QUEBEC CITY, Nov. 28, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - While the jobs of 800 workers depend on a swift approval of a second naval support ship, federal government bureaucrats are busy trying to bury any evidence supporting this urgent operational need for Royal Canadian Navy. The National Post story of last week is just the latest proof of this: federal bureaucrats are claiming that Vancouver shipyard's ship delivery schedules are now suddenly secret.
While the Department of National Defense continues to maintain that the first Joint Support Ship will be delivered by the Vancouver Shipyard in 2021, it was accidentally revealed during a parliamentary committee this month that the earliest possible delivery of the first Joint Support Ship will now be 2026.
While this is no surprise to anyone in the industry, federal bureaucrats were quick to cover it up with a written follow-up stating that due to confidentiality, the government could not, in fact, disclose the delivery dates of the ships to the general public.
"This is scandalous and we are calling on our federal government for more truth and transparency toward the public" denounces Ann Gingras, president of the Québec–Chaudière-Appalaches region of the CSN.
The government's defense policy Strong, Secured and Engaged, released in June 2016, called for two supply ships operating at all times to sustain navy operations and support two naval task groups, one on each coast. Under the current plan this will not occur until at least 2026.
Régent Guay, président of the Syndicat des travailleurs du chantier naval de Lauzon (CSN), Davie labor union, declared "Building the Obelix is about maintaining meaningful, high skilled jobs in the region and helping to meet the urgent needs of the Canadian Navy. It is absolutely unacceptable for the federal government to support jobs in Chile and Spain ahead of 800 workers' jobs in Québec."
"We are calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to personally review this file so that we can ensure Quebecers, Canadians and the Canadian Navy all emerge as winners. It is time to put an end to backroom intrigues, we deserve better" concludes Ann Gingras.
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