Seaspan Shipyards – CEO update to employees – April 8


With the much-needed holiday weekend just ahead, I know everyone is looking forward to being able to take a deep breath and a real break. This long weekend will no doubt be quieter than we are used to, but it has never been more important that we take a moment to remember those in our community who are struggling, who are vulnerable, and who are mourning the tragic loss of life that has devastated families and communities everywhere.

In that spirit of reflection, I want to take this opportunity to share a couple of silver linings that I see starting to appear even as the crisis continues, as well as some of the things I am grateful for.

When I compare how we operated a month ago to how we are operating today, it is hard to grasp how fundamentally we have changed. How we approach work, how we structure work, when we work, where we work, the tools we use to do our work – almost nothing is unchanged. With one extraordinary exception. We continue to perform and deliver as a team.

I am amazed by the ability of the entire Seaspan Shipyards team to adapt and adjust. And I continue to be inspired by the power that just one individual can have on an entire shipyard by simply seeing a need or an opportunity, finding a solution, and taking ownership to get it done. Continuous improvement as a shipyard ethos is something I have strongly believed in for many years, but what I have seen in the last month across Seaspan Shipyards has taken that concept to a completely different level. The saying necessity is the mother of invention has never been truer or more powerful.

I am also grateful that with your hard work and commitment we have been able to put the precautions in place to safely keep our yards open and our people employed. Striking the balance between safety and jobs is my top priority. We will remain open only as long as it is safe and efficient to do so. Our supply chain team is working around the clock to procure everything we need to keep the yards safely open. In a climate where demand is global and supply is limited, the job our supply chain professionals are doing on behalf of all of us is remarkable.

We are starting to see early indicators that the actions we are taking at our shipyards, in BC, and across the country are having a positive impact on flattening the curve. There is no question there is a long road still ahead and we must not get comfortable or complacent. But we appear to be trending in the right direction.

I am humbled and heartened by our health care workers, first responders, and other frontline workers who are staring COVID-19 in the face every day and are leading in ways they never signed up for, with strength and selflessness.

And finally, I am truly grateful for our team – the heart and soul of Seaspan Shipyards. I have had the privilege of managing businesses in three countries on two continents and I can tell you that there is something special here in Canada and on the West Coast. It is rooted in a unique culture with a deeply ingrained sense of civility and generosity that does not exist everywhere. It is also a values-based and community-based work ethic to carry on, take responsibility and do what’s necessary. Along with our health care professionals, you are our frontline in this crisis and I am 100 per cent convinced that the personal responsibility each of you takes to safeguard yourselves and each other is the reason we are still safely open. Thank you.

We have many things to be grateful for, even in and perhaps especially in our current climate. I am thankful for your efforts every day and so proud to be part of this team. Let’s make sure we take a moment this weekend to acknowledge the good things and the good people around us.

Wishing each of you, your families and friends a restful and peaceful weekend – at home.

Mark Lamarre
Chief Executive Officer, Seaspan Shipyards