June 7, 2007
Canadian government moves to support shipbuilding
In order to respond to the immediate needs of the Canadian shipbuilding industry, the Canadian government will renew the Structured Financing Facility (SFF).
The SFF helps buyers to purchase ships built in Canada by buying down the interest rate of the loan they use to finance the purchase. This facility has enabled Canadian shipyards to capture new business in the past.
The government is investing an additional Canadian $50 million over the next three years in an extended SFF, starting in 2007Ð2008.
The announcement was made by Peter MacKay, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry.
"Our government recognizes the challenges being faced by the shipbuilding industry and is taking real action to help both in the short and longer terms," said MacKay. "Canada is a maritime nation, and a viable shipbuilding industry supports our security and our sovereignty."
In addition, under its Buy Canada policy, the government will proceed with more than $3 billion in procurement of ships. This includes $324 million for the procurement, operation and maintenance of six new Coast Guard vessels, announced in the 2007 budget, as well as the previously announced $2.9-billion Joint Support Ship procurement.
"This renewed approach will assist in the maintenance of domestic shipbuilding and repair capacity, which support sovereignty and security," said Industry Minister Bernier.
The government will also examine ways to address one of the key challenges faced by Canada's shipbuilding sector-- fluctuations in demand, with a view to reducing the traditional boom and bust cycle experienced by the industry.