Media Relations
Public Works and Government Services Canada