April 19, 2011- Halifax, NS-
In a rare move the Halifax Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard bid to the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. “The Chamber normally does not support one project over another or endorse one company rather than another but the implications of this project are so substantial that all Nova Scotians should get behind it,” says Ian Penny, Chair of the Board of Directors for the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.
“We wanted to add our support, and the voice of business to the growing tide of support from the community,” says Penny. “Although we are not scheduled for a regular board meeting until mid-May, we polled the Chamber’s Board of Directors to gauge their support and it was unanimous.” The Chamber’s Board of Director’s is made up of 16 business leaders from Halifax and with one abstention due to a conflict of interest there was unanimous support for the Chamber endorsement.
In June 2010, the federal government initiated the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy - a formal process to select two Canadian shipyards for construction of large vessels. In addition to Irving Shipbuilding, four other shipyards have been short-listed to respond to the RFP. Those shipyards are located in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland. RFP responses are due July 7, and a decision is expected in late summer or early fall 2011.
“We are talking about a significant investment in our community and province,” says Penny. “in fact this would be the most significant economic event in Nova Scotia in over 100 years since the arrival of the Navy. “
The two contracts are worth $35 billion over a 30 years and could create and sustain up to 4,000 direct jobs across Nova Scotia during the next 30 years. “The spin-offs would be tremendous,” adds Payn.
“Our Board agreed that this is a gamer-changer for Nova Scotia,” adds Penny. “Securing this 30 year contract would mean billions in payroll, tax revenues and consumer spending for our province.”
The Halifax Chamber of Commerce, as part of its role as a business advocacy organization, continuously strives to build and strengthen our local business culture through a variety of different mechanisms and resources. One particular mechanism is to firmly support and stand behind the initiatives, projects, and policies that reflect the Chamber’s strategic priorities of economic growth, competitive positioning, people, health care, and sustainability.
For more information contact:
Communications & Membership Engagement Coordinator
Halifax Chamber of Commerce