Government will "champion" Irving Shipbuilding
HALIFAX: Irving Shipbuilding will get help from Nova Scotia’s government to land contracts under the National Shipbuilding Procurement strategy, the province’s premier Darrell Dexter said March 31.
The provincial government used its throne speech to signal that it would “champion” the Halifax-based shipyard as it competes to become one of two centres to build combat and non-combat vessels under a federal plan valued at $35-billion. Dexter later said help could include financial support for the lobbying effort.
“There is no request before us for any additional money,” said Dexter. “We have already assisted the shipyard in their efforts to modernize and we would look at other requests if they came forward.”
Dexter said it was clear Nova Scotia had to launch a lobbying effort as vigorous as those found in other provinces competing for the contracts or it simply wouldn’t get the required attention from federal bureaucrats. A frigate replacement program for the navy would form a major component of the new 30-year shipbuilding strategy.
Dexter said the Halifax shipyard was the logical place for the work.
“We have built 90 percent of the current ships in the Canadian Navy and we are the home of the navy and this is where the ships ought to be built,” said Dexter.
The premier said he had recently spoken to and received support for his position from New Brunswick Premier David Alward and Prince Edward Island Premier Robert Ghiz. Irving Shipbuilding is competing against Newfoundland’s Kiewit Offshore Services, Vancouver Shipyards in BC, Seaway Marine and Industrial of St Catharines and Quebec’s Davie Yards.