Canada launches Atlantic Shipbuilding Action Plan

alcanThe Government of Canada has announced an Atlantic Shipbuilding Action Plan. The plan focuses on maximizing opportunities for firms across the Atlantic region to participate in the $33-billion federal shipbuilding initiative announced late last year. It was launched today in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, by Bernard Valcourt, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and La Francophonie and Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defense and Regional Minister for Nova Scotia.

"These shipbuilding procurements represent a historic opportunity that will generate economic growth and create jobs in the four Atlantic Provinces in rural and urban communities," said Minister Valcourt. "With this action plan, we want to ensure that small and medium-sized enterprises throughout Atlantic Canada are in the best position to seize all opportunities related to these major procurements. This is a great occasion for us to foster a new generation of entrepreneurs who will acquire the expertise to compete on the world scene."

"Work undertaken at Irving Shipbuilding's Halifax shipyard will be sustained for decades and carries the real potential to radically transform the entire Atlantic economy. The shipbuilders of Atlantic Canada will create jobs, drive innovation and help build a world class industry," explained Minister MacKay. "Through the Atlantic Shipbuilding Action Plan, our Government is helping Atlantic businesses understand and be part of the process and address such areas as innovation capacity, certification and workforce skills so they can compete as suppliers and sub-contractors."

"Today marks another milestone in realizing the federal government's commitment to build ships here at home," said Jim Irving, CEO of Irving Shipbuilding Inc. "The new agreement we have embarked upon is a tribute to the skill and dedication of the proud tradition of shipbuilding in Atlantic Canada. We're proud to be a part of this heritage and we understand our responsibility in building this industry and the next generation of shipbuilders into the future while delivering best value and quality to the men and women who serve."

The Atlantic Shipbuilding Action Plan includes:

Making sure Atlantic Canada small and medium-sized enterprises are fully aware of the process and the requirements to access supply chain opportunities;
Giving small and medium-sized enterprises access to Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency programs to proactively support their development so that they can capitalize on these opportunities in areas such as marketing, acquisition of certification, process improvements, training, and technology acquisition;
Engaging with community colleges and the provincial governments on skills and labor force research and planning; and
Holding supplier development sessions in each Atlantic province as well as an Atlantic Marine Industry Forum.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, in partnership with Irving Shipbuilding Inc., will host "Supplier Development Sessions" in Bathurst and Moncton, New Brunswick; Summerside, Prince Edward Island; Truro and Shelburne, Nova Scotia and St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador between February 21 and March 12, 2012. These information sessions will provide Atlantic small and medium-sized enterprises with an overview of the shipbuilding initiative and the critical information they need to become suppliers with marine supply chains.

February 13, 2012

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