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Marine Atlantic has found itself at the centre of an international conflict involving China.

Last month, Marine Atlantic awarded a $100-million, five-year contract with Sweden’s Stena North Sea, to lease a new ferry to run between port aux basque and North Sydney.

But that Swedish company subcontracted construction of the 200-metre, 1,000 passenger vessel to a state-owned shipyard in China.

The ferry will be delivered in 2024, and Marine Atlantic has the option to buy the vessel from Stena North Sea at the end of the five-year charter.

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Canada’s shipbuilding industry is upset over losing the work, especially since two Canadians have been detained for nearly a thousand days in a Chinese prison as victims of what Ottawa has called “hostage diplomacy.”

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