Protection for Canadian Shipbuilders
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Protection for Canadian Shipbuilders


The Canadian federal government should protect its shipbuilders by maintaining the 25 per cent tariff on imported supply vessels working offshore, Industry Minister Allan Rock said recently. "I believe it would be folly to relinquish the current tariff," Mr. Rock said in an interview. Norway wants Canada to eliminate the tariff so it can provide offshore supply vessels for the developing oil and gas play off Canada's East Coast.

The tariff is part of broader negotiations on a proposed European free trade agreement underway with Ottawa. It is feared that elimination of tariffs would mean the loss of thousands o jobs in Nova Scotia."I see no benefit to Canada in the proposed European free trade agreement under discussion at present," Mr. Rock said. "You are looking at a country like Norway which has a very mature market and is looking around for another market to come into. And I think it would be unfair and short-sighted to expose the Atlantic Canadian markets to that kind of arrangement at this time," he said.The industry minister will also be announcing a number of Atlantic Innovation Fund projects. Nova Scotia's share of the long awaited $300-million fund is expected to be in the range of $47 million for 16 projects. The offshore energy sector will be a key part of the package because that sector is such an important component of the region's future.

The Halifax Herald  

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