North Vancouver Chamber build-local shipbuilding advocacy gains support at B.C. Chamber AGM

(NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.) June 5, 2024 — The North Vancouver Chamber is calling on the provincial government to direct an approach that enables BC Ferries to consider the economic benefits of building ferries locally.  

Businesses & Communities Win When We Build New BC Ferries In B.C., a policy created by the North Vancouver Chamber, was endorsed by the BC Chamber of Commerce business membership during its Annual General Meeting in Kelowna last week.

BC Ferries’ Request for Proposals (RFP) for its New Major Vessels project currently has no significant factors valuing the benefits of B.C. or Canadian involvement, which could lead to a decision based on the lowest cost alone and a foreign shipyard being awarded a contract.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for us,” said North Vancouver Chamber CEO Patrick Stafford-Smith. “Because we have the local skills, innovation, and capacity to build these vessels, the bidding process should prioritize B.C. companies and recognize the local economic benefits.”

Currently delivering the largest and most complex ships ever built in Canada, the industrial marine sector is a major economic engine, contributing approximately $6.8 billion annually to B.C.’s economy and employing approximately 22,000 people. Suppliers to the sector represent businesses from communities across coastal regions of the province and beyond.

A recent, independent study found that building ferries in B.C. over nine years would result in approximately 9,800 jobs, $1.7 billion in associated wages, and $234 million in income tax revenues to the province.

“We should be investing in B.C. and realizing the far-reaching economic benefits that local shipbuilding provides,” said Stafford-Smith.

In adopting the policy, the BC Chamber has officially included Businesses & Communities Win When We Build New BC Ferries In B.C. as part of its advocacy agenda with the provincial government.


The North Vancouver Chamber supports a strong and diverse local business community. They offer services and benefits to help members grow their businesses, develop key networks, and have their voices heard. 

For more information, please contact:

Maria Spitale-Leisk
Membership Promotion & Communications Manager
North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce