St Catharines Conservative candidate says China boat deal could have been contracted to local builder

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Published August 26, 2021 at 1:16 pm

Krystina Waler, the Conservative candidate for St Catharines, said today (August 26) that a controversial boat contract struck by the federal government with China potentially took business away from a local shipyard.

On August 25, news of a $100 million contract under which a Chinese state shipyard will build a passenger ferry for a federal crown corporation was revealed by the Globe and Mail.

Waler said in response, This is concerning. Ships like this could be built by Canadian options, like our own Heddle Shipyards in (St Catharines) Port Weller.”

“A Conservative government would reverse it,’ she continued.

While many campaigning Conservative candidates and media outlets have made similar claims since yesterday, leader Erin O’Toole has yet to come out with a definitive stance on the deal.

At an election event in Vancouver, Trudeau said he was troubled by the deal, but declined to say whether his government would cancel it.

“We are concerned about this situation,” Trudeau said. He added that his goal is for federal government purchases to “align with our values.”

At the end of July, Marine Atlantic awarded a five-year, $100 million contract to charter a ferry to the Swedish company Stena North Sea Ltd, which in turn, contracted construction of the 200-metre ship to China Merchants Industry’s Jinling Shipyard for delivery in 2024.

Once completed, the ferry will operate between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

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