Dead Hand of Government

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JK
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Dead Hand of Government

Postby JK » Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:21 am

I saw this op-ed and thought I'd post it here for discussion.
I, quite frankly, think he has a narrow view of the issue.

One shipbuilder told me that a boat that would cost industry 800k, would cost the government 1.2 million. He said, I don't know why that is, but it is. This would be, say, a 60 foot fishing boat design that the government would use for research.

Personally I support government shipbuilding projects. I believe that there are good spin offs over and above the purchasing. Trade schools have to ramp up their courses, students have better options for careers, money gets pushed into the national economy in the form of wages and sub-contracts. It drives up spending for goods that otherwise wouldn't be purchased. Ships and boats have be docked and refitted regularly which gives a future income.
I have dealt with a fairly small yard, the one in the example, they build and refit fishing boats and boats up to about 80 feet. Government money floats them in bad times. They were successful in navigating the ways of government and stayed solvent over 50 years. They shut down for a week in hunting season so that employees can chase deer, the staff seem pretty satisfied with their jobs.
But why do other shipyards fail?
There is a perception that the government causes it, but as my old boss used to say, we are not in the business of bankrupting companies. Is it bad project management on the side of government? It's not like that doesn't happen. Once a contract is signed, that's the ship that is going to be delivered. If there is re-work it alters the contract and prices have to be re-negotiated.
Is it the paper burden that doing a government contract implies? Or the equipment that a government ship entails?
If a ship needs major re-work because of a failure of the contractor, why is the government held to blame? They are looking at the need of a hull that will possibly be in service twice if not three times as long as a commercial equivalent. The inspectors tend to be pickier, after all they are spending public money. Saying all that, I have heard of some horror stories on both side of the table.
If this has a roll-on effect on future contracts that the Contractor has in place, isn't it the failure of the yard manager. I'm not referring to asking over and above the contract, I'm talking about meeting a contract that is in place. If shaving corners while building causes the contractor overruns because he is caught out, why is government held to blame.




https://www.bairdmaritime.com/work-boat ... hipbuilder

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The Dieselduck
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Re: Dead Hand of Government

Postby The Dieselduck » Fri Aug 30, 2019 8:26 am

The company i now work for built two new tugs. A lot of people cough at the price. Yeah they are expensive, but what isn't. Upon closer examination, the price is about the same as in the US, which if truly on par, would be competitive anywhere in the world. I point out that these tugs are "expensive", but they were built in Vancouver, provided safe, steady income to skilled craftsman who were paid decent union wages that afforded them to live in this community.

Yes, they could have been built in Asia or where ever else, at a probably cheaper initial cost, and the company had experience with this as well, but the quality wasn't there. Not to mention the exploitative nature of "business" with its dubious safety, pay and conditions and general scheming attitudes. I am very proud that this company chose to build a Canadian tug in the market it serves, utilizing and fostering skill building that future generations, like my young boys, may want to access.

There is always opportunities to chase the bottom of the barrel, but what is the long term damage. I think we are seeing these attitudes come to fruition, in a disaster kind of way. There is a reason why the story of the turtle and the hare is a timeless classic.
Martin Leduc
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http://www.dieselduck.net

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JK
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Re: Dead Hand of Government

Postby JK » Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:27 am

Exactly. The comment about socialist government made me roll my eyes. I have found over the years as I progressed through work, I looked at it from a taxpayers view, then the ship view. the project manager view, now I look at the wider impacts because of others educating me in the much bigger scope. Take the simple welding process. Shipyards need welders, trade schools ramp up, CWB expands as the national standards of welding in Canada, more companies inspecting welding, more inspectors, more welders moving in at the bottom. All construction in Canada beneifits from this, bridges, pipelines and facories as the basic level of competency is high. Move that across the trades, electrical, coatings, outfitting, plumbing.
Here in Halifax, they have the main shipyard, but across the harbour there is a complete facility for building the modules. They build all the supports and mount the equipment to be slung onto the ship. They support another group of trades.
I've heard the same thing said here by commercial entities. They built a ship for $100 million outside the country so the government should. But that's a lot of money moving offshore. That's is a bigger reason to scream then rebuilding trades from the ground up.


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