Mr. Speaker, we are here tonight to discuss a question that I asked on March 26 about contracts that might be awarded to Davie Canada, a shipyard that deserves to contribute much more to the success of the Canadian navy.
At the time, the minister replied that Davie Canada was welcome to bid on other contracts. That is a shame. I would like to talk a bit about the Davie shipyard. Founded in 1825, the company will celebrate its 190th anniversary this spring. To date, it has produced 715 vessels, and four more will be delivered shortly. The shipyard has a 348-metre dry dock, the largest dry dock in Canada. It also has five construction berths and six wharves. Until recently, it employed as many as 1,100 people.
This is not a small shipyard. It is one of Canada's major shipyards. In February, it was voted top North American Shipbuilder 2015 at the Lloyd's List North American Maritime Awards. It came out on top of all of the other shipyards in North America. That is a big deal.
What contracts has the Canadian government awarded to Davie Canada over the past few years? There have been very few. To date, there have been three contracts worth $24.6 million, when companies on the east coast and on the west coast have received billions of dollars in contracts.
Furthermore, to give some idea of the capacity at the Davie shipyard, the last contract that it was awarded, the biggest one, which is worth $13 million, will be carried out in the smallest dock that the Davie shipyard has. That gives some idea of its capacity.
The current team at the Davie shipyard is very proactive. The Canadian navy is having problems right now with its supply ships. In fact, it no longer has any, because those ships were built in the late 1960s and have both been retired. The Canadian navy has not had any supply ships at sea for over a year now. Davie Canada came up with a proposal in that regard. It is still being reviewed and unfortunately, nothing is happening so far.
Canada does not necessarily benefit from awarding small contracts worth $5 million or $6 million here and there. This does not reflect the Davie shipyard's ability to help make the Canadian navy strong. That is why I am asking the minister to consider the industrial capacity of this shipyard. This shipyard is capable of making a much larger contribution to the Canadian navy, and God knows we need it right now.