Actions and Commitments

Business and Reconciliation (92)

Mi’kmaq First Nation to become majority owner of two shipyards in Nova Scotia

June 7, 2024
Glooscap

Bluenose II rests in a cradle at a shipyard in Lunenburg, N.S., on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013. The Glooscap First Nation says it has reached an agreement in principle to acquire a majority stake in the B. Boutilier Group of Companies, which currently own the historic Lunenburg Shipyard and the nearby East River Shipyard. Photo: Andrew Vaughn/The Canadian Press. 


APTN News: The Canadian Press – A First Nation in Nova Scotia is purchasing two shipyards in the province saying the acquisitions will position the band to compete for defence contracts.

The Glooscap First Nation says it has reached an agreement in principle to acquire a majority stake in the B. Boutilier Group of Companies, which currently owns the historic Lunenburg Shipyard and the nearby East River Shipyard.

“This acquisition … underscores the strength and resilience of our Mi’kmaq community and is a step forward in our journey towards economic autonomy and self-determination,” Glooscap First Nation Chief Sidney Peters said in a statement.

The Mi’kmaq band says it plans to establish a subsidiary called Glooscap Defence, which will focus on making the band the largest Indigenous defence contractor in Canada.

Glooscap Ventures, the investment arm of Glooscap First Nation, says the new enterprise will support Canada’s defence procurement strategy, which requires that at least five per cent of all procurement is handled by an Indigenous partner.

“Glooscap Defence is well positioned to lead the construction of marine assets, playing a pivotal role in supporting the Canadian Armed Forces and the broader allied defence industry,” the First Nation said in a statement. “Glooscap Defence is committed to ensuring increased Indigenous participation in national defence and security sectors.”

Under the agreement, Bradison Boutilier, founder of B. Boutilier Group, will retain a significant ownership stake in the new corporation and remain at the helm.

“We are excited to partner with Glooscap First Nations in supporting Canada’s defence industry while also upholding our tradition of service quality and community engagement across existing, non-defence operations,” Boutilier said in a statement.

Both shipyards are on the province’s south shore and offer services to the commercial and recreational boating markets, including storage, repair, and fabrication.

Based on the east side of Mahone Bay, East River Shipyard Ltd. was founded by Boutilier in 2020. He says it has the largest full-service marine yard in Atlantic Canada.

Lunenburg Shipyard Ltd. was founded in 1897 to service a fleet of Grand Banks schooners. The legendary schooners Bluenose and Bluenose II were built at the adjacent Smith and Rhuland Shipyard, which closed in 2005. But it was the Lunenburg Shipyard Alliance that rebuilt the Bluenose II between 2010 and 2012.

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