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NEWS

WEDNESDAY, MAY 21, 2014

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BUSINESS

Trevena says new ferries should be built in B.C. SIAN THOMSON COURIER- ISLANDER

North Island MLA and New Democrat Ferries Critic Claire Trevena introduced a private member’s bill that could literally float local economies. “The Provincial Shipbuilding Act,” said Trevena, “would benefit the province’s economy, create jobs, and if passed, would ensure that ferries, sea-buses and any other vessels used by or for the public are built in Canada and have the opportunity to provide direct economic benefits here in B.C.” B.C. Ferries will be replacing 26 ferries over the next 15 years. “If these ferries were built in this province, we would see tremendous growth in this industry,” Trevena said. “But this would require a commitment from the Liberal government that we have not seen to date. In the past decade, we have added five new vessels to the B.C. Ferries fleet, and none have been built

here.” The bill would also support an expanded provincial apprenticeship program with a requirement that at least 15 per cent of the labour force be enrolled in a recognized B.C. apprenticeship program and would also see a provincial shipbuilding strategy developed. “Instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars on the construction of ferries in Europe and the increased maintenance costs that incurs, this bill would see that this money is invested back in the B.C. economy, creating good jobs for workers here,” she said. Trevena added that a study by the Columbia Institute showed that the construction of just three ferries in B.C. would add $378.5 million to the provincial economy, and result in $200 million in consumer spending and $100 million in taxes. “For every 100

jobs created in shipbuilding, 135 additional jobs are created elsewhere. This is an industry that B.C. should be proud of, and passing this legislation would ensure we are doing everything possible to help it thrive,” she said. The Columbia Institute released Made-in-BC Ferries: The Economic Benefits of Local Ship Procurement, authored by labour researchers Blair Redlin and David Fairey using economic analysis from Ernie Stokes. The report finds that for every 100 jobs created building or repairing ships, a further 135 jobs are added to the provin-

cial economy. It would also increase provincial tax revenues by $36 million and federal revenues by $66 million and enhances the ability to provide local training and apprenticeship opportunities for British Columbians.

“I hope the B.C. Liberal government will show their support for good jobs and our shipbuilding industry by supporting this bill,” said Trevena. Currently, post secondary training in the shipbuilding industry is

available at the Industrial Marine Training and Applied Research Centre (IMTARC) in Esquimalt, BCIT, Camosun College, Vancouver Island University and North Island College.

sthomson@courierislander.com

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20140521  

May 21, 2014 issue of the Campbell River Courier-Islander

20140521  

May 21, 2014 issue of the Campbell River Courier-Islander

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