Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in North Vancouver yesterday ending a long day of travel which began in Halifax. Following on from a similar announcement yesterday morning at the Irving Shipyard, the Prime Minister announced the signing of an umbrella agreement with Seaspan Marine which allows negotiations to begin on individual vessel contracts. The success of Seaspan in securing contracts for $8 billion in non-combat vessel construction through a strictly un-political process, was warmly acknowledged by the Prime Minister before he took part in a group photograph (hug) with workers. Predictably, a small group of anti-tanker protestors greeted the 400 or so guests to the event.
Construction on the first ship is expected to start next year, while construction of new buildings and infrastructure at both Vancouver Shipyards and Victoria Shipyards is expected to start in 2012.<\p>