NSPS drumbeats

Seems the Canadian Government is being very vocal about their intentions for a fair and open bidding process, when it comes to the National Ship Procurement Strategy. The lobbyist are up at arms by the various statements, the most recent one at a military hardware conference in Ottawa, a few weeks ago, where a government minister “scolded” prospective shipyard competitors to forgo the efforts of lobbyist, on their behalf, to win their share of the procurement.

I am encouraged by the candid approach the government is taking towards this project. I am skeptical, after all, it is government, and it is largely a military project; but I must say the upfront candid disdain by the government for the lobbyist, is a welcome attitude by this taxpayer. Read more about it on this newsbit.

Meanwhile the deadline looms for the official announcements of the awarding of the of the ISPS approved shipyard designation. Currently the deadline for bid submission (RFP) is July 7, 2011, although two of the qualified shipyard requested that the deadline be pushed back further, until mid-September; the government has not responded officially to this request. The current time line would mean that a fall decision on the two shipyard would be made. Following that, more precise contracts would be drawn up for Coast Guard’s fisheries research vessel and the navy’s Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) shortly after, in late 2011.

Couple weeks ago the Quebec government gave “Davie Shipyard” a $150 million contract for two ferries, which allowed the shipyard to show the feds that they have their heads above water. Davies have been flirting with disqualification due to its insolvency – a never ending saga.

Meanwhile over in BC, one cannot help to notice that the new Premier, Christy Clark, is certainly in constant contact with Seaspan and Company. A couple of days ago she was in my home town, arriving in the lead engine of a freight train, to announce funding for upgrades to the rail line. Whats that got to do with Seaspan you ask, well Rail Link is part of the American industrialist Denis Washington’s empire to which Seaspan is a sizable chunk. A few days before that, Christy Clark was at my old school, Camosun College announcing half a million dollars project to expands the school’s welding program, into a training center for shipyard workers. Seaspan is also seeking $75 millions in tax incentives because they plan to spend $150 million on their shipyard facilities if they win the bid.

By the way, Happy Canada Day! It will be Canada’s 144th birthday tomorrow.

UPDATE – July 1st, 2011

Well, looks like I spoke too soon, as Quebec’s Davie Yard has managed to delay the bid deadline, albeit not to what they hope for, but a two weeks extension has been granted by the federal government. The new bid deadline is now July 21st.

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