OTTAWA ó The federal government will spend $3.3 billion to build as many as 10 new ships for the Canadian Coast Guard.
Vancouver Shipyards will build up to five new medium-endurance multi-tasked vessels and up to five new offshore patrol vessels ships, Public Works Minister Diane Finley announced Monday.
"The offshore patrol vessels will be used primarily for fisheries protection, both in Canadian waters and on the high seas, and will be capable of staying at sea for up to six weeks," said Finley.
Finley says some of the ships will replace aging Coast Guard vessels.
The work is in addition to the military's new joint support ships, and the Coast Guard's new science ships and polar icebreaker, which Vancouver Shipyards is already preparing to build.
There is no word yet on when construction is to begin.
Officials say Vancouver Shipyards is expected to see its workforce grow to 1,000 people in next three or four years.
- with files from Byron Chu