CANADIAN SHIPBUILDING — 1985 —
REVIEW AND OUTLOOK The data in this annual statistical report brings home hard the fact that the Canadian shipbuilding, ship repairing and allied industries are at the crossroads. Policies must be implemented to strengthen our industry.
A new federal government was elected last September that promised changes in policy to revitalize the shipbuilding, ship repairing and allied industries. The Progressive Conservative Atlantic caucus said on August 2: "A top priority of a P.C. government will be to create a more viable and prosperous shipbuilding industry." But no changes in policy have been brought forward to date, although shipbuilders have constantly warned of the fragile state of the industry.
A joint Government/Industry meeting held on Parliament Hill January 23, 1985 unanimously endorsed resolutions to strengthen the industry. We are confident that implementation of these proposals will result in the revitalization of the industry and employment, including the generating effect, for over 42,000 Canadians.
Canada has historically been a nation of ships and shipbuilders. Canadian shipyards have remained remarkably resilient during the worldwide shipbuilding crisis, through the late '70's and early '80's. But last year saw the failure of two Nova Scotia yards. One was taken over by new management from ULS International Inc. while the provincial government is currently negotiating for a new buyer for Halifax Industries.
Because of the major government ship procurements during the year, Allied Industries marine production increased 1.5 percent. The CSSRA had a record 71 Allied members at the end of 1984. Many of our allied industries depend on healthy ship order books and their future is closely tied to the shipbuilding industry. Last year the CSSRA submitted a brief to the Task Force on Deep-Sea Shipping, a follow-up brief to the Royal Commission on the Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada, a personal brief to new Regional Industrial Expansion Minister Sinclair Stevens in October and a brief on the temporary entry situation was released in December. Another brief was presented at the joint Government/Industry meeting in January, 1985. All our briefs and comments were well received, but we have seen virtually no action on our recommendations.
The Canadian shipbuilding and allied industries are capable of filling domestic requirements. Many yards have upgraded facilities and with the cooperation of their unions have adopted realistic labour practices to meet this challenge.
Production Summary CSSRA shipyards, which account for 95 percent of all vessels built in Canada 100 gross tonnage or more, had 32 vessels of 151,700 GT under construction or on order at December 31, 1984. Of these, 21 vessels, or 59,400 GT, were orders for the federal government. Federal government orders represented 39.2 percent of all new tonnage under construction or on order at the end of 1984. New government orders during 1984 included two type 800 navaids, two type " F " navaids, one type 1200 medium icebreaker, all for the Coast Guard, and one acoustic sweep vessel for Fisheries and Oceans. There was an increase of six units under construction or on order compared to the end of 1983, but an 11.3 percent decrease in tonnage levels. There was a total of 15 new orders in 1984, lower than the 23 recorded last year, but up from eleven ordered in 1982.
Member yards delivered eight vessels of 51,800 GT in 1984, including the M.V. "Prairie Harvest", a Great Lakes self unloader, and the "Bow Drill 3", a semi-submersible drilling rig. This compares with 17 deliveries of 112,300 GT in 1983 and 39 deliveries of 115,400 GT in 1982. The only export delivery in 1984 was the "Bow Drill 3".
Dollar value of new construction by member yards totalled $288,204,000 during 1984, a drop of 24.5 percent compared to 1983's level of $381,743,000. New construction for export totalled $36,046,000, down 68.8 percent from $115,628,000 in 1983. Of the 1984 total, $36,000,000 was for the "Bow Drill 3".
Repairs and conversions increased 22.8 percent to $250,685,000 from $204,222,000 in 1983. Federal government repairs and conversions amounted to $87,426,000, a 49.6 percent increase over 1983 levels.
Total dollar value of new construction and repairs and conversions slipped to $538,889,000, an eight percent drop from 1983's level of $585,965,000. The estimated value of CSSRA Allied Industries marine production was up 1.5 percent to $155,875,000. Total CSSRA member production declined six percent from $739,465,000 to $694,764,000.
Prices of most materials used by the shipbuilding and ship repair industry showed increases from 1983 to 1984, with the exception of wood products, copper and paints and varnishes, which decreased 5.1, 10.4 and 0.2 percent, respectively. The world order book registered a decline in number of vessels and tonnage under construction or on order at the end of 1984 in comparison with 1983 levels. A total of 2,467 vessels, or 30,688,000 GT, were under construction or on order at the end of 1984, compared with 2,774 vessels of 32,620,000 GT at the end of 1983. Canada completed five merchant vessels totalling 26,000 GT last year, or 0.1 percent of the world total. Canada had 18 merchant vessels, or 0.4 percent of the world total, under construction or on order at December 31, 1984. At the end of 1983, Canada had 17 vessels and 0.3 percent of the total world order book.