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Archived - Canada's New Government Announces Renewed Federal Shipbuilding Approach

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HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, June 7, 2007 — The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry, today announced a renewed approach intended to assist Canada's shipbuilding industry in dealing both with its current challenges and with its longer term needs.
"Our government recognizes the challenges being faced by the shipbuilding industry and is taking real action to help both in the short and longer terms," said Minister MacKay. "Canada is a maritime nation, and a viable shipbuilding industry supports our security and our sovereignty."
In order to respond to the immediate needs of the industry, the government has decided to renew the Structured Financing Facility (SFF). The SFF helps buyers to purchase ships built in Canada by buying down the interest rate of the loan they use to finance the purchase. This facility has enabled Canadian shipyards to capture new business in the past. Canada's New Government is investing an additional $50 million over the next three years in an extended SFF, starting in 2007–2008.
In addition, Canada's New Government, under its Buy Canada policy, will proceed with more than $3 billion in procurement of ships. This includes $324 million for the procurement, operation and maintenance of six new Coast Guard vessels, announced in Budget 2007, as well as the previously announced $2.9-billion Joint Support Ship procurement.
"This renewed approach will assist in the maintenance of domestic shipbuilding and repair capacity, which support sovereignty and security," said Minister Bernier.
The government will also examine ways to address one of the key challenges faced by Canada's shipbuilding sector — fluctuations in demand, with a view to reducing the traditional boom and bust cycle experienced by the industry.
This renewed approach to shipbuilding will support competitiveness in the Canadian shipbuilding industry.
For more information, please contact:
Isabelle Fontaine
Office of the Honourable Maxime Bernier
Minister of Industry
613-995-9001
Media Relations
Industry Canada
613-943-2502

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