May 6th, 2021 – Hamilton, Ontario – As part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy, the Government of Canada announced that Seaspan Shipyards will build a Polar Icebreaker, the flagship of the Canadian Coast Guard’s icebreaking fleet. With facilities in Hamilton, St. Catharines, and Thunder Bay in Ontario, and in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia, Heddle Shipyards will support Seaspan Shipyards in the construction of a Polar Icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard.
The Government of Canada’s decision to build a Polar Icebreaker at Seaspan Shipyards means that Heddle’s Ontario shipyards will play an increasingly important role in the National Shipbuilding Strategy and create and sustain hundreds of jobs across its facilities. Seaspan’s pan-Canadian approach to shipbuilding will support thousands of jobs from coast to coast and ensure the Canadian Coast Guard has the vessels it needs when it needs them. Canada’s current largest icebreaker, the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, is nearing the end of its intended service life and in need of replacement by 2030. Work on the Polar Icebreaker is expected to commence immediately upon contract award.
Today’s announcement is a welcome development for the shipbuilding and marine industry in Canada, and for Heddle Shipyards. The Polar Icebreaker construction program will help ensure continuity of work and enable Heddle to grow its capacity and revitalize its Ontario shipyards in pursuit of becoming Canada’s shipyard of choice for constructing vessels less than 1,000 gross registered tons.
Heddle Shipyards is the largest Canadian ship repair and construction company on the Great Lakes and is proud to work alongside Seaspan Shipyards in British Columbia and Genoa Design in Newfoundland and Labrador to support the National Shipbuilding Strategy and the construction of Canada’s Polar Icebreaker.
“Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone for the shipbuilding industry in Canada and specifically in Ontario. Seaspan’s truly pan-Canadian approach to shipbuilding will support thousands of jobs across the country and support the continued growth of Ontario’s shipyards. At Heddle Shipyards, we are so proud to work alongside Seaspan Shipyards, Genoa Design, and hundreds of other Canadian suppliers to deliver the urgently needed Polar Icebreaker to the Canadian Coast Guard.”
– Shaun Padulo, President, Heddle Shipyards