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Federal government announces
review of Canada's Pilotage Act

2017-06-02

McKeil Marine's Evans Spirit  won the International Bulk Journal's 2016 Ship of the Year Award during the IBJ's Salute to Excellence in the Maritime Bulk Industry gala awards ceremony in London, UK on November 21.
"It's a fantastic way to closeout our 60th anniversary year: having a vessel named after our founder, Evans McKeil, win this prestigious international award," said Steve Fletcher, President and CEO of McKeil Marine.
Acquired by McKeil in 2015, the Evans Spirit is a cargo ship with the shallow draught characters of a tug and barge; however, compared to a tug-and-barge unit, she can transport approximately 40 per cent more cargo about 50 per cent faster on a very similar amount of fuel.  She is in service throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
Evans Spirit was shortlisted for 2016 Ship of the Year competing with three other vessels: CS Bright, Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan;  Damen Shipyards, Netherlands; and MN Baroque, Swiss Marine, Switzerland. The award is presented to the owner, operator or builder of an outstanding individual bulk ship. Judged on operational efficiency, design innovation, safety and environmental protection, the Evans Spirit was selected as winner. (Photo Paul Beesley).

Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, has announced a review of the Pilotage Act, one of five initiatives within the context of the Liberal government's Oceans Protection Plan.

In Toronto on May 31, Minister McKenna launched a review of the Pilotage Act -the legislative and regulatory framework enacted in 1972 that ensures experienced marine pilots navigate ships safely through select waters in Canada. The Review will be chaired by Marc Grégoire, who is a former Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard and former Assistant Deputy Minister of Safety and Security at Transport Canada. Under Mr. Grégoire's leadership, the Review will focus on topics such as tariffs, service delivery, governance, and dispute resolution.

Commenting on the announcement, Fulvio Fracassi, CEO of the Laurentian Pilotage Authority (one of Canada's four pilotage authorities), said he believed that the areas identified for review "will assist in developing recommendations to improve and modernize" the pilotage legislation.

"Marine pilotage in Canada has a success rate of over 99%, providing Canadians with the assurance that ships in their waters are travelling safely to and from their destinations," noted Minister McKenna. "Under the Ocean's Protection Plan, this Pilotage Act Review is a commitment to ensuring Canada has the modern legislation and regulations needed to inspire this confidence."

The Oceans Protection Plan is a national strategy is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines and clean water for generations to come. The $1.5 billion strategy is delivering the largest investment ever made to protect Canada's coasts and waterways.

In Victoria, Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard announced that the Canadian Coast Guard will establish seven new lifeboat stations-an investment of $108.1 million over five years with ongoing funding of $12.2 million. The Canadian Coast Guard will also create 24/7 emergency management and response capacity within the three existing Regional Operations Centres across Canada to better plan and coordinate effective response during an incident. Minister LeBlanc also announced a five year, $75 million national Coastal Restoration Fund. This program will support marine habitat restoration priorities and address threats to marine species located on Canada's coasts and waterways. Projects will be selected and announced in the coming weeks so restoration activities can begin as soon as this summer and early fall.

In St. John's, Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced the launch of a national, five-year $6.85 million Abandoned Boats Program led by Transport Canada. This Program will facilitate the removal of existing smaller high-priority abandoned boats, educate boat owners about their responsibilities, and support research into improving recycling options for boats.

 
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