Shipbuilding A National Priority

Halifax, N.S.

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Shipbuilding A National Priority
Shipbuilding A National Priority
dated April 9, 2001

Halifax, N.S., April 5, 2001
       The Canadian Government must make Canada's shipbuilding industry a national priority if the industry is to survive, according to the "Breaking Through" report from the National Shipbuilding and Industrial Marine Partnership which was set up by the government last October to study the industry.
       Les Holloway, Partnership Co-chair and CAW National Rep. said it is now time for the Canadian government to act.

Les Holloway
Partnership Co-chair CAW National Rep.

       "Our work is done as a committee and I am calling on Brian Tobin as the Minister for Industry to live up to his commitments that he made October 20 of last year in St. John's, Newfoundland, and that is to act on this policy document. This is a doable document. This document, if it was put in place tomorrow, would turn the situation around in this country and we would be putting thousands of workers back to work building ships, doing what they should be doing."

       The report calls for Ottawa to press other countries to eliminate unfair practices that, in effect, amount to subsidies of 20 to 40 percent.

Les Holloway
Partnership Co-chair CAW National Rep.

       "Brazil, only a month ago, announced a financial package, a loan guarantee package to those that work and build in Brazil in shipbuilding and marine fabrication. You can get a 4 per cent interest rate for twenty-year terms. They know the value of trying to secure work for their country."

       Peter Woodward of the Woodward Group of Companies says the Canadian shipbuilding yards can compete, if the government acts now.

Peter Woodward
Partnership co-chair V.P. Woodward Group

       "If given a level playing field the Canadian industry would be able to compete. It is competitive in term of quality, price, technology and innovation. What is required is a strong national commitment to the industry. A made in Canada solution and continued efforts on the international stage to end or relax unfair restrictions."

       The Break Through Report calls on the federal government to make some policy adjustments, enforce its existing laws and provide better financing to the industry so it can compete with countries that subsidize their shipbuilding industry.

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

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