Port community loses two long-serving executives

By Alex Binkley

David Cree will step down as President and CEO of Windsor Port Authority this year, the second veteran port boss to retire in recent months. Last year it was Don Krusel who retired as President and CEO of Prince Rupert Port Authority. Krusel is widely seen as the architect of Prince Rupert’s rise to prominence from coastal obscurity while Cree showed the way to keep a small port nimble and vital to the local community.

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Ottawa in discussions on icebreakers with Chantier Davie

By Alex Binkley

Such is the political embarrassment caused by the sorry state of the Canadian icebreaking fleet that Prime Minister Trudeau personally announced in mid-January the launch of negotiations with Chantier Davie Canada Inc. for the lease of four icebreakers. The move came a month after Michael Byers, a UBC Professor and Arctic expert, issued an urgent call for Ottawa to change course on its plan to build a heavy duty polar icebreaker when what is needed are four or five medium-duty icebreakers. He said in his report Onto the Rocks that Davie was the logical candidate for the contract because it has already refitted Louis St. Laurent, Canada’s old icebreaker, and converted a container ship into a navy resupply vessel. Davie had already offered to refit American polar icebreakers for service in Canada. The federal-Davie negotiations were continuing as Canadian Sailings was going to press and neither side would comment on the details.

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Ports want action on replacing old infrastructure to meet anticipated export growth

Ports want action on replacing old infrastructure to meet anticipated export growth

By Alex Binkley

With two trade agreements in hand and exports of grain and other food products on the rise, Canada’s major ports are under pressure to replace aging infrastructure, says Wendy Zatylny, President of the Association of Canadian Port Authorities (ACPA). In a late January interview about issues facing the ports as well as during an appearance before the Senate agriculture committee in late 2017, she raised the need for the 18 main Port Authorities to deal with antiquated infrastructure. Zatylny says that positive economic signs plus the free trade deal with Europe that came into effect last year and the Comprehensive and Progress Trans-Pacific Partnership pact to be signed in March add to the reasons the ports want to proceed with infrastructure replacement and upgrades. The ports “currently have a $1.9 billion requirement to replace legacy infrastructure, and also require funding to support advanced infrastructure while handling this increased throughput,” she said. The $1.9 billion in projects were identified in a study conducted jointly with Transport Canada to identify the overall port needs, she said, and “an additional $4 billion is needed for other infrastructure projects”.

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Tanker ban bill contrary to the Law of the Sea and ignores the reality of maritime transport

By Alex Binkley

Federal legislation to ban oil tankers from the northern section of the British Columbia coast is inconsistent with provisions of the U.N. Law of the Sea and should be subject to regular reviews, shipowner groups say.

In submissions to the Commons Transport Committee study on the bill, the Chamber of Shipping and the Shipping Federation of Canada called the bill an unjustified move that interferes with maritime commerce. Meanwhile the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represents the world’s national shipowner associations and 80 per cent of the world merchant fleet, warned, “Such a draconian step could lead to serious concerns being raised by Canada’s international trading partners.” Simon Bennett, ICS’s Director of Policy and External Relations, said, “We would instead encourage Canada to continue its strong history of environmental protection and support for responsible global trade through the implementation of practical measures consistent with international best practices. This includes respecting IMO’s’s role in developing safe and sustainable shipping regulations and recommendations that might address any concerns that Canada may have.” The global shipping industry “fully recognizes the importance of robust environmental protection measures, and is committed to the goal of zero pollution, consistent with the comprehensive global regulatory framework adopted by the IMO in accordance with the U.N. Law of the Sea to which Canada is a State Party,” he said.

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Pilotage review keeping busy

By Alex Binkley

Marc Grégoire has spent his first weeks as Chairman of the Review of the Pilotage Act commissioning studies, gathering the views of shipowners and others in the industry, and reading as much as he can on the issues.

It’s not that pilotage is new to Grégoire, a former Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard and former Assistant Deputy Minister of Safety and Security at Transport Canada. He notes in an interview that, except for some minor amendments in 1998, the Pilotage Act hasn’t been touched since it was passed in 1972. The maritime sector, like other transportation modes, has undergone a technological revolution since then. Grégoire says he wants to ensure all possible topics are fully covered by the review.

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