Mr. Speaker, I am certainly pleased to take part in this debate this evening. However, I have to say that I am bit surprised that my colleague from the NDP has even asked this question, seeing that it was the NDP that voted against our government's plan to build these ships in Canada. Our government's decision to build these ships in Canada will create 15,000 jobs right across this country.
While the former interim NDP leader advocated for work to be taken away from Halifax and Seaspan, our government respects the fair, open, and competitive process that was used to choose the two shipyards to build these large vessels. In fact, here is what the Auditor General had to say about the process involved in selecting the Irving and Seaspan shipyards:
The competitive process for selecting two shipyards [led by PWGSC] resulted in a successful and efficient process independent of political influence...carried out in an open and transparent manner.
That being said, under our national shipbuilding procurement strategy, there remains a significant amount of work that other shipyards in Canada, including Davie, can bid on. In fact, the reality, as I am pleased to inform the hon. member and the House, is that Davie continues to undertake work for the federal government. Maybe he is not aware of this.
In spring 2014, a $6.5-million contract was awarded to Babcock Canada for critical refit work for the Canadian Coast Guard ship Louis S.St-Laurent. The shipyard portion of the work was carried out, in fact, by Davie.
In October 2014, a $4.5-million contract was awarded to Babcock Canada for refit and vessel life extension work on the Coast Guard's Des Groseilliers, and again, Davie carried out the shipyard portion of that work.
On March 11, 2015, the Government of Canada awarded a $13.6-million contract to Davie for refit and vessel life extension work for the Coast Guard ship Earl Grey.
Further, as the minister said in her response on March 26, significant shipbuilding and support opportunities lie ahead under our national shipbuilding procurement strategy, and we continue to encourage Davie to compete for this work. For example, industry consultations are being held for an in-service support contract for the Arctic offshore patrol ships and the joint support ships. This work will span a period of 20 to 30 years and will have an estimated value of over $5 billion.
Small-ship construction valued at an estimated $2 billion over the next 30 years has been set aside for Canadian shipyards other than Irving Shipbuilding and Vancouver Shipyards. Repair and refit work will also continue to be competed for by shipyards in accordance with the Government of Canada's fair and transparent procurement processes.
The national shipbuilding procurement strategy is still only in its early stages, but it is already reviving Canada's shipbuilding and marine industries and is providing opportunities for shipyards right across this country. The industry itself has estimated that the strategy will create, as I said earlier, up to 15,000 jobs and more than $2 billion in annual economic benefits over the next 30 years. That is definitely great news for Canadian shipyards and for all Canadians.