Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to meet with the Alberta and British Columbia premiers over the weekend to discuss the current dispute on the movement of diluted bitumen to the coast. Last Sunday, Kinder Morgan Canada suspended all spending on non-essential services related to the Trans Mountain Expansion Project until the uncertainty created by the provincial government of BC has been resolved. The federal government that approved the project following a rigorous assessment process has said it is looking at regulatory, legal, and financial options to see the pipeline built as it is in the national interest. Kinder Morgan has given a May 31 deadline for assurance the project can go ahead.
More than 70 business and industry leaders took part in lauching the Confidence in Canada campaign yesterday in Vancouver. They have banded together over the last two days to sign a joint letter calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premiers John Horgan and Rachel Notley to resolve the impasse.
Nanaimo Port Authority (NPA) is partnering with Western Stevedoring (Western) and their affiliate organization, the Auto Division of SSA Marine (SSA) to design, build, finance and operate a multipurpose break bulk terminal with an initial focus on automobile import and processing at NPA’s Nanaimo Assembly Wharf (NAW). The project partners wish to develop the first all-water global logistics service for European automobiles to a British Columbia port. This innovative “marine highway” would create a new, highly efficient and reliable international gateway featuring short-sea shipping from Nanaimo to the Lower Mainland.
The project has the potential to transform Canada’s import automobile supply chain by addressing significant existing transportation bottlenecks, vulnerabilities and congestion while providing several compelling logistical efficiencies and environmental benefits. Imported vehicles will arrive on Pure Car/Truck Carriers (PCTCs), which are Roll-on/Roll-off transport ships purpose-built for overseas vehicle transport. The imported vehicles will be processed for delivery to Lower Mainland dealerships on conventional car carrier trailers using short-sea shipping options currently serving Vancouver Island. The project would also provide sustainable economic development opportunities for Nanaimo and Vancouver Island.
Redevelopment of the Nanaimo Assembly Wharf uplands will reuse existing terminal facilities and upgrade existing infrastructure. The existing shed will be transformed into a modern Vehicle Processing Centre by retrofitting the existing steel structure with contemporary amenities and materials. The existing pier will be upgraded with new fendering and mooring infrastructure to allow for berthing of a modern Pure Car and Truck Carrier (PCTC), a specialized cargo vessel used to transport vehicles and equipment.
The 2018 cruise season kicked this week with the arrival of the Star Princess at Canada Place in Vancouver. Approximately 895,000 cruise passengers on 241 vessel visits are expected in the Port of Vancouver this year, the highest passenger volumes to be seen since 2010. The Norwegian Bliss, which accommodates more than 4,000 passengers, will be the largest cruise ship ever to call on Vancouver. The Vancouver cruise industry stimulates on average nearly $3 million in direct economic activity for each vessel that visits Canada Place. For details on local cruise schedules visit: www.clia-nwc.com.
Resource Works has released a Citizen's Guide to Tanker Safety and Spill Response on British Columbia's South Coast. The guide is aimed at bringing all the relevant facts together into one concise document.
David Spivak, Chief Financial Officer of Seaspan Corporation will be stepping down effective June 29, 2018 to pursue other opportunities. Mr. Spivak will continue in his current role until May 5, 2018, after which Mr. Ryan Courson will be appointed Chief Financial Officer and Mr. Spivak will continue with Seaspan as Special Advisor to the President and Chief Executive Officer through the end of June. Mr. Courson joined Seaspan in March 2018 as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development. He played a significant role in Seaspan's recent acquisition of GCI, working closely with Mr. Chen, Mr. Spivak and other senior executives at Seaspan on all aspects of the transaction.
Members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) at Canadian Pacific (CP) have voted by a margin of 94.2 % to authorize strike action. Some 3000 conductors and locomotive engineers could go on strike as early as 0:01 am on April 21, 2018. The previous collective agreement with CP expired on December 31, 2017. Negotiations began on November 16, 2017, and federal mediators were brought in on January 29, 2018.
