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Shipbuilding Symposium Brings Businesses Together from Across the West

Photo of Minister Yelich delivering the keynote address at Western Canada’s Shipbuilding Symposium.

Minister Yelich delivers keynote address at Western Canada's Shipbuilding Symposium.

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from across Western Canada received important information and made valuable business connections at Western Canada’s Shipbuilding Symposium, hosted by WD, in Vancouver earlier this year.

"Western Canada’s Shipbuilding Action Plan is working to create jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity in the West," said Minister Lynne Yelich, who delivered the keynote address at the event. "Events like today’s Symposium are crucial in helping western Canadian industry continue to grow by taking advantage of key business opportunities."

The Symposium, titled Get on Board the Supply Chain, brought together representatives from more than 350 SMEs across the West, and across Canada with prime contractors under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) to discuss specific projects and opportunities in British Columbia’s shipbuilding industry. Prime contractors included Vancouver Shipyards and its first-tier suppliers (Thales and Imtech), as well as Irving Shipyards and its first-tier suppliers (Lockheed Martin and GE Canada).

Photo of Minister Yelich with key stakeholders at the Symposium.

Minister Yelich with key stakeholders at the Symposium. Left to right: Tim Page, President, CADSI, Eugene Stewart, Senior Project Manager, International Trade Development, Lockheed Martin, Daniel Verreault, Country Director for Military Systems Operation, GE Canada, Gerhard Hones, Manager, Industrial and Regional Benefits, Lockheed Martin, Member of Parliament Wai Young, Brian Carter, President, Seaspan Shipyards, Gerry Neven, Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Imtech Marine Canada, Minister Lynne Yelich, Gary Payne, Contracts and Industrial Benefits (Offsets) Manager, Thales Canada Defence and Security, Stefan Nieuwenhyus, Area Manager, Imtech Marine and Offshore SAS, Mike McAloon, Vice President, Industrial Regional Benefits Program, Irving Shipbuilding.

"Our Government’s first priority is creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity," said Parliamentary Secretary Andrew Saxton, who provided closing remarks at the Symposium. "The National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy is supporting Canadian jobs and industries, while bolstering the Canadian economy by building ships right here in Canada."

The Vancouver event aimed to educate western Canadian SMEs involved in the shipbuilding industry about the Government of Canada’s defence-related procurement process, specifically for projects under the $33-billion, 30-year NSPS.

The objectives of the Symposium were to:

  • Inform industry about the status and relevant key issues for each of the NSPS related projects;
     
  • Advise industry of the general capabilities of interest to prime contractors and various supplier selection processes;
     
  • Explain how to obtain pertinent certifications and standards; and
     
  • Provide opportunities for SMEs to establish business connections.

The NSPS is expected to create about 4,000 high-value jobs on the West Coast and to produce a wide range of economic opportunities for local businesses throughout Western Canada.

Among those opportunities will be skilled work in a variety of sectors, such as steel manufacturing, information technology, and defence systems development and integration. As well, SMEs across the West will benefit not only through the construction of large and small vessels, but from work related to repairing and refitting Canada’s ships.

"The Shipbuilding Symposium was the latest example of WD stepping up to put my company in front of key international companies as a qualified potential partner," said Martin Cronin, Chief Executive Officer of Helios Global Technologies Ltd. "It would be impossible for SMEs in particular to achieve with their own resources the high level of exposure and advocacy that WD undertakes on their behalf. I truly believe events like these are government working at its best."