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Harper Government Connects Western Canadian Businesses with Shipbuilding Opportunities

May 23, 2012
Vancouver, British Columbia

Corresponding Document: Speech

Today the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, and Andrew Saxton, Member of Parliament for North Vancouver and Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification, opened the Western Canadian Shipbuilding Summit, outlining the Harper Government‘s continuing support for Western Canada’s shipbuilding industry.

Our Government’s first priority is creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Minister Yelich. “Today’s event, which is part of Western Canada’s Shipbuilding Action Plan, is just one of the many ways we are connecting small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with new business opportunities.

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) and Seaspan Marine Corporation partnered to host this event, which allowed western Canadian SMEs to learn about the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy and the business opportunities available to the West, and to Canada.

The summit allowed nearly 600 business representatives from the West and all across Canada to establish valuable business connections in the shipbuilding industry and to connect with Seaspan Marine Corporation and Irving Shipbuilding, the prime contractors under NSPS.

Seaspan is proud to partner with WD on this event,” said Brian Carter, President – Seaspan Shipyards. “Moving ahead we look forward to building relationships with the supplier community and working with WD and other government departments and agencies across Canada in engaging with potential suppliers and other stakeholders.

Today, we have more than 30 companies from Western Canada supplying Irving Shipbuilding,” said Jim Irving, CEO of Irving Shipbuilding Inc. “Information sessions like today's event help educate businesses on a range of issues, including the requirements for becoming a supplier to Irving Shipbuilding. Furthermore, these sessions have enabled Irving to source new business contacts and identify the first steps for industry to prepare for future opportunities.

The summit marks another important step in the implementation of Western Canada’s Shipbuilding Action Plan. The Action Plan was highlighted in Economic Action Plan 2012 and will support western businesses in taking advantage of opportunities presented by the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy

Western Economic Diversification Canada works to create jobs and economic growth in the western Canadian economy. By promoting new economic opportunities, WD is securing a more diverse and prosperous future for the West while advancing Western interests at the national level.

For Broadcast Use:

Western Canada’s shipbuilding industry was in the spotlight today at the Western Canadian Shipbuilding Summit. The event was co-hosted by Western Economic Diversification Canada and Seaspan Marine Corporation and allowed nearly 600 business representatives the opportunity to connect with companies such as Irving Shipbuilding and Seaspan Marine Corporation to discuss key business opportunities.

For additional information, contact:

Jerra Byrne
Office of the Minister
Western Economic Diversification
Telephone: 613-954-8097
Email: Jerra.Byrne@wd-deo.gc.ca

Kelly Francis
Seaspan Marine Corporation
Telephone: 604-990-1829
Email: kfrancis@seaspan.com

Mary Keith
J.D. Irving, Limited
Telephone: 506-632-5122
Email: keith.mary@jdirving.com

WD Toll-Free Number:1-888-338-WEST (9378)
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-877-303-3388
WD Website: www.wd-deo.gc.ca.
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Backgrounder

Western Canadian Shipbuilding Summit

The Western Canadian Shipbuilding Summit, hosted by Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) and Seaspan Marine Corporation on May 23, 2012 in Vancouver, brings together small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with key stakeholders of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS).

The summit provides western Canadian SMEs the opportunity to connect with key shipbuilding players, while allowing a sharing of information on key elements of the NSPS and the opportunities it presents for Western Canada’s shipbuilding industry. The summit includes presentations by Seaspan Marine Corporation, Irving Shipbuilding, WDNSPS Secretariat, the Shipbuilding Association of Canada, Industry Canada, Lloyds Registry of Canada, among others, and concludes with a networking reception.

This event marks an important step in the implementation of the Harper Government’s 30-year, $33 billion National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. Economic Action Plan 2012 highlighted Western Canada’s Shipbuilding Action Plan, which will support western businesses in taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the Strategy.

Summit Participants at a Glance

The nearly 600 participants representing approximately 360 businesses (including about 320 that have offices or are based in western Canada) at the Summit offer a wide range of expertise and services that will be required under the shipbuilding strategy, including:

  • Design
  • Integration technology
  • Parts supply
  • Fabrication
  • Machining
  • Coatings
  • Safety products
  • Electronics

What is Western Canada’s Shipbuilding Action Plan?

Western Canada’s Shipbuilding Action Plan was launched in February 2012 and is a concrete step towards making Western Canada’s shipbuilding industry internationally competitive and sustainable.

As outlined in Economic Action Plan 2012, Western Canada’s Shipbuilding Action Plan will:

  • Ensure that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have all the information they need to take advantage of opportunities arising from the building of federal ships;
  • Promote the active participation of small- and medium-sized businesses in the supply chains that will result from the building of the ships;
  • Create economic growth and highly-skilled jobs throughout the region.

Over the coming months and years, WD will undertake a number of activities to support business, including:

  • Shipbuilding Bootcamps – WD will host Shipbuilding Bootcamps across Western Canada to help businesses navigate federal procurement processes and prepare them to take advantage of these new opportunities.
  • Supplier Development Tours – WD will lead tours that showcase Western Canada’s shipbuilding capabilities and link western businesses to key decision makers.
  • Investment – WD has invested over $1 million to support the training of highly skilled workers in British Columbia. The Department will continue to examine opportunities for investment that will further develop and grow Western Canada’s shipbuilding industry.
  • Advocacy – WD will act as the champion for Western Canada’s shipbuilding industry, promoting its strengths ensuring its long-term competitiveness.

Businesses or individuals can register on the WD website (www.wd-deo.gc.ca) to receive updated information related to WD shipbuilding activities.

More on the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy:

The National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy’s selection of the two shipyards represents the largest procurement sourcing arrangement in Canadian history. Irving Shipbuilding Inc. has been selected to build the combat vessel work package, and Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd. has been selected to build the non-combat vessel work package. The Strategy is expected to create thousands of high-value jobs across the country and will have significant economic benefits in shipbuilding and related industries across Canada. The total value of both packages is $33 billion and will span 20 to 30 years.