Who’s Zoomin’ Who: Irving Shipbuilding Inc.

Your tax dollars at power breakfast: Pat (l) and Kevin (r).

Thursday, June 1: Yet more buyer’s remorse for taxpayers as Parliamentary Beancounting Officer Jean-Denis Frechette estimates the navy’s boondoggular replacement of 12 frigates and three destroyers is on track to cost $61.8 billion, rather more than the $26.2 billion apportioned in the more innocent age of 2008.

Poor Frechette admits he’s aimed his abacus at a moving target. A one-year-delay in the Canadian Surface Combatant program would inflate the bill $64.4 billion, three years to $69.9 billion, with prime contractor Irving Shipbuilding Inc. (Franks passim, ad nauseam) skimming its customary 12 to 15 per cent profit for its services to a grateful nation.

That very same morning, Frank espies Irving Shipbuilding president Kevin McCoy hunkering down at Daly’s in the Westin for the most important meal of the day. His breakfast companion, coincidentally enough, is Pat Finn, slaphead ADM Materiel at National Defence — personal shopper to the Canadian Forces.

The boys no doubt have much to discuss, but lest you get the wrong idea, according to Irving Shipbuilding’s lobbyist registration, it’s more than 80 per cent likely Kev’ was just chatting, not lobbying, an activity, after all, which accounts for less than 20 per cent of his duties. Sometimes an $18 toasted smoked salmon bagel is just an $18 toasted smoked salmon bagel.

It must be said, however, that McCoy’s appetite for dining with government procurement thingies is prodigious, and often exquisitely timed. Four days after Vice-Admiral Mark Norman walked the plank in January, allegedly for sharing info with Irving’s arch-rival Chantier Davie on another navy contract, Kev’ was back in town and feeling peckish.

He and CEO Jim Irving enjoyed an intimate dinner at the home of Ian Mack, DND’s soon-to-retire Director of Major Project Delivery (Land and Sea), point man on the navy’s fleet renewal contracts. Also just hanging out and having a nosh, Ian’s boss…Pat Finn!

The Irvings have always in their turn been attentive to procurement sluggos on the verge of retirement. Frank recalls, back in 2015, spotting Jim and Kev’ at the Chateau Laurier with Tom Ring, ADM Acquisitions at Public Works, toasting his impending pensioning-off.

Ring would subsequently request, and be denied, an exemption from buzzkill conflict of interest regs to take up an immediate post-government gig with the Irvings. He can instead be spotted cooling off at the University of Ottawa as a fun Senior Fellow in the School of Public and International Affairs.

Trebles all round!


  1. And what emoluments have they offered to new Defence and Pretend-Foreign-Minister Freeland?

    So will Frank keep bringing up the Danish frigates that we could have bought cheaper from Odense Maritime Technology (Denmark)?
    “Danish warship’s visit to Halifax cancelled because it would put Canada in a ‘delicate’ situation”
    by David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen | November 20, 2016.
    And we could mention the Thyssen-Krupp bid, which designed the German F125 frigates; and also the DCNS and Fincantieri which together designed the FREMM multipurpose frigates used by the French and Italian navies.
    These incorporate modules into their design, something that can extend the life of a ship as well as cut down on repair time and costs. You repair the module, not the whole ship, and the module can be done in drydocks, then the ship comes home to have it fitted.

  2. Ah, the Irvings – one day to be featured in the Hall Of Canadian Villainy. Pater K.C. Irving moved to tax-free Bermuda and placed ownership of the Irving empire into a series of Bermudian trusts that have never paid taxes to Canada. Bermudians are, of course, known for their shipbuilding expertise.

    • As a certain Paul Martin knows with his CSL, (Canadian Steamship Lines, ex-subsidiary of Power Corp. until 1981 and Mr. Martin’s stewardship).
      Registered as CSL Pacific and CSL Self-Unloader Investments Limited is a holding company located in Hamilton, Bermuda.

  3. Ah, yes…the Cloaca-on-Rideau revolving door. So plainly indefensible and so utterly unassailable. Why? Because as long as the elected reptiles on top look forward to selling their souls after retirement they can hardly impugn the selfsame sleazery when it occurs among their DM underlings…the DMs in turn can’t afford to squawk when their ADM flunkies cash in…and so forth, all the way down the Federal alimentary canal.

  4. And now 20 August 2019
    2 multimillion-dollar loans to Irving company forgiven by ACOA
    ACOA president Francis McGuire approves the closure of the two files
    Jacques Poitras · CBC News · Posted: Aug 20, 2019 4:52 PM AT

    The federal government has written off the balance of two multimillion-dollar loans given to Irving-owned Atlantic Wallboard in Saint John.
    The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency closed the file on the two loans in March after deciding that the full amount “has not been and likely will never be repaid,” according to a memorandum obtained by CBC News.
    etc. etc.

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