The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs, today announced a contract of up to $172 million awarded to Bell Helicopter for the procurement and delivery of 15 light-lift helicopters within the context of the Canadian Coast Guard’s Fleet Renewal Plan. This contract will stimulate economic growth and create Canadian jobs and business opportunities in the Canadian aerospace industry.
Coast Guard helicopters support activities such as ice reconnaissance, maintenance and construction of aids to navigation and telecommunications equipment, personnel and cargo transfer between ship and shore, and they provide support to science and fisheries enforcement.
Details of the contract are being finalized. The first of 15 Bell model 429 helicopters is expected to be delivered in May 2015, with one helicopter expected to be delivered each month thereafter. The procurement of these modern aircraft and associated goods and services required with new helicopter acquisitions will help renew the capabilities of the Coast Guard’s existing fleet of helicopters. The purchase of 15 Bell 429s will support more than 200 direct and indirect jobs.
- Economic Action Plan 2012 provided $5.2B in new funding for the Canadian Coast Guard’s Fleet Renewal Plan. Part of this investment supports the procurement of new vessels and helicopters.
- Under the Fleet Renewal Plan, the Government of Canada will also acquire medium-lift helicopters and simulators.
- The overwhelming majority of flying hours logged by Coast Guard helicopters (65% of the total) is devoted to ensuring the safety of marine traffic, followed by icebreaking operations (15%) and its other responsibilities to other Coast Guard programs and other government departments (20%).
- Economic benefits of this procurement are being leveraged through the Industrial and Regional Benefits Policy. The policy ensures that companies that win Government of Canada defence and security contracts conduct high quality and advanced technology business activities in Canada equal to contract value.
“Renewing the Canadian Coast Guard fleet of helicopters will improve the Coast Guard’s air support capability from coast to coast and in Canada’s North. Our Government has invested more in the Coast Guard than any other Government in Canadian history, ensuring its men and women have the equipment they need to perform the important work we ask of them.”
Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
“The aerospace industry is important to Quebec’s economy. I am proud to see that once again, Quebec workers are benefiting from our Government’s investments in the renewal of our Canadian Coast Guard fleet. This contract will support the growing aerospace industry in Quebec. It will attract a skilled and youthful workforce to the area and drives economic prosperity.”
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