The Federal government has awarded a major contract to Quebec’s Davie Shipyard – and it’s a relief for the workers, who have been facing an uncertain future.

Ottawa signed a $610 million contract with the shipyard, located on Quebec’s South Shore, to convert three icebreakers.

The project will change the face of the Canadian Coast Guard’s aging fleet.

“The quality of this shipyard, and the quality of the men and women working here is now something that is well known, and certainly well known to the government,” said Steve MacKinnon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility.

The contract is expected to create 200 jobs over the next two years, and protect those who are already working.

Negotiations for the contract, however, were complicated.

“Clearly you’re not always going to get alignment,” said Spencer Fraser from Federal Fleet Services.

“We wanted to do certain things that the government said ‘that’s great from an industry perspective, [but] it’s not what we’re looking for,’ and we’d say ‘that’s great from a government perspective, but not great from an industry perspective,” he said. “But we’re here today, and I think we should be happy.”

The Canadian Coast Guard hasn’t had a new icebreaker since 1993.

The first icebreaker is expected to be ready to take to the waters by December.