By Peter Muggeridge
Nova Scotia was a big winner yesterday, when the federal government finally announced which province would receive the $33 billion up for grabs in federal shipbuilding contracts. The province will receive $25 billion over the next 20 years to build new warships for the navy, with Irving Shipbuilding taking a leading role. It’s expected the move will create over 11,000 jobs in the province. The remaining $8 billion will go to Seaspan Marine Corp, a Vancouver-based company.
Amid all the rejoicing was the major disappointment emanating from Quebec, whose Davie Shipyard was completely shut out of any money. Criticizing the deal, NDP Interim Leader Nycole Turmel claimed the move was politically motivated, accusing the Conservatives of shoring up support in Nova Scotia and B.C., at the expense of Quebec.
However, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his cabinet went to great lengths to maintain a distance from bidding process, leaving the decision in the hands of bureaucrats. Halifax NDP MP Peter Stoffer supported this notion, going so far as to congratulate the Conservatives on their handling of the contracts, even countering the claims of his own party leader.