Shipbuilding delays force Ottawa to spend $187M to extend lease on navy supply ship

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Ottawa is forking over another $187 million to extend the lease on a converted civilian ship that the navy is using as a supply vessel for another two years.

The federal government announced the amended deal with Quebec-based Chantier Davie shipbuilding today following more delays in the delivery of two permanent naval support ships.

Davie first started leasing the MV Asterix to the Royal Canadian Navy in January 2018 after a fire and excessive corrosion forced the military to retire its only two supply ships before permanent replacements were ready.

The new extension adds another two years to the current five-year, $691-million leasing agreement, with the government hoping that will allow enough time to get the first permanent support ship in the water.

Officials revealed in June that the first ship wouldn't be delivered until at least 2025 — two years later than the previous estimate and six years later than originally intended.

The MV Asterix was at the heart of the failed prosecution of retired vice-admiral Mark Norman and another federal public servant.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 26, 2022.

The Canadian Press