The Nova Scotia Government Spent $600 thousand dollars on the recent Ships Start Here campaign, with the Irving’s and others spending another $500 thousand. Recent comments by the Defence Minister Peter Mackay, indicate he believes that the Ships Start Here campaign was a waste of money because it did not influence the national ship building procurement strategy bid process. This is true. All parties seem to believe the process was fair, and contracts were awarded on merit, however, perhaps influencing the Decision makers was not the main purpose of the campaign…
Nova Scotia has a long history of shipbuilding. The Halifax Shipyard has existed, in some form, at its present location for over 100 years. Nova Scotia Built the Bluenose, Ships built there were involved in every major conflict of the 20th Century, But in our current times, shipbuilding is viewed as a quaint activity from our past – A sunset industry, in the eyes of the previous Liberal Government.
The ships start here campaign brought to the forefront of every Nova Scotian’s mind that we are maritimers, and we build ships. It didn’t matter if you are a banker in an office tower or a Clerk at a connivence store, the lawn signs, stickers and pins turned us all into shipbuilders, and we all wanted the prize. The Campaign United us all – people who never thought or cared about shipbuilding now wanted to win, and win badly. Not only did Nova Scotian’s Embrace the campaign, but so did people from across the country. Canadians from sea to sea to sea were pulling for us.
In the end Nova Scotia won. We beat the competitors, and came out on top. We beat them fairly and without political influence or meddling. Our product, our people, and our facilities were judged to be the best and most capable. And now the entire province celebrates, United, as we are Are Nova Scotians, and we are Built to Build Ships.