Premier Darrell Dexter offered his congratulations today, May 9, to Irving Shipbuilding for being named one of Canada’s top 50 defence companies, and the highest-ranked shipyard in the country. Canadian Defence Review Magazine ranked Irving Shipbuilding fifth among defence companies in the country, based on the company’s economic impact, innovation, contribution to national security and support for Canada’s military. Irving’s position as the highest ranked shipyard highlights the company’s expertise as “Canada’s largest combat ship service provider.” “This ranking reaffirms what we know, that the best ships are built right here in the Maritimes,” said Premier Dexter. “Irving Shipbuilding and the Halifax Shipyard have more than 120 years of experience, a highly skilled workforce and modern facilities. This makes the company ideally suited to build Canada’s fleet for the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.” Under the strategy, Irving Shipbuilding is bidding to become a centre of excellence for shipbuilding. The contracts are worth up to $35 billion, and could mean up to 4,000 good jobs in Nova Scotia for the next 30 years. Earlier this week, Halifax Regional Municipality Mayor Peter Kelly and council unanimously endorsed Irving Shipbuilding’s bid for the national contracts. “Shipbuilding excellence in Nova Scotia predates Confederation and the Irving Company has inherited that proud tradition,” said Mayor Kelly. “The experience, skill and dedication of the Irving workforce in delivering an exceptional product within budget and on time is second to none.” Irving Shipbuilding has invested almost $90 million in skills its people training and infrastructure and technology upgrades between 2006 and 2011, and plans to continue these upgrades. “This strong No. 5 ranking is another feather in our cap and demonstrates our commitment to building top-quality ships at good value for one of our longest-standing customers, the Canadian government,” said Steve Durrell, president of Irving Shipbuilding. “This is a true testament to the expertise, commitment and effort of every member of the Irving Shipbuilding team.” More information on shipbuilding in Nova Scotia can be found at www.shipsstarthere.ca .