Atlantic Premiers will be sponsoring the national forum "Charting a Course: Towards a Canadian Marine Industrial Policy" in St. John's on October 19 and 20. The forum will bring together labour and industry stakeholders and government representatives to provide them with the opportunity to explore, jointly, the challenges facing Canada's marine industrial sector.
The forum will focus on three key areas; opportunities available to Canadians in the area of the marine industrial sector, preparedness of the Canadian shipbuilding workforce, and the changes needed in national policies to secure the industry's future.
"New Brunswick has a long tradition in shipbuilding that requires a clear national policy to ensure its future," said New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord.
"Shipbuilding is a very important part of the economy in the eastern part of our province," said Prince Edward Island Premier Pat Binns. "We have an extremely efficient and highly trained workforce. What concerns me is that without the ability to compete for and win contracts, this workforce will be lost to us. We need a national shipbuilding policy to assure that Canadiancompanies can compete."
"This meeting is an opportunity to explore potential development of the marine industrial sector in Nova Scotia and the Atlantic region, particularly, in the area of offshore fabrication for the oil and gas sector," said Nova Scotia Premier John Hamm. "It's a good first step."
Delegates to the forum will have an opportunity to engage key industry, labour and government representatives and assist in the development of a report. The Atlantic premiers will communicate the recommendations of the forum to the Prime Minister, and advocate its incorporation into a national marine industrial strategy.
For further information: Heidi Bonnell, Office of the Premier, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Tel (709) 729-3960