NEWS RELEASE January 18, 2006
BC Shipyard General Workers' Federation targets Liberal Industry Minister David Emerson in Vancouver-Kingsway riding, other Liberal MPs for defeat in newspaper ad today over failure to protect shipbuilding and jobs in BC
Emerson the architect of building BC Ferries ships in foreign shipyards
VANCOUVER – The BC Shipyard General Workers' Federation today ran a newspaper ad targeted at defeating Industry Minister David Emerson, the Vancouver-Kingsway Liberal MP, and other Liberal MPs over their failure to protect the BC shipbuilding industry and BC jobs.
The newspaper ad in the Vancouver Courier includes a photo of Emerson and Liberal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh and urges readers to “Vote to defeat Liberal MPs who e x port BC jobs to foreign countries.”
Federation president George MacPherson says that Emerson is directly responsible for setting BC Ferries on a course that will see three new Super-C class ferries worth $542 million being built in Germany , with a loss of 5,500 direct and indirect BC jobs.
“As Chair of BC Ferries, David Emerson ended the policy of building new ships in British Columbia . And since becoming Industry Minister, Emerson and BC Liberal MPs have failed to deliver on a promise of a new National Shipbuilding Policy that would secure the future for Canadian shipyard jobs,” MacPherson said. “Emerson and other Liberal MPs in BC deserve to be defeated for not sticking up for BC jobs.”
“But it doesn't stop at shipbuilding. BC's national gas distributor Terasen was sold for $6.9 billion to Te x as-based Kinder Morgan without the federal government even holding a single public hearing despite huge concern from consumers here,” MacPherson said. “Emerson, Dosanjh and other Liberal MPs talk about getting results for BC but they just don't deliver.”
MacPherson says the federal government is in the process of tendering for three new navy supply ships worth about $2 billion and the Federation is worried that without a shipbuilding policy the work may go to foreign shipyards instead of building them in Canada .
“For strategic maritime defence reasons, Canada needs to have a strong shipbuilding industry and the Liberals have failed to commit to a national shipbuilding policy that ensures these new navy supply ships would be built in Canada ,” MacPherson said. “We need the government to work with our shipyards so we can be competitive against foreign shipyards that are heavily subsidized and have poor labour and environmental standards that lower their costs.”
BC Shipyard General Workers' Federation represents about 1,600 workers in the shipbuilding, repair and maintenance industry. It is registered with Elections Canada as a third party for this election.
For more information : Call George MacPherson at 604-254-8204 or cell 604-220-3291 or Bill Tieleman, West Star Communications, at 604-844-7827 or cell 778-896-0964. To view the newspaper ad and for background go to: www.bcshipyardworkers.com