OTTAWA- The Government of Canada recognizes the important role seafarers play in moving people and the many goods Canadians rely on every day. Keeping them safe as they work to support Canada’s economy — even during challenging times — is an important priority. Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, in collaboration with the Canadian marine community, announced the establishment of the National Seafarers’ Welfare Board.
As part of Canada’s commitment to the International Labour Organization’s Maritime Labour Convention, the National Seafarers’ Welfare Board will act as a forum for coordinating seafarer welfare in Canada. It will promote maritime workers’ access to recreational, cultural and medical services, as well as shore-based welfare facilities. The Board will also advise the government on policy and regulatory issues such as shore leave and crew changes.
The Board is composed of representatives from labour unions, marine missions located in ports across the country, ship owners, terminals, ports, and agents representing foreign vessel owners in Canada. Transport Canada will act as a Secretariat providing coordination and support for the Board’s meetings and activities.
The Board’s first elected Chairperson is Debbie Murray of the Association of Canadian Port Authorities. She is supported by co-chairs Peter Lahay of the International Transport Workers’ Federation and Dr. Jason Zuidema of the North American Maritime Ministry Association.