B.C. offers up $40 million to boost Vancouver shipbuilding bid

Tax relief on training, labour costs are part of what's on offer to help win federal contract.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

More details were offered up this morning on how B.C. intends to help add sparkle to a Vancouver bid for a lucrative federal shipbuilding contract.

Canadian Press has the story:

NORTH VANCOUVER -- The B.C. government is prepared to spend $40 million to help a Vancouver ship-building company win a lucrative federal contract.

If Seaspan Shipyards lands the contract, the province will provide the company with $35 million in training and labour tax credits over 30 years.

"Our government is helping Seaspan submit the strongest possible bid and this investment focuses on job creation,'' said Pat Bell, minister of jobs, tourism and innovation.

B.C. will also provide $5 million to support the productivity and long-term viability of the broader marine sector.

BC Ferries is pledging $20 million to improve the capacity of the province's ship-repair and maintenance industry.

"Seaspan is both pleased and thankful of the level of support it's received,'' Jonathan Whitworth, Seaspan's chief executive officer, said in a news release.

"I am confident we've submitted a winning bid, and we couldn't have done it without the backing of our provincial and municipal governments,'' Whitworth said.

Final bids were due last week on $35 billion in contracts to build navy warships, coast guard cutters and other vessels over the next 30 years.

Last week, Seaspan and Irving Shipbuilding Inc., which owns Halifax Shipyard in Nova Scotia, confirmed they were submitting bids.

The Davie Yards in Levis, Que., is still waiting to find out whether it can enter the competition.

The shipbuilder has been in creditor protection since February 2010. But the firm's money woes didn't keep the federal government from naming Davie one of five companies on a short list for the shipbuilding jobs.

Seaway Marine and Industrial of St. Catharines, Ont., were expected to bid on the contract, but did not.

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