General Dynamics Canada Opens New Engineering Facility in Halifax

September 5, 2008 | News Release

HALIFAX, NS, September 5, 2008 - General Dynamics Canada opened a new engineering facility in Halifax today. The event coincides with the company's 60th anniversary and represents a long-term commitment by the defence company to Atlantic Canada. The new building will serve as the company's Maritime In-Service Support (ISS) Centre of Excellence, significantly strengthening and expanding the company's ISS capability.

The new facility is a state-of-the-art 48,000 square foot environmentally friendly building designed and owned by Millbrook First Nation. The four-storey building is already home to more than 30 employees and will eventually accommodate more than 150 skilled technology workers to provide systems integration and software support for a variety of General Dynamics Canada programs.

Today's event was attended by political dignitaries, community leaders and business executives, including the Honourable Rodney MacDonald, Premier of Nova Scotia; Dr. Lawrence Paul, Chief of the Millbrook First Nation; and John Watts, President of General Dynamics Canada.

"The community of Halifax has historically played a leading role in the service of our nation's defence and security," said John Watts, president of General Dynamics Canada. "I am particularly proud that we are able to open this spectacular new facility during a year when General Dynamics Canada is celebrating 60 years of corporate service to the Canadian Forces. This marks a new chapter in our corporate heritage and we look forward to supporting our customers from our base on the East Coast."

Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald said the new engineering facility will further diversify the workforce in Halifax Regional Municipality and benefit the provincial economy.

"The skilled jobs and software engineering expertise that will be part of this new facility fit well with the provincial government's goal to diversify and grow the economy throughout Nova Scotia," said Mr. MacDonald. "General Dynamics Canada will make a great addition to the Halifax business community."

At the opening ceremony, Millbrook First Nation conducted a series of traditional aboriginal ceremonies to bless the new building, including a Mi'kmaq Smudging ceremony and the Mi'kmaq Drum Group Eastern Eagle who performed the Mi'kmaq Honour Song, which honours Mi'kmaq ancestors, respect for aboriginal roots, and helping one another. General Dynamics Canada has entered into a long-term lease arrangement with the aboriginal band.

"We are pleased to enter into a partnership with General Dynamics Canada and to play a role in the economic development of Nova Scotia," said Dr. Lawrence Paul, Chief of the Millbrook First Nation. "The company has demonstrated a great level of respect and understanding regarding First Nation's culture and heritage, and we take pride in welcoming them as a new member of our community."

Founded on August 31, 1948, General Dynamics Canada is celebrating 60 years of continuous operations in Canada. In addition to the new Halifax facility, the company has operations in Bells Corners and Kanata in Ottawa, and a corporate campus in Calgary.


About General Dynamics Canada

With an established Canadian presence for 60 years and over 2,200 employees in Ottawa, Calgary and Halifax, General Dynamics Canada is Canada's largest defence electronics company with a worldwide reputation for excellence in the production of leading-edge, technology-based, integrated solutions for land, airborne and maritime applications. The company's success is based on strong systems engineering experience, ongoing investment in research and development, collaboration with commercial and military systems industry leaders, and a singular focus on customer service. More information about the company is available at

About General Dynamics

General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 84,600 people worldwide and anticipates 2008 revenues of approximately $29.5 billion. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. More information about the company is available on the Internet at

About Millbrook First Nation

Since 1990, the Millbrook First Nation has been working progressively to increase economic development in Halifax Regional Municipality. The band has worked from the philosophy that to achieve community well-being, problems must be approached holistically by addressing all aspects of the community - social, mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. The band has created development opportunities for all its members, and, in particular, its youth members. Economic development and building solid business partnerships are of primary importance to Millbrook First Nation's Chief Lawrence Paul. In order to build the capacity of the community and its people, significant investments must be made in training to prepare community members for gainful employment. Millbrook First Nation continues to develop and grow the band owned Power Centre Business Park by attracting more businesses. The band is also leading the way in developing private business partnerships - the General Dynamics Canada engineering facility is an example of this type of initiative.

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