BC Shipbuilding Advisory Committee Could Support and Grow Surrey Manufacturing Industry

Today, the BC Government announced it will be appointing an advisory committee to develop a long-term provincial shipbuilding strategy.

“A long-term shipbuilding strategy is welcomed by the Surrey Board of Trade,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade. “Surrey has the greatest number of manufacturers in BC. Through Canada’s Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) policy, hopefully the of the shipbuilding strategy will be focused on providing important investments in targeted areas, such as supporting local suppliers, who are often small businesses, and expanding their opportunities to export.”

The ITB ensures that 100 per cent of any major defence contract is matched in domestic business activity. If a portion of the work is not performed directly in Canada, the prime contractor and suppliers need to invest locally to compensate for the value of the work outside the country. This ensures that Canada’s defence and security spending will generate economic benefits for the country.

The Surrey Board of Trade looks forward to providing feedback to the Advisory Committee during the consultation and engagement phase.

The growing shipbuilding sector, driven by shipbuilding contracts such as Seaspan Shipyards’ federal polar icebreaker project, contributes $1.4 billion to GDP and directly supports more than 11,950 jobs.

BC’s shipbuilding strategy will have four main objectives:

  1. Build and support the capacity and competitiveness of BC shipyards to win more shipbuilding contracts, and refit-repair and maintenance work.
  2. Advance innovation including low-carbon technologies to help BC become a hub of green, low-carbon marine vessels.
  3. Expand BC’s market share and opportunities related to shipbuilding and supply chains.
  4. Support marine workforce development, addressing labour shortages, equity and inclusion in the BC shipbuilding industry.

A final report will be submitted to the BC Government in Summer 2022 by the BC Shipbuilding Advisory Committee.


Anita Huberman, 604-634-0342,