Friday, 30 December 2016 09:27

While 2016 was a very busy and challenging year for marine transportation worldwide, it was particulary active for the Chamber of Shipping as we adapted to working with a new federal government, continued to support industry through a challenging commercial period, formalized policy positions and advocacy strategies, and transitioned new leadership and staff.

Early in the year, the federal government tabled the Canada Transportation Act Review Report, and later announced its strategic plan for the Future of Transportation in Canada (Transportation 2030) and the broad programming initiatives of the Oceans Protection Plan. Both Pacific Northwest LNG and Trans Mountain Expansion projects received federal approval this year, providing a degree of optimism for new  investments into the local economy and marine industry in general.

While some outcomes in 2016 were tangible, some were less tangible and designed to prepare for and influence significant changes anticipated in 2017. These outcomes included increasing the awareness of our industry to elected and non-elected officials in the federal government. The Chamber aggressively increased its federal advocacy and is now the most active advocate for ship owners, operators, and agents in Canada. The impact of the federal advocacy included:

  • The smooth implementation of Verified Gross Mass requirements;
  • A negotiated 2017 tariff with the Pacific Pilotage Authority;
  • A federal government commitment to pursue greater transparency and reliability of rail transportation in the supply chain;
  • Several of our policy objectives in the Oceans Protection Plan, including;
    • A review of Pilotage Act;
    • Formalized marine spatial planning;
    • Recognition of a need for marine corridors;
    • Improved marine domain awareness; and
    • Fact and science based decision making.
  • Minimizing the impact of a moratorium. It will be a land-based moratorium and not impact the Right of Innocent Passage.
  • Increasing the awareness of Gateway fluidity issues.
  • Extending access to anchorages at Constance Bank.
  • Amendments to the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area (PNCIMA) Agreement.

While not an exhaustive list, we are expecting the following aspects to guide the Chamber’s advocacy efforts in 2017:

  • Several legislative initiatives, including:
    • Amendments to the Oceans Act, Navigation Protection Act, and the Canada Transportation Act;
    • Replacement of the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act with legislation covering a wider-scope of commodities;
    • New legislation to implement a moratorium in Northern BC.
  • The implementation of the Oceans Protection Plan following the 2017 Federal Budget in February.
  • Consideration of port privatization.
  • The commencement of reviewing the Pilotage Act.
  • The development and management of increased anchorages in BC.
  • The implementation of international conventions, including: the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments; and the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters.
  • The 2017 Federal Budget which is expected to include investment in transportation infrastructure.
  • The implementation of the PNCIMA and the desire to integrate the provincial Marine Plan Partnership (MaPP) under PNCIMA.
  • The increased involvement of First Nations in co-management.
  • An anticipated Supreme Court challenge of Section 35 of the Charter with respect to federal jurisdiction of waters.
  • The development and implementation of numerous marine protected areas.
  • The potential for regulation of ship-generated underwater noise.
  • The need to increase visibility and correct misinformation regarding commercial vessels.

The scope and complexity of challenges facing the industry is clearly significant and growing. While we must strive to reduce costs and increase efficiencies within the supply chain, vessel operators will likely face additional complexities from growth in certain commodity markets that will demand innovative solutions. It is inevitable that marine transportation will have increased visibility with the public, coastal communities, and the government in 2017 and that such visibility should be leveraged to explain how increasing trade benefits Canadians.

We intend to face these challenges by:

  • Focusing on the needs of Principal members.
  • Increasing our collaboration and advocacy with non-marine industry associations that represent industries that rely on marine transportation.
  • Building political visibility federally and provincially (BC and more).
  • Leveraging the influence of shippers when appropriate.
  • Increasing our exposure/influence with mainstream and social media.

We would like to thank the Chamber’s membership for its active involvement in 2016. The best outcomes typically emerge when the membership is engaged in identifying the need and is involved in developing a strategy to improve any given situation. We hope that you will be even more engaged next year. From the entire team at the Chamber, we wish you a Happy & Prosperous New Year!


Robert Lewis-Manning

COS Logo

Monday, 31 October 2016 17:34

415 T2

The Chamber of Shipping has submitted a conditional letter of support for the Robert Bank T2 development to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.  To read our submission view  pdf Roberts Bank T2 Endorsement Letter (149 KB) .

Thursday, 29 September 2016 08:20


Chamber of Shipping Calls on Federal Government to Support Trade on World Maritime Day 2016

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Vancouver – The United Nation’s International Maritime Organization celebrates World Maritime Day today with a theme to remind us that “Shipping is Indispensable to the World.”

