The Halifax Chamber of Commerce would like to comment on the recent reports on the status of the Ship Building contract. The Chamber stresses the value of this contract has on our local economy.
As with any major project, design, planning and execution are needed before ships rise in our harbour. Upon closer examination, Halifax is on target for success:
• Halifax Shipyard is currently investing $300-million in infrastructure upgrades. This benefits local companies and workers.
• From the beginning, the majority of economic growth has been projected to occur during the production phase, scheduled to begin in 2015.
• The design phase, beginning in 2013, is geared toward preparation for vessel construction, when employment and subcontracts are expected to grow.
• A multi-decade gap in large-scale Canadian military vessel programs resulted in exodus of shipbuilding engineering and naval architecture expertise, so….
• The 2015 “cut steel” schedule for Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) vessels would be impossible to meet without considerable naval combat engineering and design experience, now only available outside of Canada.
• Balancing quality, meeting the schedule and maximizing Canadian content will be key to shipbuilding success and economic spin-offs.
• Industrial Regional Benefit (IRB) commitments mean 100% of value of the contract must be invested within Canada, which means….
• Any purchase of goods or services outside Canada must deliver equal IRB benefit back to Canada.
• IRB investments will ultimately mean benefits both inside and outside the marine industry. Canadian innovation, research, and business will all benefit.
• Halifax Shipyard has continually been hiring required talent.
We are on target.
This opportunity will build our reputation as a strong Canadian shipbuilder. The knowledge transfer that we will acquire through this contract will also help our economy grow continuously for decades. This opportunity will further cement Halifax as a competitive place to locate and succeed in business.
Valerie Payn, President & CEO
Halifax Chamber of Commerce