Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Shirley Bond has issued the following statement regarding shipbuilding contracts:
"As a coastal province, British Columbia has a vital interest in fostering its shipbuilding and industrial marine industries to keep our economy diverse, strong and growing. Shipbuilding and ship repairs represent billions of dollars of investment in B.C., creating thousands of jobs in our province.
"In 2011, Seaspan was named a successful bidder in the federal government’s competition under its National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) to replace Canada’s aging non-combat navy, coast guard and Fisheries and Oceans Canada vessels.
"We now understand that the Davie shipyard in Quebec has made an unsolicited bid to the federal government for this procurement that has already been awarded to Seaspan. This is unacceptable.
"Since being named the successful bidder, Seaspan has already invested $170 million to modernize their Vancouver and Victoria shipyards and are progressing well on their NSPS commitments to Canada. Seaspan employs more than 350 tradesmen and women and upwards of 350 engineers, program and supply chain managers and other professionals in delivering on its commitments to the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy.
"We fully expect that the non-combat package of work awarded to Seaspan under NSPS is respected by the federal government. That work includes three offshore fisheries science vessels; one offshore oceanographic science vessel; two joint support ships; one polar icebreaker, as well as up to five medium endurance multi-tasked vessels and up to five offshore patrol vessels.
"We are confident Seaspan can deliver on its contracts and are pleased to see Seaspan’s NSPS commitments on target and on track.
"Our government supports creating a sustainable shipbuilding industry in B.C. and maximizing opportunities, resulting from more than $7 billion in federal shipbuilding commitments."