Businessman says PCs ignore Blue Book promise with ferry contract

Andrew Robinson
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An artist's concept of the new Fogo Island ferry. — Submitted image

The president of a local design company specializing in marine and offshore services is disappointed that the Progressive Conservative government failed to live up to one of its Blue Book promises with respect to the latest ferry contract.

Last Wednesday, government announced plans for a new ferry to serve Fogo Island and Change Islands. The $51-million contract to build the 80-metre vessel was awarded to Damen Shipyards of Norway. It will replace the MV Captain Earl W. Winsor.

Leonard Pecore, president of Genoa Design International Ltd. in Mount Pearl, said the awarding of that contract stands in contrast to what’s outlined in the PC Party of Newfoundland and Labrador’s 2011 Policy Blue Book.

“We will examine ways to subdivide tenders so local firms are able to bid on components they are capable of doing without being shut out by components that fall outside their range,” reads a bullet point in a section of the document titled “Prospering Businesses.”

In Pecore’s view, the awarding of the full contract to Damen Shipwards leaves many capable Newfoundland and Labrador companies out in the cold.

“Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened here,” he said. “I’m fully aware, because of my involvement in industry, that we could have competitively provided the service close to $1 million of work out of a $51-million contract.”

Had there been other tenders issued in relation to components of the project, Pecore believes many other businesses in Newfoundland and Labrador could have contributed to the creation of the new ferry.

For more on this story, check back later at

Organizations: Damen Shipyards, Genoa Design International, PC Party of Newfoundland and Labrador

Geographic location: Fogo Island, Change Islands, Newfoundland and Labrador Norway Mount Pearl

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Recent comments

  • paul
    November 19, 2013 - 14:39

    First of all, this story lacks any importance. The Company could have done $1M on the contract, who cares. Does he really think 4 or 5 NL Companies could agree long enough to get this thing built for $51M? Very unlikely. Now, great to see a new Boat, long overdue. Here's the details on where the current vessel came from: "Purchasing the Captain Winsor for just $300,000 was an exceptional deal. If we wanted to build a comparable vessel it would cost between $23 and $25 million." Since the province purchased the vessel last year, more than $2 million has been invested to prepare the ferry for the Fogo Island and Change Islands service. "The Captain Winsor is a larger vessel, capable of carrying between 55 to 60 cars. " This came from the Government Press Release from August 21st, 1998. So the current Boat can handle 60 cars and the new one will handle less than 20? Yes many tourists and visitors to The Inn will park and ride but locals do not. Things are about to get worse, to the tune of $51M.

    • Neal
      November 21, 2013 - 11:16

      Paul, where are you getting that new ferry only carries 20 cars? The new ferry will carry 60 cars and 200 passengers.

  • david
    November 19, 2013 - 14:10

    Sorry, but this isn't the usual government "who cares what it ends up costing or what we end up with" tender......this is the MV Zita Cobb.