Canada is a nation that is largely dependent on ships to move goods to and from coastal communities and international markets. An estimated 80 per cent of global trade by volume and 70 per cent by value are carried by sea and handled by ports worldwide.

Recognizing concerns voiced on the cumulative impact of shipping, we encourage the federal government to foster the collaboration on marine spatial planning that currently includes communities, Indigenous People and stakeholders, including the Chamber of Shipping. An integrated coastal strategy that is developed through meaningful dialogue and actions will protect our vital ecosystems and provide Canadians with greater certainty on the sustainability of their communities.

"Canada has an opportunity to get it right and develop a global model for sustainable marine transportation that supports trade in its strategy for coastal waters," states Robert Lewis-Manning, the President of the Chamber of Shipping.

The Chamber of Shipping is asking the federal government to:

  • Formally recognize low-impact marine trade corridors;
  • Review the cost of compliance and the competitiveness of Canadian gateways with respect to all fees paid by marine users;
  • Enhance the marine safety framework with a more robust Canadian Coast Guard and shared maritime domain awareness;
  • Establish policies and regulations based on facts and scientific research; and,
  • Continue its leadership role at the International Maritime Organization with a commitment to predictable international conventions.

 429 WMDlogo2016

Friday, 16 September 2016 08:38

428 wcmrc nanaimo

On April 27, 2017 the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau began consulting Canadians, stakeholders, and provinces and territories, and Indigenous groups to hear their views and discuss ideas for a long-term agenda for transportation in Canada.

The Minister focused on five themes:

  1. Safer transportation – How can we keep travellers and communities safe?
  2. Trade corridors to global markets – How can we get the best economic benefits from Canada's key trade routes to global markets?
  3. Green and innovative transportation – How can new technologies help us?
  4. The traveller – How can we provide Canadian travellers with better service as well as more, and more affordable choices?
  5. Waterways, coasts and the North – What improvements to the marine transportation system do you think would balance economic growth, greater environmental protection, and boating safety?

View our response to the Minister on the Future of Canada's Transportation System

Tuesday, 16 August 2016 11:59


The Federal Government has issued a draft Action Plan for consultation as part of this species’ recovery strategy, as required by the Species at Risk Act (SARA). These species were listed as Threatened and Endangered in 2003 and have not seen any noticeable positive change since then. Consequently, there is significant pressure on the Government to implement measures quickly. In fact, the government has already received over 9,000 submissions during this consultation, many of which identify shipping as a major contributor to underwater noise, and are demanding that the government implement a “moratorium” and stop any growth in marine transportation activity that might add to the noise profile until such time as the cumulative impact is understood. SARA is a powerful law and there are regulatory options in this law that could have a significant impact the marine industry.  

For more information read our submission to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016 15:10


Canada is well-positioned to increase trade in North America and globally which will build prosperity for Canadians and businesses across Canada. Such trade will positively leverage numerous industries, including agriculture, wood products, manufacturing, tourism, natural resources, and renewable and non-renewable energy.

Promoting a safe, efficient, and competitive transportation framework is essential to Canada’s prosperity and competitiveness in a global marketplace. This must be achieved in a sustainable manner that respects the importance of the marine eco-system and its value to Canadians.

A safe, efficient and competitive marine transportation framework should include:

  1. A Canadian Coast Guard that has the statutory authority to manage and enforce international and national regulations for marine transportation while providing key services to Canadians, including environmental response, icebreaking, search and rescue, marine traffic management and management of navigational aids.

  2. Establishment and promotion of trade corridors on the land and the sea that enable international and domestic trade safely and efficiently while safeguarding the marine environment. This should include federal government leadership in marine spatial planning that assures waterways are managed appropriately.

  3. A cost recovery framework for marine and port services that is transparent, reduces red-tape, and makes Canada's Marine Transportation System competitive in North America. Current fees are imposed on marine carriers through disparate processes that do not include a dispute resolution process, and may not be funding the delivery of crucial marine services. 

  4. Promotion of fact-based decision making that leverages scientific research, industry data, and innovative and emerging technologies.

The Chamber of Shipping represents the interests of transportation carriers, agents, shippers and service providers responsible for over 60% of Canadian international and domestic trade. Our members are supportive of transportation excellence which includes a competitive and sustainable transportation system that protects the marine ecosystem.

