St. Catharines council backs local shipyards campaign for national contracts

CKTB - NEWS - Shipbuilding

St. Catharines City Council is calling on the federal government to consider a local shipyard as a potential major player in the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

Over the last few years Heddle Shipyards has revived the Port Weller Dry Docks, and officials now hope to compete for national contracts.

Mayor Walter Sendzik says Heddle has the capacity to focus on some of the smaller ships being built under the national strategy.

Some of the smaller vessels include work for the Coast Guard and Ice Breakers.

"It's 100 billion dollar in shipbuilding over the next 20 plus years, and Heddle is looking to get a part of that business which will create probably about 400 jobs over the next 20 years in St. Catharines."

The National Shipbuilding Strategy was developed in 2010, with overall contracts estimated to contribute $13 billion to Canada's gross domestic product and maintain nearly 12,000 jobs until 2022. Under the strategy Public Services and Procurement Canada formed partnerships with two Canadian shipyards - Irving Shipbuilding Inc. (headquartered in Halifax) and Seaspan Vancouver Shipyards.

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