Who’s the busiest person at the Davie Shipyard…

…the answer is… its a three way tie between the lawyer’s office, bankruptcy court and the sign shop. That’s a tough call to make! At this point, one might say the sign shop is now the busiest, with the latest twist in the saga of Davie Shipyard in Quebec City.

While politician, up until very recently, were extolling the populist virtues of promising even more money to that ferret, Gary Bettman, and his merry band of ultra quazillionaires, with the faintest of hope that could bring an NHL franchise to Quebec City. Meanwhile, within sight of the Assemblee National – Quebec’s seat of government – the politicians could hear the dying groans of an industrial giant across the river in Levis, where the Davie Shipyard is situated.

After a long drama of bankrupcy(s) which I must admit I did not follow very much (I also don’t follow Coronation Street – seemingly similar drama), the shipyard saw some tremble of life, several years back, when all the world’s other yards, were too busy. The Norwegian wanted the yard, and started to build three offshore support ships there… alas, the bottom fell out of the economy, and the ships sit unfinished in the yard’s dry-dock.

The last couple of years have seen the bankruptcy trustee busy looking for a pulse. Unfortunately not much was to be had, until Davie’s defacto entrance into the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy bid competition. During this time, industrial giants salivating at their bottom line, took their turn on the dance card, and after the Italians came and left, the Koreans and SNC Lavalin loaned their names to a purchase of Davie by Upper Lakes Group.

For those Canadians wondering… wasn’t Upper Lakes sold to Algoma… well that is a very good question. From what I can tell, Algoma only acquired the ships of Upper Lakes. Upper Lakes Group seems firmly secured ashore with Allied Marine, Canal Marine, Seaway Marine, Lakehead Marine, Hamilton Marine under the groups banner.

Upper Lakes Group was already in the NSPS bid process, with its Seaway Marine Yard (Port Weller) in the race, but rumoured to be targeting the smaller portion of the Two Tier Federal contract (Combat = $$$ and non combat = $). With “only a few hours” before the deadline for the submission of bids, on July 21st, Upper Lakes Group, Daewoo and SNC Lavallin’s bid for Davie was accepted (pending many caveats) by the bankruptcy courts.

Now, this is what I would call a juicy political steak, ready for the devouring. Here you have the Conservative Party solidly entrenched in the Canadian west, and looking eastward, with the potential to hand out billions of federal dollars, in not just one, but both of the most important electoral areas in Canada; political areas that are crucial to a government staying or gaining power in Canada; Ontario and Quebec.

The conservative have gone out of their way to say that the process is not a politicized one, but one cannot overlook this massive elephant in the room. Never mind the mind boggling concept of how one organization, made up of three marquee names, including the mighty and powerful Montreal based SNC Lavalin, can submit a cohesive bid, when the entity did not exist, two hours before the bid deadline.

So going back to the busiest guy at Davie, I don’t know, but one things for sure the sign shop guy must be wringing his hands in anxiety with the numerous logos that have been painted on the signs over the years, and the many more that might be needed. In the meantime the bid deadline is now past, we should be hearing the results in a few weeks.

Here’s a little more about the deal to buy Davie.

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