Mr. Duck goes to Ottawa

April 13, 2012

I am at the airport now, about to leave Ottawa after five days here, heading back home for a few days before going back to sea. I arrived in Ottawa on Sunday, and enjoyed our nation’s capital by visiting the parliament building, the war museum, and extensively walking around the downtown core, taking in the sights and experiences. On Tuesday, the true purpose of my visit, attending Mari Tech 2012,…

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Conservative budget 2012, “Creating Jobs” ?

April 3, 2012

The Canadian government has not, is not, really known for any maritime policy prowess. There was some hope when they undertook the National Ship Procurement Strategy, that they could be seen to be recognizing how important ships are to Canada, but really this was more about defence spending, rather than a positive outlook on the importance of shipyards and heavy industry. With the latest federal budget, delivered late last week,…

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Introducing Blue Riband

February 23, 2012

Blue Riband is a fictional business model, an employee controlled entity, much like a professional organization. Many new ideas are proposed, encapsulated within Blue Riband, as possible solutions to the shortage of Marine Engineers in Canada. The project presents a new way to manage the high quality human capital needed, to make sure shipping remains viable, well into the future. You can visit the project’s website at http://www.blueriband.ca, to view…

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2012 part 3 – Big plans

February 6, 2012

Continued from 2012 part 2 – From sea to sea to sea The big news of the 2011 was probably the National Ship Procurement Strategy. The much heralded NSPS is a great step forward, in the fact that the government recognized, after decades of neglect, that they need to build ships; then went on to try to figure out how to do it. A major accomplishment, but at the end…

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2012 part 1 – Got Skills?

February 1, 2012

I get the feeling that the Marine industry is, has been, under the constant strain of “noise”, “heat” and “pressure”. Its kind of comforting for us engineer aboard, since this is our career, our kind of environment. We thrive in these conditions, and we are well position to weather the continuous “economic lows” on the prognosticator’s radar screens. Well figuratively speaking anyways. As I have done for a couple of…

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“The envelope please…”

October 20, 2011

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock this past day, you are surely aware that the Canadian government has announced the results of their search for two Canadian shipyard to build major vessels, military and civilian (Coast Guard), for the Canadian government. The Conservative government in June 2010 announced a strategy to get much needed shipbuilding underway under the auspice of the National Ship Procurement Strategy (NSPS). The military “work…

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No holiday in Spain

August 9, 2011

Some of you may have heard of the name, Phil Halliday. If it seems like that name is familiar, but seems from long ago, you are correct, it has been a long time since the name was first mentioned in the media 18 months ago. Phil was a fisherman from Digby, Nova Scotia, who, after a brief voyage to the Caribbean on the retired Coast Guard ship Parizeau, was asked…

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Who’s the busiest person at the Davie Shipyard…

July 22, 2011

…the answer is… its a three way tie between the lawyer’s office, bankruptcy court and the sign shop. That’s a tough call to make! At this point, one might say the sign shop is now the busiest, with the latest twist in the saga of Davie Shipyard in Quebec City. While politician, up until very recently, were extolling the populist virtues of promising even more money to that ferret, Gary…

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