Aspin Kemp and Associates moving headquarters to P.E.I.

Steve Sharratt
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The move is expected to create 25 new jobs in Prince Edward Island.

MONTAGUE — Jason Aspin wants to make Montague the centre of excellence in marine and offshore technologies.

And to kick off his plan, he confirmed Friday he is relocating his Ontario headquarters of Aspin Kemp Associates to the eastern P.E.I. town and bringing along a hefty $2 million-plus payroll.

Along with Innovation P.E.I. Minister Allen Roach, he confirmed the relocation Friday morning during a press conference at the new HQ site, the former federal Addiction Services building now owned by the province and leased to the company. The province paid $800,000 for the building.

“This is just great news for Montague and region,’’ said Roach. “And it is a perfect fit for this company.”

Aspin, who went to high school just down the street and has family in Belle River, said corporate headquarters means 25 new jobs to Montague.

“We want to put eastern P.E.I. on the map as a centre of excellence worldwide for marine and offshore technologies and science,’’ he said. “And it’s so great to be able to do it at home.”

Aspin’s business has grown exponentially since he set up shop in Stratford a few years ago and then expanded to Poole’s Corner just over a year ago. There are now 60 jobs at the Poole’s Corner operation consisting of designers, builders and skilled trades, and more will be added because of the tremendous demand. AKA has just negotiated new contracts with two other international companies as well.

“It’s absolutely fantastic news,’’ said Montague Deputy Mayor David Mabon at the announcement. “This is such a boost to rural P.E.I.”

Georgetown Mayor Lewis Lavandier was delighted with the announcement as well and said the expansion of marine design work in the area might spark a revival at the now closed Irving-owned East Isle shipyard.

Aspin is the brother of the late artist Tyler Aspin, who designed and built the Canada Tree in 2000. Many supporters want to see the tree displayed permanently in a suitable building — the former addiction centre is considered a choice spot — and Aspin alluded to such a plan in his speech.

“In addition to making this the home for our senior management team, we will also be basing our innovation group as well as some of our training functions out of this facility,” Jason Aspin, CEO of Aspin Kemp and Associates

“Our promise to this community is that we will conduct and grow this business in a manner that realizes the potential of this building and of the community,” he said.

Aspin said the Montague headquarters would be home for the senior management team as well as the innovation group which will be trained out of the facility. He said those training events bring people from all over the world for a week or two to learn and “stay in hotels, eat in restaurants and visit the region with their families.”

AKA currently has two operations in P.E.I., as well as facilities in Dartmouth, N.S.; Owen Sound, Ont.; Houston, Texas, and Singapore.

Organizations: Aspin Kemp and Associates

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Owen Sound, Ontario Montague Stratford Dartmouth Nova Scotia Houston, Texas Singapore

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Recent comments

  • intobed
    March 08, 2014 - 15:50

    While I think it is great when a company moves to PEI and brings a payroll, I have some questions. If this company started a few years ago in Stratford, why is the company headquarters in Ontario? Are all 25 jobs being transferred down from Ontario? Will the people transferred be getting a taxpayer wage subsidy as this will be considered a new business?

    • GrombyTues
      March 11, 2014 - 00:35

      The company didn't start in Strat. They opened a new office in Strat few years ago. They outgrew first building and bought another in stratford. Then built addition to it when it was outgrown. Then rented new space at poole's corner. Now needing more office space are moving work to Montague. Montague will not be 100% of the jobs from Ont. Some will be new, some from Ont, some from Strat.

  • Very good location
    March 08, 2014 - 11:19

    Great News for sure,@ caringgal,,Richard must been down in the dumps that he did not have the opportunity to buy that beautiful building for a loonie and have it for the town hall.

  • Former resident
    March 08, 2014 - 09:45

    Congrats, AK&A! Great to see this happen for Montague. I hope Tyler's tree will be there as he would be smiling proudly from Heaven.

  • Billy
    March 07, 2014 - 21:12

    Nice to hear, new jobs and all. However, one has to do the math, 25 jobs, 2 million plus payroll, government paid 800 thousand for a building they are leasing for how much? What does this company do, technology ?? Islander or not, keep an eye on this one.

