The following shows the economic, if not practical, lunacy of our governments’ (note the plural) insisting that our Navy’s ships be built in Canada:
Shipping industry gets tariff break
Imported cargo ships, tankers and large ferries will no longer be subject to a 25 per cent tariff, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced Friday.
The measure is aimed at making it cheaper for Canadian shipowners to replace aging fleets with more modern and more efficient vessels.
Waiving the tariff will save the industry $25 million a year for the next 10 years, the government estimates.
“These were tariffs that don’t serve any purpose because … the ships to which they apply are not capable of being made competitively in Canada [emphasis added],” Flaherty told reporters in St. Catharines, Ont…
The tariff removal will be retroactive to the start of the year. The measure applies to all general cargo vessels, tankers, and ferries longer than 129 metres…
Surely our Navy could use a break to stretch its shipbuilding dollars further. If Canadian industry can’t competitively build civilian vessels, how can it do so at any reasonable cost for more complex naval ones? Instead this government has announced a “National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy” under which, for vessels over 1,000 tonnes, one Canadian shipyard will be selected to build combat ships for the Navy (Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship), and one non-combat ships for the Navy (Joint Support Ship) and Coast Guard.
Monopoly builders will sure help efficiency and bringing down costs. Pork, pork, pork; jobs, jobs jobs; votes, votes, flipping votes. Hurl.
But at least the government is now finally open–at least in theory–to selecting proven foreign designs. See:
Joint Sometime Ship (JSS): At least five years late
Also take a look at the “Arctic” ships section of this post:
New fighters, Joint Support Ships, and Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships: What’s good enough?..
Update: A comment at Milnet.ca:
This is very simple, very, very old fashioned pork barrelling and vote buying. They used to set up beer stalls by the voting booths, now they are a wee tiny bit more subtle, albeit a lot more expensive.
Canadians yards can build first rate, modern, sophisticated ships, including warships – they just cannot do it without buying a whole boat load of technology and expertise, at enormous cost. But, hey, a job’s a job, right? Gotta keep those Canadian workers on the job and shopping at WalMart. Wouldn’t do to let the market decide; this is Canada!
Well, except now for civilian ships.