Nova Scotia Legislature Supports Shipbuilding Bid

April 18, 2011, 10:30 AM EST

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The Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly voted unanimously April 8 to support Irving Shipbuilding's bid for its Halifax shipyard under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

Under this plan, the federal government will select two shipyards to build large vessels for the Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard.

Representatives of the provincial NDP, the Liberals and Conservatives have outlined their strong support for the bid.

"This is the biggest opportunity for Nova Scotia since the navy was established 100 years ago," said Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter. "If successful, this contract would create and sustain up to 4,000 direct jobs across the province for the next 30 years."

CAW/MWF Local 1 represents workers at Irving's Halifax shipyard. CAW Atlantic Area Director Les Holloway said "the workers in this shipyard are highly skilled and eager to begin work.

"This work is not only critical for our members and their families, but also the local economy, which will benefit from the ongoing renewal of the Canadian shipbuilding industry," Holloway said.

"The CAW's ongoing shipbuilding campaign continues to play an important role in rebuilding the Canadian shipbuilding industry," he said. "The CAW must continue to press the federal government to ensure federal procurement policy puts Canadians to work in the ship building sector," Holloway said.

Karl Risser, president of CAW/Marine Workers Federation Local 1, said "we are ready to compete in an open process with the rest of the Canadian yards." It's great to see all party support in Nova Scotia but now its time for our federal parties to step up," Risser said.

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