    • Dirtysailor
      March 08, 2014 - 13:22

      Hmmm...let me see. A company that provides innovative and technically advanced products and services in the marine and offshore oil and gas industries...locating near a shipyard...makes sense to me as there will no doubt be spin offs with this...and yes I do know what they do as we use thier systems and engineering daily...perhaps one would be better off reading about the company before making accusations with little or no knowledge...25 jobs is better than 0!

  • Hooorrray for Aspin Kemp& Associates
    March 07, 2014 - 20:36

    That's the best news this brought to us taxpayers since they were elected, Now will they stay will be another question, but in all regards good job well done.

  • jackofalltrades
    March 07, 2014 - 19:58

    Wow! People complain about the government not doing enough to bring full time jobs to PEI, especially in the rural areas, but when there is this kind of announcement they still complain. Be happy there are new jobs being created and be supportive, who knows it could lead to more jobs down the road

  • Have to wait and see
    March 07, 2014 - 18:36

    let's see if history repeats itself. the government has a history of unsuccessful ventures with private business especially in the Montague area. there is no risk for the business as they are likely getting the lease for much less than they would pay in the free market. also there have been promises of jobs in the past but unlike the government, private business can't guarantee jobs. there is nothing innovative or new about this approach and there is a low success rate of creating jobs of any kind, let alone islanders for this type of venture. i would suspect with this specialized business most jobs will go to non-islanders in the end. new families and people to the area yes? good for the economic growth of Montague and the island? Doubtful

    • History of failure!!!
      March 07, 2014 - 21:33

      I agree totally with your comments; especially that this Ghiz government has a history of failure in job creation!

  • Melissa Halliday
    March 07, 2014 - 16:06

    That is such good news for Montague! Let's hope that they stay.

  • Fed up
    March 07, 2014 - 15:45

    I wonder just how many new jobs this will create....for ISLANDERS?!? I doubt very many. How can $375,000 create 25 new jobs? For how long? Not very big pay if you divide by 25...mmmm

    • huh
      March 08, 2014 - 08:40

      Given PEI's employment situation, how many new jobs would it take to be satisfactory to folks like you? 100? 1,000?

  • caringgal
    March 07, 2014 - 15:31

    Congrats to Al Roach and govt for bringing this business to Montague.The absence of Mayor Collins was obvious.He was drinking coffee at a local shop.

    • Yes daresay
      March 07, 2014 - 16:48

      lololol You nailed it.

  • scott
    March 07, 2014 - 15:23

    Don, you have to be one of the most negative people I've ever had the displeasure of reading comments from on here. You nary have a good word to say about anything reported. It's always negative, negative negative. You must be a complete joy at a party.... If l your life is that bad that your this down on everything, perhaps you should lift your butt up off that seat, get away from the computer and make your life better. In liu of that, maybe stop posting . We dont need to see your rediculous, hateful comments.

  • Welcome
    March 07, 2014 - 14:00

    Welcome (back) to Montague Jason Aspin and Associates!! Good news!!

  • don
    March 07, 2014 - 12:59

    they have no money for islanders but a bottomless bank for non islanders. here we go another OCI. money gone they gone.

    • therod
      March 07, 2014 - 15:00

      Jason Aspin is an islander bringing his business back home.

  • Dirtysailor
    March 07, 2014 - 11:12

    I live in PEI and am currently working on a vessel in South East Asia. I work everyday with the products and engineering that AKA supplies...well done!

  • Is Stratford Asleep at The Switch?
    March 07, 2014 - 10:56

    This company has a significant presence in Stratford. Is the town of Stratford letting an opportunity slip away?

    • slippery guy
      March 07, 2014 - 11:38

      Not letting anything slip away, the government is paying to have the jobs in Montague, now the company knows that whenever it wants, the government will come up with money to keep jobs in a place the company would otherwise likely not be in.

  • Wayne Phelan
    March 07, 2014 - 10:53

    Welcome to Montague! Rural PEI needs all it can get in terms of new businesses.