Annex A - Establish Trade Corridors to Enable Trade

Annex B - Enhance Canada's Supply Chain Competitiveness

Annex C - Build Canada's Marine Safety Framework for the Future

Annex D - Develop Comprehensive Fact-based Policy and Regulations


Download our 2016 Policy Objectives


Wednesday, 27 July 2016 15:08

Burrard Inlet

Canada’s reputation as a world leading trading partner should include a clear governance framework for managing and protecting trade corridors through comprehensive marine spatial planning. This should be delivered under the auspices of federal agencies with strengthened roles and clear responsibilities. The current framework relies upon the statutory authority of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and to a limited extent, Environment and Climate Change Canada through its agency, Parks Canada. This inevitably leads to a patchwork of initiatives and often does not include the necessary expertise or data to support informed planning. The current approach is not optimizing protection of the environment or trade.

Canada is a trading nation with over 60 per cent of our annual gross domestic product and one in every five Canadian jobs being directly linked to exports. This strong position could grow substantially with further trade agreements such as the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), and Can/U.S. Pre-clearance Agreements. Marine transportation is a critical enabler to domestic and international trade and vital to the North American and Global Supply chain. Shipping accounts for 90 per cent of good transported around the world and, in more remote communities in Canada, it provides the necessities of life.

The establishment of Marine Trade Corridors should include a comprehensive marine spatial planning strategy. Key elements to this planning include:A clear governance framework between federal and provincial departments, and Indigenous People that outlines roles and responsibilities;

  1. Statutory recognition of the economic importance of trade to Canadians, and the importance of commercial marine shipping in the export of Canadian commodities and manufactured goods, the movement of people, and to tourism;

  2. Recognition of the need to conduct marine commerce in a sustainable fashion that respects the importance of the ocean and its value to Canadians and Indigenous people. This should include an objective of de-coupling growth from environmental impact;

  3. Respect for international conventions established by the United Nations and the International Maritime Organization, as consistency in expectations is crucial for the global marine industry;

  4. A focus on marine safety, pollution and spill prevention preparedness and response;

  5. Support and optimization of short sea shipping, as it affords environmental benefits over other modes of transportation, especially in reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions;

  6. A management plan for the use of anchorage areas and places of refuge;

  7. A focus on transparency that includes the integration of technologies such as radar, Automatic Information Systems, and remote sensing. This might also include aspects of commercial and regulatory reporting that could be beneficial to the efficiency of the transportation framework;

  8. Promotion of fact-based and transparent decision-making that leverages scientific research and open-source industry data; and

  9. Measured objectives and an adaptive management strategy.

Formal recognition of low-impact marine corridors must be done in collaboration with all marine stakeholders, including the United States where corridors affect both countries. Canadians and Indigenous People expect comprehensive, transparent, and inclusive management of Canadian waters and waterways. A coordinated and cohesive marine spatial planning strategy delivered by Transport Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Parks Canada, Natural Resources Canada, and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada is essential to ensuring the safe and effective flow of goods by commercial shipping.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016 15:06

414 momi arrow4Canada has been gradually increasing its market share of international trade volumes in the Asia Pacific. The success of the Western Gateway can be attributed to strategic investments in infrastructure, competitive pricing and labour stability. Building on this success is a significant amount of private sector investment in Canadian ports and marine terminals. An efficient and cost–effective transportation system is critical in supporting these investments. 

With further commitments to increase federal funding in infrastructure, it is critical that the cumulative impact of cost recovery for infrastructure, added services and competition for rail service does not erode competitiveness of Canadian gateways. 

Competitiveness in our trade corridors can be realized by:

  1. A regional process that is tasked with overseeing the competitiveness of our gateways from an overall cost and regulatory compliance perspective. Such an authority should aim to reduce red-tape and cost to industry and the consumer;

  2. Supporting principles under the User Fee Act while streamlining and making consistent the fee approval process throughout the supply chain. Federal departments and ports must be able to react to changes in service level requirements;

  3. Requiring transparent service level agreements and standards where monopolistic services exist supported by a common and clear dispute resolution mechanism;

  4. Administrative monetary penalties that are reasonable and designed to improve performance and compliance. Federal departments should not impose harsh punitive penalties to companies that are self-reporting or acting in good faith;

  5. Developing incentives for short-sea shipping as feeder services to larger deep-sea vessels. Short-sea shipping provides numerous environmental, cost, and social benefits. Including reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions;

  6. New trusted trader programs to reduce administrative burden on federal departments and domestic and foreign carriers; and

Encouraging the adoption of new technologies to manage compliance and add efficiencies in risk assessment and inspections.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016 15:04

422 Kitsbase1Canada has an enviable marine safety record that continues to deliver transportation in diverse and challenging conditions. This is the product of a strong safety culture, comprehensive international and national regulations, and a pollution preparedness and response framework that has evolved to respond to the growth in marine commerce in Canada.

