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Heddle Shipyard inks deal to bring shipbuilding jobs to Hamilton

November 13, 2020   Don Horne




Heddle Shipyards signed a new long-term agreement with Vancouver-based shipyard Seaspan to manufacture Ontario-made ship components under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

“I want to congratulate Heddle Shipyards on this long-term agreement, as it cements Ontario’s position as one of the best places in the country for major manufacturers to compete, succeed, and grow,” said Premier Doug Ford. “This historic partnership with Seaspan will create highly skilled, well-paying jobs in communities across the province, contribute to the construction of quality, Ontario-made components for these ships, and reinforce Hamilton’s status as a critical transportation hub in the province.”

Over the next decade, Heddle Shipyards will be the primary supplier for ladders, gratings and handrails for the JSS 1 (currently under construction), JSS 2, and an Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel. These components will be manufactured at their facilities in Hamilton, St.¬†Catharines, and Thunder Bay, creating jobs across Ontario’s advanced manufacturing supply chain. These projects will generate tens of millions of dollars in economic activity in Ontario, employ at least 50 workers, and create the potential for additional opportunities, such as supplying larger ship modules in the future.

Seaspan and Heddle have also partnered to bid on the construction of the Polar Icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. If won, Heddle will support the construction through its modular fabrication program.

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“Our province has one of the best advanced manufacturing sectors in the world, and this new investment by Heddle Shipyards will strengthen it even further,” said Minister Vic Fedeli. “We support this innovative cross-country collaboration that emphasizes Ontario-made ship components and places Ontario back on the map as a destination for shipbuilding.”

“As we all deal with the day-to-day anxiety and impacts of COVID-19, it may seem ambitious to talk about recovery,” said Minister Rod Phillips. “But someday, hopefully soon, COVID-19 will fade and every government in the world will be focused on recovering from the economic crisis caused by this pandemic. For Ontario to recover, we need strong, sustained economic growth. We cannot expect our economy to just bounce back and the lost jobs to return on their own. We need to start working on recovery now.”

This announcement reinforces Hamilton’s status as a critical transportation hub sitting at the crossroads of trade and commerce for the province and the country. The City of Hamilton was recently designated as a Foreign Trade Zone by the federal government, joining Niagara and Windsor. Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs) attract new investment and encourage Ontario and Canadian businesses to expand internationally by providing local businesses with access to tariff and tax exemption programs, while importing materials or goods. The FTZ designation further positions Hamilton as an international transportation hub.

“This agreement marks a significant moment for our company and the Province of Ontario,” said Shaun Padulo, president of Heddle. “We are extremely proud that Ontario Shipyards will play an increasingly significant role in the National Shipbuilding Strategy and grateful for the opportunity to support Seaspan Shipyards, the Canadian Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Navy.”


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