B.C. introduces grant program for marine industries

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by Emily Atkins

British Columbia is launching a grant program to support its marine industries.

The new grant program allows B.C. companies to apply for capital funding for projects that modernize, scale and increase regional capabilities and capacity for shipbuilding, refit, repair and maintenance to help them be more competitive and grow. The program also supports projects that increase the new build capacity for smaller coastal craft.

“B.C. is home to Canada’s largest maritime sector with leaders and businesses at the forefront of marine innovation, clean fuels and technological advancements,” said Brenda Bailey, minister of jobs, economic development and innovation.

“By modernizing our maritime infrastructure and better co-ordinating maritime industry contracts and workforce strategies, B.C. will support local companies to grow into new international markets, and open more career opportunities and jobs for British Columbians.”

As much as $25 million will be invested in new and modernized infrastructure and assets that will support shipyards to meet growing market demand for their services and attract more investment to B.C. under the new B.C. Maritime Industries Strategy.

Funding is being provided by the province to the Association of B.C. Marine Industries (ABCMI) to deliver the new B.C. Maritime Industries Infrastructure Modernization and Expansion Grant Program. B.C. companies can apply for grant funding on the ABCMI website.

“ABCMI is proud to have supported the B.C. government in the development of the B.C. Maritime Industries Strategy,” said Dan McGreer, board chair, ABCMI.

“The strategy will be a catalyst for the growth of the B.C. marine industry and lead to greater employment in well-paying future-ready jobs. The strategy will support innovation in the marine sector in clean fuels and related technologies, which will help B.C. achieve its GHG-reduction targets.”

The strategy outlines how the province will build on existing strengths to maximize opportunities and further establish B.C.’s position as a leader in innovative and high-value industrial maritime activity.

In addition, a new West Coast Maritime Office will support greater collaboration between sector partners, increase capacity to respond to the NSS and other procurement initiatives, and will connect B.C. companies with growth opportunities. The office will also partner with First Nations, Métis and Indigenous businesses and organizations to support Indigenous business development and increase opportunities for Indigenous people.