Government of Canada

Government of Canada

June 27, 2012 19:30 ET

Harper Government Announces Investment in Esquimalt Graving Dock

ESQUIMALT, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 27, 2012) - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, today announced that through Economic Action Plan 2012, the Government of Canada will make a major investment over the next five years in rehabilitating and modernizing the Esquimalt Graving Dock.

"Our Government's priority remains the economy and job creation," said Minister Ambrose. "By supporting the ship repair and shipbuilding industry on Canada's Pacific coast, we are creating local jobs and generating long-term economic benefits for British Columbia."

The Esquimalt Graving Dock is an active ship repair facility and this $101-million investment will ensure that the dock fulfills its obligations to the various fleets using the facility over the long term. It is the largest deep sea shipbuilding and repair facility on Canada's Pacific coast and is the only "open access" multi-user facility on the west coast of the Americas that provides common services (on a fee-for-service basis) and multi-user access to dry dock infrastructure for a variety of private sector companies.

The Esquimalt Graving Dock, which was originally constructed in 1927, generates economic benefits totaling $183 million annually for British Columbia and it supports an estimated 1,300 jobs in the Greater Victoria Area.

Economic Action Plan 2011 provided $148 million, on a cash basis, over five years to carry out capital expenditures to maintain and improve a number of engineering assets, such as bridges, dams and other specialized assets, across Canada. Building on this commitment, Economic Action Plan 2012 proposes an additional $101 million, on a cash basis, over the next five years for Public Works and Government Services Canada to restore and modernize the Esquimalt Graving Dock. This investment will help maintain jobs and support economic activity in southern British Columbia.

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Background

ESQUIMALT GRAVING DOCK

The Esquimalt Graving Dock (EGD), the only "open access" multi-user facility on the west coast of the Americas, is located at the south end of Vancouver Island at Esquimalt Harbour, in the metropolitan Victoria area. The term "open access" describes a facility that provides common services (on a fee-for-service basis) and multi-user access to dry dock infrastructure for a variety of private sector companies. It is directly accessible from the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which is the shipping channel to southern British Columbia and Puget Sound in the United States.

The Esquimalt Graving Dock is the largest deep-sea shipbuilding and repair facility on Canada's Pacific coast. It represents 60 percent of Canada's Pacific coast dry dock capacity and is one of only two west coast dry docks with the capacity to accommodate Panamax-sized vessels (the largest deep sea vessels that can pass through the Panama Canal), including modern cruise ships. Its cranes and berth facilities are large enough to service 92 percent of the world's bulk carrier ships and 100 percent of the world's general cargo ships.

The dock measures 357 metres by 38 metres. The north landing jetty is 305 metres long and contains 10 metres of water at low tide. There is an additional 305 metres of berth frontage at the south landing wharf.

The facility supports the provision of shipbuilding and repair services to a wide range of coastal and ocean-going vessels, such as commercial vessels, the BC ferry fleet, cruise ships and the federal fleet. Its principal stakeholders are the vessel owners that rely on the facility for repair, maintenance and refit. This includes National Defence (Navy) and the Canada Coast Guard, BC Ferries, as well as a number of foreign and private vessel owners (including cruise ship lines) that regularly use the facility.

The total economic impact of the Esquimalt Graving Dock on British Columbia's economy is estimated at $183 million. It supports an estimated 1,300 jobs in the Greater Victoria Area and generates approximately $16.5 million annually in federal, provincial and municipal taxes.

As per the 1871 Treaty of Union with British Columbia, the Government of Canada was required to construct a graving dock in the area. ("Graving" means to scrape off barnacles and material from the hull of a ship.) A smaller dock was initially built, with the Esquimalt Graving Dock replacing it in 1927.

The Esquimalt Graving Dock is ISO 14001 certified, which requires the facility to continually strive to reduce any negative environmental impacts from any activities on site.

There are 43 full-time Public Works and Government Services Canada positions dedicated to the operation of the dock.

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Contact Information

  • Michelle Bakos
    Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
    819-997-5421

    Media Relations
    Public Works and Government Services Canada
    819-956-2315