B.C. secures new shipbuilding contract
More good jobs and opportunities are coming to British Columbia shipyards, with the announcement that Seaspan Shipyards has been selected to build a polar icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard in North Vancouver.
The project coming to B.C. follows direct advocacy from Premier John Horgan to the federal government, expressing strong support for Seaspan’s ability to construct and deliver the project.
“We’ve been ‘all hands on deck’ to make sure this vessel is built in B.C., benefiting B.C. workers,” said Premier Horgan. “Bringing the design and construction of Canada’s next polar icebreaker to B.C. shipyards recognizes that Seaspan has the know-how and capabilities to build it on the Coast Guard’s critical timeline. This is a good day for our shipbuilding industry and another positive step in building the foundation of a strong economic recovery for all British Columbians.”
The state-of-the-art icebreaker will be built at Seaspan Shipyards in North Vancouver, resulting in significant job and economic benefits for B.C. The project is expected to support up to 1,400 professional and skilled trades jobs at Seaspan and hundreds more at the B.C.-based businesses that are part of the marine-industry supply chain.
“Today’s announcement is the direct result of hard work by thousands of skilled, talented B.C. residents who have built a world-class shipbuilding and marine industry on Canada’s West Coast,” said Mark Lamarre, CEO, Seaspan Shipyards. “Backed by the political and personal vision and support of Premier John Horgan, this polar program represents a watershed moment for our province on its journey to become a globally competitive shipbuilding industry.”
The Polar Icebreaker project also benefits the Squamish, Tsleil Waututh, Haisla, Songhees, Esquimalt, Snuneymuxw and Old Masset First Nations, which have developed strong partnerships with Seaspan and work together on training and opportunities for Indigenous communities.
“We are extremely happy the federal government has heard our calls to award this contract to Seaspan, giving job certainty to thousands of B.C. workers and hundreds of suppliers throughout the province,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “Our government recognizes the importance of the industrial marine sector to B.C.’s economy. That’s why we are committed to supporting B.C. shipyards to build capacity and become even more competitive.”
This announcement builds on the Province’s commitment to a made-in-B.C. shipbuilding strategy to bring more good jobs to shipyards in coastal communities, with a long-term plan focused on making strategic investments that will help win more contracts and create more opportunities for British Columbians.
“After previous governments took it for granted for years, the West Coast shipbuilding industry is not only rejuvenated, but among the best in the world,” Premier Horgan said. “This project will benefit from a new generation of workers who are energized and able to build a career right here in British Columbia.”
The StrongerBC economic recovery plan is also supporting the province’s industrial supply chain through a commitment to help small and medium-sized businesses generate new economic opportunities.