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Liberals Call on Conservatives to Reveal Their Economic Plan for the Lévis Region Following Shipbuilding Contracts

Posted on October 19, 2011

Today, as the Conservative government announces its selection of Irving Shipbuilding of Halifax and Seaspan Marine Corporation of Vancouver to be awarded over $33 billion in shipbuilding contracts, Liberal Leader Bob Rae said this is clearly good news for people of Vancouver and Halifax, but he believes the government also has a responsibility to work with other partners to develop a plan for the region of Lévis in this massive procurement process.

“The Conservative procurement process has produced a clear result, but now the government has to respond to the needs of the Davie shipyard in the Lévis region,” said Mr. Rae. “In preparing a competitive bid for these huge contracts, there was not only a great deal of investment by the companies, but also by the communities surrounding these shipyards. These massive contracts promised decades of economic activity, and the government has a responsibility to ensure that their procurement process does not create economic disadvantage to any part of the country.”

The competing yards were Irving Shipbuilding of Halifax, Seaspan Marine Corporation of Vancouver and Davie of Lévis, with Nova Scotia winning the $25 billion contract to build ships for use in the navy and British Columbia winning the $ 8 billion contract to build ships for non-combat purposes.

Though a separate bidding process for a $2 billion contract will be organized, in which Lévis can still participate, Liberals believe a broader plan is still required.

“The procurement process has been touted by the government as fair and non-political,” said Mr. Rae. “But the Conservatives cannot use this arm’s length process as an excuse to ignore the investments made by the communities that have not been successful in this process. The Conservatives cannot escape responsibility for the economic impact of their procurement strategy, and they must reveal their economic plan for the Lévis region.”

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