The Vanguard – Shipbreaking in Queens? Mayor says Navy ships coming, company has not confirmed

Written by Brittany W. Verge

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12 January 2016 – The mayor says two former naval ships are coming to Port Mersey Commercial Park, but the company contracted to do the job hasn’t said it’s coming to Queens County.

“We are very, very excited that R.J. MacIsaac is coming to Port Mersey,” Region of Queens Mayor Christopher Clarke said Jan. 11.

The federal government awarded the contract to dispose of the former HMCS Protecteur, a supply ship, and the former HMCS Algonquin, a destroyer in November 2015. Both ships are currently berthed in Esquimalt, British Columbia.

The company, R.J. MacIsaac Construction, has not responded to interview requests.

Although Clarke says the first vessel will be towed in to port around April 1, a representative at the Port Mersey Commercial Park says R.J. MacIsaac Construction hasn’t signed a contract with the park.

“We don’t have any signed agreements with them, no new information to add right yet,” Tim Crowe, the general site co-ordinator for Port Mersey, said Jan. 11.

Clarke says he received information from R.J. MacIsaac Construction on the salvaging project through meeting with representatives of the company.

The mayor says the operation could create jobs in the area.

“It’s going to employ between 30 and 40 people we understand,” Clarke said, “who are under contract for two years.”