Ottawa will purchase three icebreakers of the shipyard Davie

Ottawa achètera trois brise-glaces du chantier maritime Davie

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The canadian Press

The shipyard of Davie in Lévis

The federal government will announce Friday that it is acquiring three icebreakers that will be converted by the shipyard Davie, according to two sources aware of the folder. The first icebreaker to be operational by December 2018, in time for the next winter season.

The minister Jean-Yves Duclos must make the announcement at the shipyard, located in Lévis in the morning.

The government and the company had started negotiations in January. The contract, however, is not up to the expectations of Davie, who hoped to create 800 jobs. It will rather keep 200 jobs over the next two years, according to a government source.

The shipyard had submitted to it, two years ago, a project to convert four icebreakers and commercial rent to the canadian government in order to fill short-term needs of the coast Guard, the fleet is aging.

However, Ottawa has chosen instead to buy three of the four ice-breakers, putting the more imposing side. The conversion work would also be less important than what Davie was offering.

The company is urging the government for months to grant him new contracts. More than 1,000 workers have been laid off since the month of November. They had worked on the translation of Asterix, a container transformed into a supply vessel which was delivered to the royal canadian Navy at the end of December.

The shipyard Davie had been rejected in 2011 of the Strategy of shipbuilding developed by the previous conservative government. The company was then known significant financial difficulties.

The coast Guard has an urgent need for new icebreakers. The passengers of a ferry that was making the journey between Quebec and Levis remained stuck for more than four hours last winter because the ice-breaker who had to go rescue them was a failure.