The Nanaimo Port Authority will be holding a number of Public Engagement Open Houses during 2018. The first Open House is scheduled for Thursday February 22 at the Port Theatre, 4PM to 7PM – Mezzanine Level. The Board of Directors & Senior Staff will be in attending and updates will be provided on the following:
The Government of Canada has introduced Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts in the House of Commons. The key proposal is a assessment process that shifts away from “environmental assessments” towards “impact assessments”, which will consider socioeconomic impacts of a project in addition to environmental considerations. According to the Environment Minister, this process will also consider whether projects are consistent with Canada’s climate change commitments under the Paris Agreement. Impact assessments will be overseen by a new agency called the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.
With respect to navigable waters, the legislation includes amendments to the Navigation Protection Act, that will:
The Canadian Coast Guard, and Environment and Climate Change Canada will hold its second round of Pacific Dialogue Forums for the Government of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan on March 8 & 9 in Prince Rupert. This upcoming engagement session will seek further input of select ongoing initiatives, along with the introduction of several new initiatives. Topics of focus will include:
On behalf of the Canadian Coast Guard, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit bids for the lease of two vessels capable of towing large commercial ships in distress off the coast of British Columbia. These vessels will be leased by the Canadian Coast Guard and operated by crews trained in Canadian Coast Guard emergency response and search and rescue procedures. The RFP closes on March 20, 2018.
Transport Canada issued a news release stating that $12.6 million over three years to the Nunavut Fisheries and Marine Training Consortium to deliver a Marine Training Program in the North. he Marine Training Program will reduce barriers to marine training for underrepresented groups in the marine labour force, such as women, Northerners, Inuit and Indigenous peoples. The Nunavut Fisheries and Marine Training Consortium will establish a marine training facility in Hay River, Northwest Territories through partnership with the Government of Northwest Territories. The Consortium will also expand its existing training program in Nunavut and Nunavik. Funding will help curricula development and the purchase of new specialized marine training equipment.
Following an extensive and rigorous selection procedure, the Board of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has announced that Guy Platten will assume the role of Secretary General upon the retirement of Peter Hinchliffe, who has held the position since 2010. Mr. Platten will step down from his role as CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping to take up the ICS role in mid-2018. Also in recognition of his long and invaluable contribution to the work of the ICS, Simon Bennett, currently Director Policy and External Relations, is promoted to a new position as Deputy Secretary General.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has signed a new partnership agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to promote sustainable shipping through a range of safety and environment-focused capacity-building activities in the maritime and port sectors. It brings together IMO, the United Nations maritime agency which sets global standards for safe, secure, efficient and environment-friendly international shipping, and the multilateral development bank EBRD, which has experience in supporting comprehensive transport related development activities and practices in the maritime and port sectors.
IMO’s pollution prevention and response sub-committee (PPR 5) met this week and proposed that IMO consider implementing a worldwide ban on the carriage of non-compliant marine fuels to encourage the enforcement of the 0.5% global marine sulphur cap in 2020. The Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC), which has consultative status at IMO, welcomed the recommendation that the IMO imposes the ban at its MEPC meeting in April. IMO PPR also agreed to move forward with the consideration of measures to control black carbon emissions from ships and their impact on the Arctic.
Seaspan Corporation has purchased two 2006-built geared 2500 TEU containerships and entered into fixed rate time charter agreements for the vessels with Maersk Line A/S ("Maersk"). The time charters will be for a term of four years with options for up to an additional two years at increasing charter rates. Seaspan’s operating and managed fleet, including newbuilds, will expand to 112 vessels, of which 18 vessels will be in Seaspan’s managed fleet.
Two of the largest non-operating container shipowners have merged their chartering operations, creating probably the biggest exclusively managed tramp container ship fleet. German shipowner Peter Döhle and Greek owner Costamare advised their clients in a 1 February circular that their chartering desks have now been integrated in a company called Blue Net Chartering. Headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, the chartering outfit will be in charge of marketing a combined fleet of 220 container vessels with an aggregate capacity of 1.1 million TEU. The official launch took place on 1 February.
In the wake of last week’s industry arbitration ruling regarding new safety measures for grain loading in inclement weather, the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) has responded quickly to address the concerns. The BCMEA is in the midst of procedural and training development, while grain stevedores work to train foremen and obtain the required fall protection equipment specified in the arbitrator’s decision.
Collective bargaining has started between the BC Maritime Employers Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union–Canada (ILWU–Canada) on behalf of Longshore Locals (500, 502, 505, 508 and 519) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Ship and Dock Foreman Local 514. All parties remain optimistic that bargaining will result in new agreements without any disruptions to cargo shipments or port operations. The existing agreement expires at the end of next month.
Community groups opposed to the coal facility proposed for Fraser Surrey Docks have lost a four-year-long legal battle challenging the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s approval of the project. Ecojustice lawyers argued in May 2017, on behalf of concerned parties, that the Port didn’t have the legal power to approve the project and that it was “biased in its decision-making.” The case was heard in Vancouver on May 18, 2017, and Justice James O’Reilly of the Federal Court in Ottawa released his judgment and reasons on Jan. 15 for dismissing the case. “I can find no basis for overturning the Port Authority’s decisions — they were made fairly and lawfully, and untainted by a reasonable apprehension of bias,” O’Reilly said in his judgment and reasons. “They were made fairly and lawfully, and untainted by a reasonable apprehension of bias. I must, therefore, dismiss this application for judicial review.”
The Montreal Port Authority has submitted plans to develop a new container terminal on its land in Contrecoeur on Montreal's South Shore, a land reserve it acquired between 1988 and 1992. The project submitted to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency marks a key milestone for the project. When completed, the terminal will add 1.14 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) per year pushing Monteral's capacity to 2.1 million TEUs. The plan is to create a new 675-metre platform with eight cranes and a container storage yard by 2023, but it is subject to federal government approval on two fronts: Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Western chorus frogs were last in the news in Quebec after the federal government halted a development project in La Prairie in 2016 with an emergency order to protect the frogs' habitat. Environment Canada lists the population of the Western chorus frog as "threatened," specifically in the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes areas. On top of the famous frog, the study also points to the Copper redhorse, a North American species of freshwater fish unique to Quebec. Fisheries and Oceans Canada considers the copper redhorse to be endangered — only a couple of hundred fish are thought to remain between Valleyfield and Sorel.
The BC government is creating more uncertainty around Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain expansion project (TMEP) with a proposal to restrict any increase in diluted bitumen shipments until it conducts more spill response studies. The Province will create an independent scientific advisory panel to help address the scientific uncertainties outlined in the report, The Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel: The Behaviour and Environmental Impacts of Crude Oil Released into Aqueous Environments. The recommendations of the advisory panel will inform future regulatory development and approaches to spill response. While the advisory panel is proceeding, the Province is proposing regulatory restrictions to be placed on the increase of diluted bitumen transportation. Alberta's Premier Notley has retaliated by suspending talks with BC on the purchase of electricity, representing revenues of about $500 million to the province annually.
The Government of Canada, World Economic Forum (WEF), and other global partners are testing a new concept in border security, which will let travellers digitize their personal information and share it with airport and government authorities before traveling. The Known Traveller Digital Identity prototype, launched at this week’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, aims to exploit an array of emerging technologies including biometrics, blockchain and artificial intelligence to boost cross-border security, reduce the threat of cyber-terrorism and streamline international travel, according to the WEF. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Canadian Border Services Agency and Transport Canada are involved in discussions about implementation.
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has rejected Vancouver Energy's permit to develop a crude oil distribution facility that would include a rail unloading facility, storage tanks, and a vessel loading area on a 42 acre site along the Columbia River in southwest Washington state. Vancouver Energy, a joint venture of Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies had proposed to bring up to 360,000 barrels of North American crude oil by rail to the port daily for shipment to refineries in Alaska, California and Washington. The project developers have 30 days to appeal the governor's decision.