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Local Shipbuilders Want Work Constructing the New South Coast Ferries, Says PC Opposition
PC Industry critic Lloyd Parrott said one of the shipyards capable of doing work on this project is next door to the Transportation and Works minister’s district, so he ought to be well aware of their capabilities and their need for work.
Thursday, October 31, 2019

Office of the Official Opposition

For Immediate Release

 

St. John’s, NL (October 31, 2019) – The PC Opposition says people in our province’s shipbuilding industry are wondering if they will have the opportunity to get work building the new ferries for the South Coast of the Island.

A Request for Proposals for the service closed on Friday, October 25.  Concern has been raised that the RFP could exclude some local enterprises from the work.

PC Transportation and Works critic Barry Petten said, “There are people in the province with the expertise to build these ferries, and others who could serve as suppliers.  They need the work and they’re wondering if they will have the opportunity or be shut out.”

PC Industry critic Lloyd Parrott said one of the shipyards capable of doing work on this project is next door to the Transportation and Works minister’s district, so he ought to be well aware of their capabilities and their need for work.

The Public Procurement Act and Regulations allow the government to make exemptions in favour of local enterprises when doing so is in the best interests of the province.

Petten said, “Newfoundland and Labrador is leading the entire country in unemployment, bankruptcies and population decline – all signs that our economy is in dismal shape.  If ever an argument could be made that it is in the best interest of the economic development of the province to maximize local benefits from public procurement, it is now.  If the government is interested in building our economy, it should be looking to maximize local benefits.”

Parrott said, “Newfoundland and Labrador benefits when work is done locally, using local workers and local suppliers, maximizing local economic development opportunities.  Public dollars have the potential to bring tremendous economic benefits to our local communities, drive growth, create jobs and turn our struggling economy around.  That’s what we need right now.”

 

Contacts:

Bradley Russell

Director of Policy and Research

(p) 1.709.729.3668

BradleyRussell@gov.nl.ca

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Backgrounder

 

Regarding exemptions:

 

Section 7 of the Public Procurement Act says the cabinet “may exempt procurement from the requirements of this Act where it is in the best interest of the economic development of the province.” https://assembly.nl.ca/Legislation/sr/statutes/p41-001.htm

Section 19 of the Regulations under the Act says: “The acquisition of a commodity is exempt from the requirements of the framework where the following requirements are satisfied: (a) the minister responsible for economic development has recommended the exemption on the basis that the acquisition of the commodity is for the purpose of economic development; (b) the exemption has been approved by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council; and (c) the exemption is not precluded by an intergovernmental trade agreement.” https://www.assembly.nl.ca/legislation/sr/annualregs/2018/nr180013.htm

When the government announced the new Act, it stated in its news release “the Lieutenant-Governor in Council can approve an exemption that is recommended by the Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation where the procurement is in the best interest of the economic development of the province, and is not precluded by trade agreements.” https://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2018/servicenl/0222n06.aspx

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