By: David Pugliese, Defence Watch
Chantier Davie has issued invitations for the unveiling of the Resolve-class interim Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment (AOR) ship. That will happen July 20. All members of the public are welcome according to the invitation.
In November 2015, the Liberal government tried to derail the $669 million project for the supply ship but backed down after their attempt became public.
Project Resolve was approved by the previous Conservative government and involved Davie shipyards in Quebec quickly converting a commercial vessel into an AOR. The ship had already been delivered to Davie to begin the conversion process when James D. Irving, co-chief executive officer of Davie’s rival, Irving Shipbuilding, wrote a letter on Nov. 17, 2015, to then procurement minister Judy Foote and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. Irving requested its proposal for a similar vessel, already rejected by the Conservative government, be examined.
After receiving Irving’s letter the Liberal government put Project Resolve on hold.
Details about the Liberals’ decision to put Project Resolve on hold, as well as Irving’s letter and details of cabinet discussions about the matter, were leaked to the CBC in November 2015. The leak embarrassed the new Trudeau government and sparked outrage in Quebec about the potential loss of hundreds of jobs if Davie were to lose the ship deal. The Liberals beat a quick retreat and shortly afterwards, Project Resolve went ahead.
The RCMP has claimed that Vice Admiral Mark Norman was involved in leaking information on Project Resolve to Davie officials. Norman denies any wrongdoing. The RCMP have not laid any charges against the vice admiral who was suspended from his job in January by Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance. Norman’s supporters have raised questions about how the respected officer has been treated.
The ship will be leased to the Canadian government, which has an option to buy the vessel if so desired.
Davie has issued these photos of the vessel: