GOFFS: The ship building contract is speeding along; the demolition and groundwork for the new buildings on the state-of-the-art port are about to kick into high gear as the federal government delivered an official update on the progress on the project.
Present at the ceremony was Attorney General of Canada and federal Minister of Justice Peter Mackay; Minister of Public Works and Government Services Diane Finley; Minister of Social Development Candice Bergen; Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter, and Co-CEO of Irving Ltd James Irving.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in the history of the Halifax ship yard,” said Irving. “Over $300,000,000 will be spent over the next two years—we’re doing it once and we’re doing it right. Putting the capacity in up front—it’s going to give the best place for the ship builders to work it’s going to give the best value for Canada and we’ll be the most efficient operations with the most benefits for everybody in the long term.”
The progress on the ship yard doesn’t come without a cost; and that’s more than a dollar sign. The construction on the site means that an unknown amount of workers will be laid off for the duration of the construction process.
“There are going to be some short-term layoffs,” said Irving. “We’re going to tear these buildings down—they’ve gotta come down—we have no choice; but we’re building much better buildings in their place. We’re working with our work force to mitigate the job loss as much as possible by keeping them around the shipyard—we have the Felix program which is just underway and will be continuing on through the duration, and we have a large amount of...