NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.—B.C. is looking to create steady waters for its growing shipbuilding industry.
The province announced this month it is appointing an advisory committee to help develop a long-term provincial shipbuilding strategy.
“The shipbuilding industry has been a key contributor to B.C.’s economy for more than 130 years,” said Premier John Horgan in a statement. “There is an opportunity to leverage the recent revival in B.C.’s marine sector to set up the entire industry for consistent growth, which means more families will be able to find good jobs in their own communities.”
The province has more than 1,000 companies that make up the industrial marine sector that supports shipbuilding, refit, repair, maintenance and supply-chain activities. Officials noted the shipbuilding sector, driven by shipbuilding contracts such as Seaspan Shipyards’ federal polar icebreaker project, contributes $1.4 billion to GDP and directly supports more than 11,950 jobs.
The BC Shipbuilding Advisory Committee will recommend strategic actions for government and industry to support robust, sustainable and innovative shipbuilding, ship repair and related marine industries in B.C.
“A comprehensive shipbuilding strategy will allow B.C. to take full advantage of our coastal strengths and build a healthier, more sustainable marine economy,” said Ravi Kahlon, minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation. “The BC Shipbuilding Advisory Committee will help ensure our industrial marine sector is a global leader and poised for long-term growth that is innovative and inclusive.”
The BC Shipbuilding Advisory Committee is made up of two separate bodies: the BC Shipbuilding Industry Working Group and the BC Shipbuilding Innovation Advisory Council.
Part of the strategy includes engaging with Indigenous partners throughout the advisory process.
B.C.’s shipbuilding strategy will have four main objectives:
- Build and support the capacity and competitiveness;
- advance innovation;
- expand B.C.’s market share and opportunities; and
- support marine workforce development.
The BC Shipbuilding Advisory Committee will deliver a final report and recommendations to the B.C. government in summer 2022.