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NEWS RELEASE · 19th October 2011
BC Conservative Party
Vancouver - John Cummins, Leader of BC's Conservatives, responded to Seaspan's winning of the federal shipbuilding contract.

"I am pleased by the decision of the independent panel to award Seaspan the $8 billion, non combat vessel, portion of the federal shipbuilding contract. I offer them my wholehearted congratulations. Seaspan submitted an excellent bid and won on its merits and in a independent and non-political process," said Cummins.

"Unfortunately, Premier Clark's comments - 'British Columbia has put substantial support behind this bid coming to British Columbia in the form of training and apprenticeship.I'm absolutely delighted' - undermine Seaspan's victory."

"Claiming any credit for her government is absurd - the process was entirely impartial, independent and free of any politcal interference. Seaspan won because its bid was superior and not because of Premier Clark's lobbying, for her to suggest otherwise sullies what should be a great day for BC's shipbuilding industry."
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 26th October 2011
Not one person here has said anything disparaging about BC getting the contract. I simply asked a question and it is a legitimate one to ask, if the BC Government is going to try to take any credit for this shipbuilding contract. The rest is challenging Bill to provide some evidence to his contention that the government was justified in going overseas for its ferries last time around. Why you insist on reading something into what I write that is not there is any fashion is beyond me.

WE all rely on experiences we have had in the past. We all learn, at least we should, from history. Every time I hear stuff like we should not live in the past when we have a discussion, it is like an attempt to avoid facing reality. Looking at what was done in the past and comparing it to done now is educational. People object because they don't want to be reminded of inconsistency.

Nobody is living in the past, I don't feel obligated in any way to let BC Liberals off the hook. You know what is good for the goose is good for the gander and all that. But, I can understand why they don't want to be reminded of such things.
Let the past be................
Comment by James Ippel on 22nd October 2011
Bill and Helmut-why can't you let the past be, and look to the future.
We got an eight billion contract dollar, many jobs, and opportunities. Let's be happy.

As an aside to Mr Cummins, had he had the opportunity to brag, he would have. Mr Dix did not congratulate Seaspan, but sent his congratulations to the Union. WHO submitted the bid????

Enough said.
OK Bill but...
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 20th October 2011
...I ask again, can you refer to a source that confirms we were being punished for higher costs? Which, I add could not have been evident unless BC Shipyards submitted a bid? Which I add they were not permitted to submit? That was the question.
am not anti union, but am pro honest labour relations
Comment by bill braam on 20th October 2011
Unions are just fine as long as they sway away from 'screw the employer before he screws you mentality'. It's high time labour and business worked TOGETHER instead of against each other. I am for honesty, not the antagonistic rapport that really doesn't get anything positive accomplished. Thank you.
Bill again
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 20th October 2011
can you refer to a source that confirms this or is this just made up and part of your anti union sentiments. If that was the issue, and I don't believe that for one minute, then, what has changed now?

A project like a ferry can have higher labor costs and still be of greater benefit to the economy of the province than a ferry project built in some foreign country.

Plus, the BC Shipyards were not allowed to bid on the ferries. Why? Obviously their bid would not have proven David Hahn and you right. That is why he could not allow it to expose his flawed policy.
We are still being punished for high costs.
Comment by bill braam on 20th October 2011
Even with offering our own subsidies we are being punished by high labour costs here. Mr Hahn had no interest in even considering a canadian bid and it is my beleif he was trying to teach a lesson. BC shipyards thought they were 'owed' the work and that thought backfired badly.
No Bill!
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 19th October 2011
You really should do some research. Here are a few bits and pieces. At least read the last few quotes from mayor Barbara Sharp. BC Shipyards were not even allowed to put in a bid. You could get the same information just by making a little effort.

"In July, Hahn announced that three new Super "C" class ships, worth about $500 million, will be built in Europe."

"No Canadian company was deemed good enough by B.C. Ferries to make its "shortlist" for the first three ships..."

"Meanwhile, to make it easier to contract out the work to foreign shipbuilders, B.C. Ferries - with the obvious blessing of the Campbell Liberals - has had the audacity to ask the federal government to waive a 25% duty normally charged to foreign built ships."

"This duty is a disincentive to throwing away Canadian jobs and investment and ensures that BC Ferry Services, Inc., the private company, competes fairly with all others in private industry.

"Both Finnish and German shipyards are highly subsidized and that advantage, combined with waiving the 25% customs duty, puts our shipyards in a dilemma that could lead to a total failure of the industry and a continued disincentive for young people to join the ranks of skilled trades’ workers in this province."

"Three mayors in Vancouver area communities - representing residents of North Vancouver, West Vancouver and the District of North Vancouver - have now joined the BCFMWU in campaigning to keep the lucrative contracts in Canada.

North Vancouver Mayor Barbara Sharp says B.C. Ferries is being unfair. "I've got to ask, what on earth are they thinking that they won't even allow a B.C company to put the bid in. I mean, to me, it's just beyond my imagination what's going on in their particular process to disallow that.

"It's not that they're awarding the bid. It's just they want the opportunity to put the bid in – which is just shocking that they won't allow them to do that," says Sharp."

Perhaps their pencil was sharper this year...
Comment by bill braam on 19th October 2011
Perhaps the bids turned to BC's favour this time around because of the ferries being built in Europe. Perhaps Seaspan realized that a very sharp pencil is needed in today's shipbuilding industry. Remember those extremely overpriced toilet seats (nothing to do with Seaspan) noticed in the Military bids of old? Well perhaps Seaspan realizes that any overpriced items on a bid causes a bid to be lost. Seaspan won this time around and I applaud them, Bravo. I am eagerly awaiting to see photos of the new ships in progress, although that is a while off.
That begs the question...
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 19th October 2011
Is this the same shipyards that were deemed incapable of building the new ferries by David Hahn and the Campbell Liberals? They had to go to Brussels.