The BC NDP promise if elected to launch a long term B.C. shipbuilding and ship repair strategy.
The promise came on Wednesday as NDP candidates Murray Rankin, Mitzi Dean and Rob Fleming gathered at the Point Hope Maritime.
Rankin acknowledged the Ralmax Group of Companies that owns Point Hope, for creating good, union, “high paying family-supporting jobs,” adding that an NDP government would work with shipyards along the coast to help get more repair, maintenance and refit work for the province.
”There’s more work to do in our shipbuilding industry to ensure we’re not sending B.C. jobs offshore anymore and work to build an economic recovery for everyone,” said Rankin.
Ralmax, one of the largest employers in the Capital Region, is looking to expand by building a new graving dock at Point Hope. Rankin pointed to the “shovel ready” jobs at Point Hope as a reason to vote NDP in the upcoming provincial election, although there is no set date to break ground.
Part of the shipbuilding and repair strategy would involve engaging with the federal government and B.C. shipyards to make strategic investments that will allow the province to “compete and win contracts.”
“That’s going to help create more high skill and high paying jobs right here in the inner harbour, at Point Hope and bring more work to the province,” said Rankin.
The first step in the newly promised strategy, he said, would be to “identify strategic investments” by the government that could have the most impact.
“We’re going to strengthen supply chains by investing in the capacity of companies that will supply B.C. shipyards and we’ll advance low carbon technologies helping British Columbia become a province of green, low carbon marine vessels,” he said.
Wednesday’s announcement builds on a promise from John Horgan made last week. Horgan said a re-elected BC NDP government would launch a long-term shipbuilding strategy to create jobs and bring more work to shipyards in the province.