The transfer of HMCS Regina back to the Royal Canadian Navy signals more than the completion of modernization for the navy’s 12 frigates; it also proves that B.C.’s shipbuilding industry, in its death throes only a few years ago, has revived and is thriving.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and other dignitaries were in Esquimalt Friday for the ceremony in which the frigate was transferred from Victoria Shipyards to the Department of National Defence Dockyard. Regina was the last of five Halifax-class frigates to undergo modernization and upgrading at Seaspan’s Victoria Shipyards under the $4.3-billion Frigate Life Extension program. The other seven vessels were upgraded at Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyards.
HMCS Calgary was the first frigate into Victoria Shipyards for a 12-month refit, and HMCS Regina was the final one. Other frigates that came through were HMCS Winnipeg, Vancouver and Ottawa.
The project was completed on time and on budget, said Seaspan CEO Jonathan Whitworth who, along with several other Seaspan executives, visited the Times Colonist editorial board Friday. When the project was launched, Seaspan promised it would be completed by May 1, 2016. It was.
Opinion Editorial from the Times Colonist
Published: April 30, 2016