Used icebreakers to cost 30% more than advertised thanks to tariffs, fees

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OTTAWA — The federal government is planning to spend at least $827 million on three used icebreakers for the Canadian Coast Guard — 30 per cent more than advertised.

In August, the government cited the cost for the three icebreakers as $610 million when it announced its plan to buy them from Quebec-based Davie Shipyard without a competition.

Officials say the additional $217 million, which is revealed in new budget documents, will cover tariffs, brokerage fees, engineering work and other costs to get the vessels up and running.

The icebreakers, billed as a stopgap but which officials have admitted will be used for up to 20 years, are only the latest vessels that will cost the government more than expected.

The Defence Department revealed last week that Ottawa will pay $800 million to build a sixth Arctic patrol vessel at Irving Shipyards in Halifax, which is twice as much as each of the other five vessels cost.

Officials are also reviewing the costs of several other shipbuilding projects in Halifax and Vancouver, including new science vessels for the coast guard.

The Canadian Press

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