There was a time when the Canadian shipbuilding industry was considered one of the best in the world. No longer. The industry has survived by servicing a niche market.

So what happened? In this Commentary, senior policy analyst Stephen Kymlicka looks at the collateral damage caused Canadian shipping lines by a tariff imposed to protect the shipbuilding industry.

He says the 25% tariff imposed on imported ships has actually hurt the industry. As the capacity for building general purpose cargo ships diminished here, Canadian shipping lines have tried to buy ships from foreign yards. However, banks are un-willing to finance the 25% tariff; meaning that shipping lines either had to suffer excessive maintenance on older ships or find the tariff cost in cash – also an excessive burden. Either way, Canadians found themselves paying for it in increased transportation costs. In short, Canada has tried to protect an ever-shrinking shipbuilding industry and the expense of Canadian shipping lines and consumers.

To read the complete Commentary, click here.