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NEWS RELEASE June 10, 2004


Liberal candidate David Emerson a hypocrite – Shipyard Workers' Federation says his “made-in-BC” election platform completely opposite of his actions as BC Ferries chair in seeking foreign shipyards to build ferries instead of building in BC

VANCOUVER – Federal Liberal candidate David Emerson is a hypocrite, says the BC Shipyard General Workers' Federation, because his recent “made-in-BC” election platform is completely the opposite of his actions as chair of BC Ferries, which has been seeking foreign shipyards to construct new ferries instead of building them in BC.

“Actions speak louder than words, especially during an election, and David Emerson's actions have been reprehensible when it comes to promoting our made-in-BC shipbuilding industry,” says Federation president George MacPherson.

“David Emerson, as chair of BC Ferries until recently, has promoted building and refitting BC Ferries ships in foreign shipyards like those in South Korea, China, Finland and Germany instead of creating jobs and investment right here in BC,” MacPherson says. “David Emerson's actions show him to be a hypocrite when it comes to made-in-BC.”

MacPherson said it's ironic that while BC Ferries has been actively soliciting bids from foreign shipyards, the federal Liberal government he now wants to join has been helping Canadian shipyards keep work in this country.

“The shipyard industry and shipyard workers have been very pleased with the former Liberal government's programs to help keep jobs and investment in Canada but with Emerson's track record and Prime Minister Paul Martin's own steamship company running ships under foreign flags of convenience, we are very worried about the future of the shipyard and shipping industry,” MacPherson said.

MacPherson said that under Emerson's leadership, BC Ferries rejected the lowest bid from Vancouver Shipyards for construction of a new Bowen Island ferry replacement ship in February 2003. More recently, BC Ferries has excluded Vancouver Shipyards from bidding on two Super-C class ferries worth $220 million that would create 1,300 jobs in BC over three years.

“David Emerson's leadership has been a disaster for BC shipyards and jobs,” says MacPherson. “BC voters should be concerned that his commitment to the province is lacking.”

The federal government's policy on shipbuilding runs contrary to Emerson's actions, says MacPherson. The policy of the Industry Canada ministry states that: “The federal government will continue to procure, repair, and refit vessels in Canada subject to operational requirements and the continued existence of a competitive domestic marketplace.”

Emerson is quoted as saying of the Liberal Party's candidates in a June 3 news release: “It's a team ready to fight for British Columbia , and, in the process, build a stronger Canada ,”

But MacPherson says that rather than fighting for British Columbia , Emerson's record shows he will give up on jobs and investment for this province and turn them over to foreign countries.

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.

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