Environmental concerns over a proposal to open Canada's only commercial spaceport near the small community of Canso, NS have been raised. While not for Canada’s “space force,” the Canso Spaceport Facility is a proposed 20-hectare site aimed at attracting firms that want to put satellites into orbit. The project's backer, Maritime Launch Services, was recently informed by Nova Scotia's environment minister it must address a number of concerns before it can proceed with the project, including a response to any accidental discharge of unsymmetrical dimenthyl hydrazine (UDH) on the land or surface water. Nova Scotia's Environment Minister Margaret Miller has determined that the environmental assessment requires further work and the company has one year to provide additional information and studies. The $155M spaceport plans to have 8 launches by 2022.
Congratulations to Christopher J. Giaschi, partner at Giaschi & Margolis, for his appointment as judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver. He replaces Justice S.A. Griffin, who was appointed to the Court of Appeal effective February 6, 2018.
The Québec Port Authority (QPA) has appointed Don Krusel as the new managing director of the Port of Québec's $190M container terminal project. The Port of Québec has expansion plans in the Beauport sector that would see 17 hectares of graded land added to adjacent available lands, for an additional 610 metre wharf line with a depth of 16 meters. The Port of Québec would use the new land to build a new deepwater container terminal with direct intermodal access to major rail and highway networks. With the new container terminal and its 15 metre draft, the St. Lawrence River will finally boast a real alternative to the deepwater ports of the Eastern Seaboard.
One Ocean Expeditions’ ship, Akademik Ioffe, ran aground in the western Gulf of Boothia near Kugaaruk, Nunavut, last Friday. None of the 160 passengers and crew were injured aboard the Russian-owned 1989-built passenger ship and no pollution was detected from the damaged hull. One Ocean Expeditions sent the sister ship, Akademik Sergey Vavilov, to transfer and transport the passengers to Kugaaruk. The CCGS Amundsen and its helicopter were on scene assisting in the safe transfer. The Akademik Ioffe was refloated and the owners are awaiting confirmation of the next port of call to effect repairs.
Great video with Mario Pelletier, Canadian Coast Guard Deputy Commissioner of Operations, reporting on the arrival of new icebreakers. After travelling more than 3400 nautical miles and 14 days from Landskrona, Sweden, the three medium icebreakers arrived in Quebec and will soon join the Canadian Coast Guard fleet. The first of three icebreakers is expected to be operational this winter.
The Canadian Grain Commission’s grain safety certification programs are now recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). The Canadian Grain Commission programs has met internationally accepted science-based standards in food safety management putting Canada in a stronger position to help grain handling companies meet both international regulatory and market-driven food safety demands.
The Canadian International Trade Tribunal has initiated an inquiry on the dumping and subsidizing of certain cold-reduced flat-rolled sheet products of carbon steel (alloy and non-alloy), in coils or cut lengths, in thicknesses up to 0.142 inches (3.61 mm) and widths up to 73 inches (1 854 mm) inclusive, originating in or exported from the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Each person or government wishing to participate in the inquiry and at the hearing as a party must file a notice of participation with the Tribunal on or before September 7, 2018. Further details regarding this inquiry, including the schedule of key events, are contained in the documents entitled “Additional Information” and “Inquiry Schedule” appended to the notice of commencement of inquiry available on the Tribunal’s website.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has released new mandate letters for the Ministers appointed in July's cabinet shuffle, including Jim Carr, new Minister of International Trade and Diversification, Jonathan Wilkinson, new Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, François-Philippe Champagne, new Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Bill Blair, new Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction. Changes to parliamentary secretaries have also been announced, including Terry Beech, MP Burnaby North – Seymour, who moves from Fisheries and Oceans to Transport.
The US Coast Guard's Inspections and Compliance Directorate issued Marine Safety Alert 14-18, “Don’t Forget About Gangways and Ladders,” following the death of a vessel pilot who died while boarding a vessel when its gangway separated from the vessel, causing two persons to fall into the water. Although the investigation is still underway and additional facts are being gathered, this casualty serves as another reminder that shipboard equipment that seems benign can quickly become a hazard to persons boarding and departing a vessel.
The US Coast Guard has also issued a Marine Safety Alert following reports from crews, ship owners, inspectors and other mariners regarding poor reception on VHF frequencies used for radiotelephone, digital selective calling (DSC) and automatic identification systems (AIS) when in the vicinity of light emitting diode (LED) lighting on-board ships (e.g., navigation lights, searchlights and floodlights, interior and exterior lights, adornment). If the noise floor is found to have been raised, then it is likely that both shipboard VHF marine radio and AIS reception are being degraded by LED lighting. In order to determine the full impact of this interference, the Coast Guard requests those experiencing this problem to report their experiences to the Coast Guard Navigation Center.
The Coast Guard Marine Safety Center issued the 10th Ballast Water Management System Type Approval Certificate to Wartsila Water Systems, Ltd. The treatment principle of the Wartsila Aquarius EC BWMS consists of filtration with electrolysis during uptake and neutralization at discharge. This approval covers models with maximum treatment rated capacities between 250 m3/h and 4,000 m3/h.
The British Columbia Maritime Employers Association and ILWU Canada have jointly reached an agreement on the Industry Drug and Alcohol Policy. This Agreement has been ratified by both parties ahead of the implementation of Bill C-45, Cannabis Act. The Policy will be included in the Black Book Document and will form part of the BCMEA – ILWU Canada Collective Agreement.
Canadian Pacific Railway moved 25.8 MMT of western Canadian grain and grain products, soybeans and other non-regulated principal field crops during the 2017-2018 crop year, up 1 percent over the 2016-2017 crop-year and 1 percent above its three-year average. CP's current estimate of the western Canadian crop size, based on Statistics Canada data, is 70.8 MMT. When adding potential carry-in into the 2018/19 crop year production, the total crop to move is estimated to be 83.4 MMT, 5 percent larger than the previous five-year average. Let’s all hope for a mild winter this year!
CN Rail recognized 40 of its customers and supply chain partners (including a number of our members) for their sustainability practices through its EcoConnexions Partnership Program. Under the program, companies pledge to work to reduce their carbon emissions, increase energy efficiency and drive sustainable business practices throughout the supply chain. In collaboration with Tree Canada, CN will plant 100,000 trees in 2018 in Canada and the United States to honour their sustainability efforts.
BC Ferries' first quarter results show the highest vehicle traffic levels in its 58-year history and the highest passenger traffic levels in over 20 years. Net earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2019 were $6.0 million, compared to net earnings of $17.3 million for the same quarter of the previous year due to reduced fares and more sailings.
The Government of Canada has released a discussion paper, Strengthening Marine Environmental Protection and Response: Potential Legislative Amendments, to provide information on the overall direction of the potential changes being considered to better protect marine environments from the impacts of shipping, strengthen the spill response regime, and support research and innovation.
A new Canadian Coast Guard search and rescue station will be built in Tahsis, BC to allow for an enhanced response to marine emergencies on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island. The new station will be home to a 14.7-metre Canadian Coast Guard lifeboat, and will operate 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year. It is expected to open in early 2020. The Government of Canada worked closely and in partnership with the Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nation in selecting the location for this new station.
The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has placed sanctions on two more Russian shipowners and their vessels for violating United Nations and US trade sanctions against North Korea. Primorye Maritime Logistics Co. Ltd. and Gudzon Shipping Co., the registered shipowners and managers of the Russian-flagged ship Patriot conducted two ship-to-ship transfers of oil for the benefit of North Korea, including 1,500 tons of oil to the Chong Rim 2 and 2,000 tons of oil to the Chon Ma San, both sanctioned North Korean-flagged vessels.