Parks Canada

Parks Canada

July 15, 2009 10:00 ET

Government of Canada Celebrates the Historical Significance of Shipbuilding in Prince Edward Island

CHARLOTTETOWN, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND--(Marketwire - July 15, 2009) - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, today celebrated the significance of shipbuilding in Prince Edward Island, which he designated an event of national historic significance, on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

"The shipbuilding industry in the 1800s became, per capita, twice the size of its counterpart in New Brunswick, and three times of that in Nova Scotia," said Minister Prentice. "Prince Edward Island shipbuilders were the engines of the provincial economy leading up to Prince Edward Island's entry into Confederation."

"The people of Prince Edward Island, living in a province surrounded by the ocean, have always had a strong relationship to the water, but for many of the people who lived here in the 1800s, shipbuilding was intrinsically tied to their lives," said the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Member of Parliament for Egmont. "I'm honoured to have been asked to announce this designation of an historical event which played such an important role in the economic development of our province."

"We are delighted the Minister has designated shipbuilding as an event of national importance" said Nora Macdonald, Chair of the Cardigan Area Heritage Association. "Cardigan, as a coastal community on Prince Edward Island, serves as an excellent example of how shipbuilding thrived in the nineteenth century. In fact during much of the nineteenth century shipbuilding was this province's main economic producer."

During the 19th century the shipbuilding industry generated confidence in Island capability, and awareness of the colony's self-interest. As it enabled commercial and cultural exchanges outside of Prince Edward Island, the industry was a major factor in helping steer Prince Edward Island away from a colonial system dependent upon Great Britain and towards a self-sustaining economy. As a result, the shipbuilding sector was an important part of Prince Edward Island's decision to join the Canadian Confederation.

The Historic Sites and Monuments Board is supported by Parks Canada, which works to ensure that Canada's historic and natural heritage is presented and protected for the enjoyment, education, appreciation and inspired discovery of all Canadians, today and in the future.

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Contact Information

  • Parks Canada
    Corporate Communications Branch
    Michele Monette
    Media Relations Officer