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Irving Shipbuilding Welcomes Mi’kmaq Tradesmen to Halifax Shipyard as part of Siding Contract with Flynn Canada Ltd.

Working Model with Aboriginal Groups Shows Signs of Success in Matching Skills to Opportunities.

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Halifax, NS:  Today Irving Shipbuilding officially welcomed four Mi’kmaq tradesmen to Halifax Shipyard as part of the contract awarded to Flynn Canada Ltd. for siding, cladding and roofing of its new shipbuilding facilities underway.  This marks an important step forward in the collaboration with Aboriginal communities to identify needs, build skills and capacity, and match those skills to the needs of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS), as well as spin-off industries and opportunities with subcontractors on other projects.

As part of its ongoing efforts to prepare the company’s facilities to build Canada's future combatant ships, Irving Shipbuilding has established a working model with Aboriginal groups, specifically the Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office of Nova Scotia, to identify skills that will be required prior to contract award decisions being made.  This allows specialized training in advance of contracts being awarded and skilled workers being available to successful bidders.

“This clearly demonstrates what can be accomplished when the Government of Canada, private industry and First Nations work together on shared priorities,” said the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.  “We will continue to work together to match skills and opportunities."

“Our Government is committed to strengthening Nova Scotia’s economy and ensuring the long-term prosperity of all of our communities, for the well-being of Canadians today and tomorrow.  Today’s announcement with Irving clearly demonstrates the importance of working with all of our partners, on key projects. These collaborations are vital to furthering opportunities, creating jobs, and keeping hard-working Canadians in their regions, such as right here in Nova Scotia, where we need them to secure growth and improve the quality of life for the benefit of all,” said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and Minister Responsible for Nova Scotia.

Irving Shipbuilding Welcomes Mi’kmaq Tradesmen to Halifax Shipyard as part of Siding Contract with Flynn Canada Ltd.  Working Model with Aboriginal Groups Shows Signs of Success in Matching Skills to Opportunities.
Left to right:  Jeremy Stephens, Indian Brook First Nation; Carl Marshall, Eskasoni First Nation; Chief Rufus Copage, Indian Brook First Nation; Doug Flynn, CEO of Flynn Canada; Kevin McCoy, President of Irving Shipbuilding; The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice; The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada; Deputy Premier Diana Whalen; Christopher Paul, Acadia First Nation; Michael Carpenter, Millbrook First Nation; and Chief Bob Gloade, Millbrook First Nation

The siding and cladding of Irving Shipbuilding’s new facilities in both Halifax and Dartmouth is underway, and the facilities are scheduled to be complete by the fall of 2015 when the first set of NSPS vessels, the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships (AOPS) will begin production.

“With this significant project, Nova Scotia has a tremendous opportunity to expand our workforce and meet private sector labour needs,” said Diana Whalen, Nova Scotia’s Deputy Premier. “Much of this work is underway with our partners, and today, we are seeing some positive, tangible examples of what is possible. Congratulations to the Flynn Group for being an example for others to follow.”

“A responsibility as big and as important as building Canada’s next combat naval vessels inherently comes with the need to work that much harder to maximize value for Nova Scotians and Canadians at all levels of the supply chain,” said Kevin McCoy, President, Irving Shipbuilding.  “We recognize our responsibilities and the expectations of all of our communities, and we’re committed to working in partnership with organizations like the Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office to explore ways to increase capacity, skills, experience and ultimately, opportunity within the NSPS program, and well beyond.”

Flynn Canada Ltd., with 300 employees in Atlantic Canada and 3,000 across Canada, has benefited from similar grass roots-type working models in other parts of the country.  “I don’t think it’s a secret that we are faced with an aging workforce and a shortage of qualified applicants for skilled, trade positions,” said Doug Flynn, CEO of the Flynn Group of Companies.  “From what I have seen so far, I have complete confidence this program will be beneficial to all stakeholders in the construction value chain…..from the workers, right up to the building owner. We fully intend to support this program as it continues to develop, and as more people take advantage of this opportunity, and we look forward to meeting future graduates.”

“We want to work with business and help them succeed,” said Chief Bob Gloade of Millbrook and the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs.  “We are pleased to see large industry, to see Irving Shipbuilding, willing to work with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia.  These industries need skilled workers and we are going to help fill that need.  It’s a good day, good news, and we look forward to building upon this success.”  The Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office already has a sheet metal training program underway and is planning two more programs, which are taking place in Sydport on the Sydney waterfront and attracting Aboriginal students from across Nova Scotia.

Irving Shipbuilding has committed more than $310M in Canada to date in contracts, procurement, goods and services related to the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS), including both the Yard Modernization program and the work underway on the AOPS Definition Contract.  A full 47%, or $146M, of that commitment has been made in Nova Scotia, engaging companies owned or operating in the province in our supply chain.  This commitment has created more than 1,500 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions in Nova Scotia with our company, with our suppliers and with their direct suppliers and $75M in employment income.  In addition, it has generated $21M in local, provincial and federal taxes paid, as well as $56M in consumer spending over a two-year period (see Note).

Across Canada, the NSPS commitment to date has boosted Canadian gross domestic product (GDP) by $255M, created more than 3,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions across Canada (direct and indirect) and generated $187M worth of employment income in the country over a two-year period. It has also generated more than $139M worth of consumer spending and approximately $63M worth of taxes for federal, provincial and local governments.

“Throughout the NSPS contracts, as well as the preparations leading up to them, we are committed to maximizing opportunities and benefits for Canadians and Nova Scotians through subcontracting, employment and the generation of investment and benefits within the broader marine industry,” added Kevin McCoy.

Note - From the economic impact assessment prepared by Jupia Consultants Inc. using the following methodology: Direct and indirect full-time equivalent employment, employment income, gross domestic product (GDP) and other indirect taxes are derived using Statistics Canada I/O tables for Nova Scotia and for the national economy. Consumer spending and taxes generated estimates are derived using Statistics Canada's Survey of Household Spending for 2011 (CANSIM Table 203-002) and other sources.
About Irving Shipbuilding
Irving Shipbuilding is part of the J.D. Irving, Limited Group of companies and is in the business of building quality ships and repairing vessels. The company’s primary site is Halifax Shipyard, with three other locations in the Maritime Provinces. Irving Shipbuilding was selected in 2011 as Canada’s Combatant Shipbuilder under the merit-based National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy and is in the early stages of a 30-year military shipbuilding program. It is currently working on a number of significant projects for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Coast Guard. 

About Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office of Nova Scotia
The Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office of Nova Scotia (MEBO) is focused on large industry in Nova Scotia and seeks to maximize employment and business opportunities for the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia.  MEBO builds relationships with large industry, works to understand their needs and works to help fill those needs through training and suppo0rt.  MEBO has offices in Membertou and Halifax.

About the Flynn Group of Companies
Flynn Canada Ltd. is Canada’s leading building envelope trade contractor. For more than 30 years the company has been providing quality contracting services in the institutional, commercial, and industrial construction marketplace. Flynn is positioned in five distinct but related business sectors including Roofing Systems, Glazing and Curtain Wall, Architectural Metals, Roofing Service and Environmental Solutions, such as rooftop solar and green roof systems.  Flynn employs in excess of 3,000 people in 19 office locations across the country; three of which are located in Atlantic Canada. Together, Flynn St. John’s, Moncton and Halifax employ upwards of 300 people.

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Deborah Page
Irving Shipbuilding
Phone:  (902) 484-4552
Cell:  (902) 499-7975 

Mary Keith
J.D. Irving Limited
Phone:  (506) 632-5122
Cell:  (506) 650-8209

Follow us on Twitter:   @jdirvinglimited