Edited: 26 May 2016
A couple of weeks ago I commented on a notion (a rumour) that Canada should have a hospital ship. I’m not opposed to a Canadian hospital ship, in fact it might be a good idea; but I am opposed to buying it and operating it from the defence budget.
But, right on schedule, the National Post reports that Irving, the Halifax shipyard that will build new combat ships, proposes to “take a commercial roll-on/roll off vessel and convert it to carry a hospital, medical supplies and emergency equipment to respond to a variety of missions, ranging from earthquake relief to providing aid to refugees … [and] … Irving submitted the proposal Friday to the officials co-ordinating the government’s defence review. It will publicly unveil the scheme at the CANSEC defence trade show Wednesday in Ottawa.“
There is nothing wrong with a hospital ship. There is nothing wrong with a Canadian hospital ship. In a
perfect world proper world Irving would be proposing a Public-Private Partnership with, say, Global Affairs Canada and a few major teaching hospitals and someone like, say, ATCO. But my sense is that they (Irving) see this as a government might be more willing to spend defence dollars on non-military or, at a stretch, quasi-military things, so …
I have not, yet, seen a picture of the ship. A cyber-colleague, a sailor who has seen a mockup said “I had a look at their model today. Weird looking bastard. They have a ton of containers up forward under the weather deck. Not exactly clear how they get there or out.“
Edited to add:
Here is a picture from the Halifax Chronicle Herald: