The Federal Maritime Commission that it will hold public hearings on January 16-17, 2018 to receive testimony from maritime industry witnesses regarding a petition filed by the Coalition for Fair Port Practices (Petition P4-16) that raised issues associated with detention, demurrage, and per diem charges.  The Commission voted at its September 20, 2017 meeting to hold these hearings after receiving staff’s analysis of the 115 public comments received in this matter. Both the volume of correspondence and variety of issues raised by comment filers demonstrated the complexity of the issue being raised in the petition and the need to not only gain more information, but to have the opportunity to engage stakeholders directly to better understand their perspectives.

Acting Chairman Michael A. Khouri stated, "I look forward to the opportunity to explore with the witnesses the issues raised by the Petition. One question is whether the Commission can craft a general rule of universal nationwide applicability on detention, demurrage, and per diem provisions given the wide variety of commercial terms and conditions that are incorporated into VOCC service contracts and in MTO tariffs nationwide to address various events and circumstances. A further consideration to be addressed is the various and disparate operating protocols used at the 250 plus marine terminal operators currently registered at the Commission."

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The Heiltsuk Nation is calling for the creation of an Indigenous Marine Response Centre capable of responding within five hours along a 350 kilometre stretch of the coast.  The centre proposal follows what the report calls the "inadequate, slow and unsafe" response to the October 2016 grounding of the tug the Nathan E. Stewart that spilled about 110,000 litres of diesel and other contaminants.  The report says the proposed centre, on Denny Island across from Bella Bella, and satellite operations dotted along the central coast, would need a total investment of $111.5 million to be operational by next summer.  Unlike current response programs which the report says are limited specifically to spills, the new centre would answer all marine calls with the potential for oil contamination, including groundings, fires, bottom contacts and capsizings. 

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The BC Trucking Association (BCTA) has appointed Dave Earle as President & Chief Executive Officer effective January 8, 2018. Dave Earle most recently provided service to BC’s building trade signatory contractors as Vice President, Government Relations and HR Services for the Construction Labour Relations Association of BC (CLR). Before CLR, he worked as an adviser, manager and executive director with the provincial Ministry of Labour’s Employers’ Advisers Office.  He will replace Louise Yako who announced earlier this year that she will be leaving the BCTA in December 2017.

Friday, 17 November 2017 15:25

Munroe appointed to VFPA Board

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Craig T. Munroe has been appointed to the board of directors of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, for a term of three years. Mr. Munroe is a recognized leader in British Columbia’s legal and business communities. Mr. Munroe, a practicing lawyer and a partner at Fasken Martineau, is a recognized leader in British Columbia’s legal and business communities. He is a member of the firm’s Labour, Employment and Human Rights group, and has been practicing law in British Columbia for over 18 years. 

Friday, 17 November 2017 15:20

PCT wins international bulk industry award

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Pacific Coast Terminals (PCT) has won a prestigious International Bulk Journal Award which recognizes achievements by individuals and companies that improve and enhance efficiency, safety and environment protection at bulk terminals around the world.  PCT has been awarded the 2017 Safety in Bulk Handling Award for their leadership and effective management of safety programs that have produced the lowest accident frequency and severity statistics than any other terminal in the Port of Vancouver. 

Friday, 17 November 2017 15:12

Canada invests in EMSA and Anchorages

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Marking the one-year anniversary of the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada has announced that $63 million of the OPP commitment will be dedicated to two initiatives, Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness (EMSA) and anchorages.  While $62.5 million will support the development of an accessible, real-time, common operating picture, $500k will go towards bringing together government, the marine industry, Indigenous groups and stakeholder communities to develop a sustainable national anchorage framework. This work will include an assessment of social and environmental impacts, development of a formal process to identify new anchorage spots, draft best practices, and propose options for management and oversight of these anchorages.  We released a statement this morning in support of the announcement. 

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Canada and the UK will lead a coalition of 20 countries planning to phase out the use of coal-fired power by 2030. Partners in the Powering Past Coal Alliance are working together to accelerate clean growth and climate protection through the rapid phase-out of traditional coal power.  The Alliance is committed to supporting clean power through their policies and investments and to restricting financing for traditional coal power without carbon capture and storage. The partners commit to making this transition in an economically inclusive way, with a just transition for workers and communities. The Powering Past Coal Alliance includes the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, the State of Washington and the City of Vancouver.  Canada is expected to move ahead with regulations that would force provinces to move away from coal-fired power.

Friday, 17 November 2017 15:00

New Arctic Policy Framework

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The Government of Canada is seeking input from Northerners and other interested Canadians on a new Arctic Policy Framework to replace Canada’s Northern Strategy (2010) and the Statement on Canada’s Arctic Foreign Policy (2009), to better align Canada’s national and international policy objectives with the priorities of Northerners. The new Framework will provide overarching direction to the Government of Canada’s priorities, activities, and investments in the Arctic, with a horizon of 2030.  To have your say visit Toward a new Arctic Policy Framework.

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Jonathan Wilkinson, Member of Parliament for North Vancouver and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced $1.4 million from Western Economic Diversifiction, to establish the Pacific Regional Institute for Marine Energy Discovery (PRIMED) at the University of Victoria (UVic). The institute, led by mechanical engineer Dr. Brad Buckham, will help develop and commercialize marine renewable energy technologies. Marine renewable energy is generated by moving water like tides, waves and river currents. PRIMED will bring together the skills, tools and knowledge of companies, academics to develop new marine energy sources for remote, off-grid communities in British Columbia. 

Also UVic will benefit from an investment of $1 million by the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation in conjunction with Seaspan Shipyards. The investment will support innovative teaching and hybrid electric technology research, led by Dr. Zuomin Dong in mechanical engineering, for cleaner and more environmentally friendly transportation solutions.


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The Government of Canada has contributed $849,170, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency's Innovative Community Fund to support upgrades at the Nova Scotia Community College's Nautical Institute in recognition that safety is a critical consideration for commercial shipping, the fisheries and other offshore activities. The upgrades include navigation simulator, a new voltage simulator, and new digital software that simulates ice conditions and Arctic navigation, facilitating work in the Northwest Passage.  

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The Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) posted the National Strategy for the Marine Transportation System: Channeling the Maritime Advantage. The Strategy provides guidance to the Federal interagency partnership under five priority areas: Optimizing System Performance; Enhancing Maritime Safety; Supporting Maritime Security; Advancing Energy Innovation and Development; and Facilitating Infrastructure Investment.

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The Port of Long Beach has been awarded a $2.4 million grant by the US Environmental Protection Agency to help three of its tenants replace equipment with zero-emission or cleanest-available equipment.  The funds awarded under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act go to support port tenants, Stevedoring Services of America (SSA), Foss Maritime and Curtin Maritime. SSA will retrofit three rubber-tired gantry cranes to all-electric operations, Foss and Curtin will retrofit four tugs to the newest and cleanest engines available. The projects are expected to reduce carbon dioxide by 15,606 tons over the next two decades, plus cut nitrogen oxide by 1,649 tons, carbon monoxide by 267 tons, diesel particulate matter by 61 tons and hydrocarbons by 40 tons. The equipment is scheduled to be in place by the end of 2019.

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