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VANCOUVER — The federal government has topped up a West Coast shipbuilding contract by more than $65 million for a coast guard science vessel that needs a propulsion system and scientific equipment. Public Services Minister Judy Foote announced the additional cash for the vessel at the Seaspan Shipyard in North Vancouver. The former Conservative government announced the contract for the research vessel in 2008 with a price tag of $108 million, but an additional $35 million was added to the contract a year later. Seaspan president Brian Carter says the new contracts will allow the company to buy specialized parts and generators, and now steel can be ordered to start construction. The ship will replace the Canadian Coast Guard's 52-year-old research vessel and was part of the then-Conservative government's $39-billion national shipbuilding procurement plan. Foote says the investments show the government's long-term commitment to rejuvenate Canada's marine industry and will provide the navy and coast guard with the ships needed to do their jobs.
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