New Brunswick

Halifax shipbuilding contract will benefit N.B.

A Moncton economist says New Brunswick stands to benefit from the $25-billion contract awarded Wednesday to Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax.

New Brunswick stands to benefit from the $25-billion contract awarded Wednesday to Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax, according to an economist.

Statistics Canada calculations indicate that for every $1,000 spent in Nova Scotia's shipbuilding sector, New Brunswick would gain $11, said David Campbell, president of Moncton-based Jupia Consultants Inc.

That means the province should earn about $275 million over the 30-year life of the combat boat contract in Halifax, he said.

"Just because we're close to Nova Scotia, because the supply chain extends into New Brunswick, because the ultimate headquarters of the company is in New Brunswick, I think that bodes well for the province," he said.

Campbell said he expects most of the benefit would come from subcontract and supply work.

"In the supply chain, I think New Brunswick companies will do very well," he said.

The shipbuilding program should also mean jobs for New Brunswickers who will be able to move next door, rather than out west, Campbell said.

"I think that the actual workers on the vessels, the trades people, the welders and the electricians and so on, you know, will probably work directly for the shipyard and moving down to Halifax and working there."

Halifax's Irving Shipbuilding is getting the $25-billion contract to build 21 Canadian combat ships, while Vancouver's Seaspan Marine has been awarded an $8-billion contract for seven non-combat vessels, the federal government announced Wednesday afternoon in Ottawa.

Rona Ambrose, the minister of public works and government services, which handles procurement, said the contracts will provide 75 million hours of work and 15,000 jobs annually over the next 30 years.

The contracts are for frigates, supply ships, patrol boats and icebreakers that will cover Canada's naval and coast guard needs for the next three decades.