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MP GREG KERR URGES CAPE BRETON SMEs TO SEEK OPPORTUNITIES UNDER THE NATIONAL SHIPBUILDING STRATEGY
Sydney (N.S.) – March 9, 2012 – Mr. Greg Kerr, MP for West-Nova, addressed business people attending a supplier development information session on the Atlantic Shipbuilding Action Plan in Sydney.
“Our Government’s shipbuilding strategy is a $33-billion investment. It is vital that Atlantic Canada’s small and medium-sized enterprises understand that the work to be done in Halifax will have spin-offs in all four provinces and that they too can benefit,” said Mr. Kerr. “For Cape Breton, it represents a historic opportunity for business growth and job creation for decades to come.”
The event is one of a series of sessions, organized by ACOA and Irving Shipbuilding Inc., which are being held in communities throughout the region as part of the Government of Canada’s Atlantic Shipbuilding Action Plan. Through this plan, ACOA is ensuring that businesses fully understand the process and the requirements to access opportunities attached to the renewal of Canada’s naval and Coast Guard fleets. The plan will also help businesses identify and access resources to upgrade and diversify their operations so that they can position themselves to become suppliers or sub-contractors to this important initiative.
“Cape Breton businesses have significant experience in providing services to industries such as forestry, fishing and mining. There is infrastructure such as the newly dredged Port of Sydney and the Strait of Canso Superport that give the region a strategic advantage. The expertise that has been developed in metal fabrication and manufacturing will position businesses and communities to take advantage of the opportunities that will be generated by these major shipbuilding projects,” added Mr. Kerr.
On October 19, 2011, the Government of Canada announced the selection of the two shipyards that will build Canada’s large vessels for the next 20–30 years. Vancouver Shipyards Co. Ltd. will build the non-combat vessels, and Irving Shipbuilding Inc. will build the combat vessels. Contracts for smaller vessels will be competed for amongst other Canadian shipyards. The strategy also calls for the repair, refit and maintenance of existing vessels.
On February 13, 2012, ACOA Minister of State Valcourt, along with the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, announced the Government of Canada’s Atlantic Shipbuilding Action Plan, which focuses on maximizing opportunities for firms across the Atlantic region to participate in the $33-billion federal shipbuilding initiative.
Director of Communications
Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation