District of North Vancouver, City of North Vancouver,and Township of Esquimalt support Seaspan's bid for a $15 billion shipbuilding contract

June 8, 2011

The District of North Vancouver, City of North Vancouver, and Township of Esquimalt strongly support Seaspan Shipyards in its bid for a 30-year, $15 billion shipbuilding contract with the Government of Canada to replace Canada’s aging fleet of Navy, Coast Guard, and supply ships. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our province and communities could result in more than 8,000 jobs in BC and a $15 billion economic impact to the province.

The entire federal investment will be approximately $35 billion, involving various bidders from across Canada. Seaspan Shipyards, based out of North Vancouver and Esquimalt, BC, is one of four qualified bidders. The other bidders are Irving Shipbuilders out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Davie Shipyards out of Levis, Quebec, and Upper Lakes Industrial out of St. Catharines, Ontario.

”A west coast shipyard should be selected for a significant part of the contract because the world’s economic focus is shifting to Asia. Canada’s economic strength is shifting westward — Vancouver is Canada’s busiest port, by far — and the shipyards in British Columbia are competitive and capable of doing the work,” said North Vancouver District Mayor Richard Walton.

City of North Vancouver Mayor, Darrell Mussatto, agrees. “It makes strategic sense for a west coast shipyard to be building the nation’s new fleets. Our region has an impressive shipbuilding history, a strong connection to the industry, and we provide the ideal location nationally and internationally. The economic impact would be tremendous.”

The experience of Northern European shipyards reveals that shipbuilding is a significant revenue and employment-generating industry that incorporates world class technologies, knowledge, and processes. New shipbuilding facilities can thrive in advanced economies such as on the west coast.

“The Township of Esquimalt recognizes the enormous economic opportunity that this shipbuilding contract represents, not only for our communities, but for the province as a whole,” said Esquimalt Mayor Barbara Desjardins. “And with the world’s economic focus shifting to Asia, it only makes sense to build our future fleets on the west coast.”

In 2010, Ottawa announced the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS), a 30-year, $35 billion program to build the new fleets for Canada’s Navy and Coast Guard. The program includes both combat and non-combat vessels with one bidder chosen to build combat ships and another chosen to build the non-combat fleet.

This is an exciting and very significant economic and social development program for British Columbia that would enhance the cluster of marine industries in Port Metro Vancouver to include shipbuilders, naval architects and engineers, academic and training institutions, and a growing number of British Columbian and other Canadian businesses that would form part of the extensive supply chain for this 30-year shipbuilding program.
A decision regarding the successful bidder will likely be made in September.

For more information, please contact:
North Vancouver District Communications Office - 604-990-2459
City of North Vancouver Communications Office  - 604-983-7383
Township of Esquimalt – 250-883-1944