Bas-Caraquet, December 18th, 2015 – Ocean New Brunswick Inc. (ONB) had to announce today seasonal layoffs for some of its employees until a lasting solution is found regarding various funding issues of New Brunswick Naval Centre.
In order to reduce the impact of the situation, ONB is offering its 28 New Brunswick employees the opportunity to be placed in another operational site of the company. They will be invited back to Bas-Caraquet and continue the work already started on the floating drydock when the situation is resolved.
ONB has already committed significant time and money in the project to build a floating dry dock and in the training of its workers, but cannot continue operations without the conditions that led ONB to settle in New Brunswick. Let us remember that Ocean had been approached in 2012-2013 by business stakeholders from the Caraquet area to relaunch the construction and ship repair in New Brunswick Naval Centre.
"Despite the significant financial risk, we still responded positively to the invitation and respected our commitments and more. At this stage, the conditions agreed upon in the signed agreements are to remain and allow the construction of a floating drydock in Bas-Caraquet, which will ensure a sustainable revitalisation of the Naval Centre as originally planned, " stated Jean-Philippe Brunet, Executive Vice President - Corporate and Legal Affairs.
In recent weeks, ONB management has met several times with representatives of governments, cities and the Naval Center. They are all working together to find the best solution.
"This is not a political issue. All stakeholders must work together to create and maintain jobs in the Acadian Peninsula and to find a quick and lasting solution to these challenges. We still believe in the potential of the Naval Center and the project. ONB will be ready to put its expertise and workforce to reviving shipbuilding and repair once the current situation is resolved" mentioned Jacques Tanguay, First Vice President and General Manager of Ocean.