Canada looks to have firmly slammed the door on proposals that it participate in BAE Systems' Global Combat Ship program.
"Canada will not be pursuing collaboration with the United Kingdom on our new surface combatant fleet," Jay Paxton, a spokesman for Defence Minister Peter MacKay, said Sunday, according to the Canadian Press.
Mr. Paxton was reacting to comments made by London's top diplomat in Canada, Andrew Pocock who told The Canadian Press that Canada and Britain could make better use of scarce public dollars by collaborating on new warships.
Canadian shipbuilders have been increasingly unhappy -- and vocal -- about reports that negotiations were underway for Canada to participate in the Global Combat Ship program.
The first ship in that program will be Britain's Type 26 Frigate. With fewer of the frigates being built for Britain than once proposed BAE and the British Government have been shopping the base design around seeking international partners to participate in the design.
The first country to be formally invited to participate, in September 2010, was Brazil.
However, in a statement today, Mr. Paxton said:
"This government is fully committed to getting the right equipment for the Canadian Forces at the right price for Canadians, with the right benefits for Canadian industry -- in this case building new ships in Canada.
"Our National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy establishes a long-term relationship with Canada's shipbuilding industry to review Canada's federal fleet and ensures we can defend Canadian waters and contribute to international naval operations, such as the one HMCS Charlottetown is joining off the coast of Libya, for decades to come."
March 6, 2011