While Canada’s marine industry enjoys an excellent safety record, it must seek continuous improvement, especially as growth in Canadian and international trade is expected in the future. Canada’s safety framework must be sufficiently adaptive to recognize the increased interest by regional and local communities to be more involved in the protection of the environment in which it operates. Furthermore, the safety framework of tomorrow should incorporate advanced technologies that could provide advanced warning of potential risks, increased transparency, and support supply chain efficiencies.

An effective Canadian Marine Safety Framework should comprise the following:

  1. An efficient and effective Pilotage regime that addresses regional characteristics while respecting the competiveness of the supply chain. As the sole provider of this service, the regime should be accountable to achieving service levels and performance metrics agreed to between pilot corporations and industry. Compulsory pilotage areas and boarding stations should be reviewed periodically in view of advancements in technology and changes in vessel traffic to validate the risks and the appropriate mitigation strategy. The current regional approach, with certain additional measures, is preferred over a national model and has generally been effective;

  2. A Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) with the appropriate statutory authority to properly fulfil its current mandate, including incident command and pollution preparedness and response. Consideration should be made for a greater role and increased statutory authority, including marine safety and security, environmental stewardship, and port state control;

  3. A coastal domain awareness system that integrates both real-time and non-real-time data could provide multiple federal departments with detailed situation reports with the integration of radar, AIS transponders, meteorological sensors, spill response details, and consolidated pre-arrival information. The system could be automated to monitor traffic in and around conservation or sensitive areas and calculate the environmental performance of each vessel.  Data should be made available to the public where possible in a transparent manner from a trusted source to help restore confidence in coastal communities and Indigenous People;

  4. An overhaul of the current vessel reporting and clearance system that establishes the CCG as the single point of contact for vessel reporting. The framework should be modelled similar to the US National Vessel Movement Center, potentially reducing the administrative burden on vessels and ships agents and providing a platform for improving the quality of marine data. The single window approach for vessel clearance is making significant progress at the IMO’s Facilitation Committee and Canada has the opportunity to take best practices and lessons learned from other nations and develop a platform that serves not only the regulatory needs of the various departments but will also serve as a means of providing controlled levels of transparency to all stakeholders;

  5. Consideration for expanding CCG vessel traffic services to include vessel traffic direction in areas where positive control would provide increased risk mitigation and commercial predictability. While movement restricted areas have procedures for managing vessel traffic within tidal windows, an increased level of order or enforcement of the procedures would provide commercial marine users with greater certainty when arranging pilotage, tugs and labour.

  6. A CCG icebreaking fleet with sufficient vessels to cover current commitments in all regions. This will include ship construction in accordance with the current plan for fleet renewal under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, and interim measures to fulfil existing and anticipated capability gaps in the short-term. While the plan to renew the fleet under the National Shipbuilding Strategy is sound, the delivery of new vessels will be lengthy and the CCG already lacks sufficient resources to fulfil it mandates associated with icebreaking and aids to navigation. The CCG is extremely challenged to support icebreaking in the winter concurrently in the Great Lakes, St Lawrence and East Coast regions and then be prepared to support summer operations in the Arctic. This negatively affects the competiveness of Canadian ports and, in the Arctic, it could have drastic negative impacts for Arctic communities that rely upon resupply by ship; and

  7. Consideration for a coastal salvage capability.

  8. Financial assistance or incentives to terminals and port operators focussed on improving dock safety and waterways to accommodate larger vessels. 

Wednesday, 27 July 2016 15:00

whalesCommercial marine shipping prefers predictability in the regulatory environment, especially as the capital investments associated with vessels and infrastructure are significant and must be made for a horizon outward of twenty years. In certain situations, regulations affecting the marine industry have been made in isolation and without a comprehensive understanding of the technical, operational, and commercial realities of shipping.

In addition to having a predictable regulatory environment, commercial marine shipping is regulated globally and must be prepared to trade in new global markets. In order for this to happen, a predictable and harmonized regulatory approach is essential, especially with Canada’s major trading partners.

The Marine Transportation Framework of the future should include:

  1. Access to key supply chain data so as to accurately influence transportation policy and regulatory development;
  2. The integration of scientific research from the public and private sector;
  3. A capacity to seamlessly collect information from multiple sources, including the commercial industry, and other government departments and agencies; and

Additional authority and capability for both Transport Canada and the Canadian Transportation Agency to collect and analyze data;