We are pleased to announce our new Board of Directors and Officers for the ensuing year:
Kim Christensen (Chair), General Manager Operations, ACGI Shipping Inc.
Garth Mitcham (Vice-Chair), Director, CSL International
Peter Amat (Treasurer), General Manager, Pacific Basin Shipping (Canada) Ltd
Richard Chappell, Regional Vice-President of Operations Canada, Westwood Shipping Lines
Marc Fellis, President, Westward Shipping Ltd.
Dave Hill, Executive Vice-President, Wheelhouse Shipping Agency Ltd.
Jack Mahoney, President, Maersk Line Canada
Oscar Pinto, Director, Valles Steamship (Canada) Ltd.
George Runyon, Senior Vice-President, Evergreen Shipping Agency (America) Corp.
Donna Spalding, Director Administration, Cruise Lines International Association – North West & Canada
Peter Swanson, Partner, Bernard LLP
Mr. Hill stepped down as Chair after serving the position for the last three years and Mr. Christensen of ACGI Shipping assumes the role of Chair effective immediately. We wish to take the opportunity to express our appreciation to Dave Hill for his tremendous leadership and on-going dedication and support.
The 60th shipping season of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway navigation season opened on March 29th, with the hope of another strong year and increased movement of cargo through the international waterway. Mining products, including coal, iron ore and salt, comprise 40 per cent of the Seaway’s cargo each year. Wheat, corn and other field crops destined for overseas markets account for a similar amount. Steel and iron are the highest-value products that move on the water, according to Seaway data.
Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston is urging Canada’s transport minister to ensure a reliable supply of rail cars in northern B.C., where the economy is suffering due to a chronic shortage of freight cars. “The impact of unreliable, and inadequate, rail service extends far beyond grain producers in northern B.C.,” Ralston stated in a letter to federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau. “Lumber mills and other industries, from Dawson Creek to Fort Nelson, are also being seriously impacted by the lack of rail service.” Ralston has asked Garneau to work with northern B.C. chambers of commerce to develop plans for improving oversight and performance of Canadian National (CN) Rail’s system in the region. “Minister Garneau needs to convey that the Prairie backlog at CN Rail is having a detrimental impact on northern B.C. families and businesses,” said Ralston. “Companies looking to invest in northern B.C. communities are understandably discouraged from doing so because of the risk and uncertainty caused by CN Rail’s unreliable service,” Ralston added. “While the recent apology from CN is an important acknowledgement of how serious the situation has become, longer-term solutions need to be found.”
It is with profound sadness that we inform you of the passing of Peter Riley, President of G. W. Nickerson Co. Ltd. Peter lost his battle to cancer on Sunday, March 25th, 2018 at the age of 47, in Port Alberni with his loving family at his side. We grieve the passing of a tenacious, committed individual in all he did. Peter started his career as a boarding agent on January 1st, 1995. He had an insatiable appetite to learn and grow, helping him work his way to President of the company in 2010. Peter’s passion for the marine industry was evident by his unprecedented availability, his ever present knowledge and dedication to our many principles. The pride of his life was his family - coaching his son on the Prince Rupert High School soccer team to Provincial level finals for several seasons and encouraging his daughter in her outstanding gymnastic competitions. We have lost a valued colleague and friend, a loving husband and father, a man who cared deeply about his work and family. Peter will be greatly missed by all who knew him. The family is planning a celebration of life in Prince Rupert to be announced at a later date.
The Lax Kw’alaams First Nations has filed a civil claim in the Supreme Court of British Columbia Thursday against the federal and provincial governments. It seeks to declare Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act as “an unjustified infringement on the plaintiffs’ aboriginal rights and title.” The Lax Kw’alaams are among 30 First Nations that launched a GoFundMe campaign in January to challenge the tanker ban in court that has raised $33,000 so far — a third of its target. Other First Nations that support the Eagle Spirit oil pipeline and energy corridor, which requires tankers to transport Alberta oil to Asia, are expected to file similar lawsuits.
The BC Government announced on Thursday that it will provide a PST exemption on construction costs of any LNG facility. The PST exemption would be paid back through operating performance payments. The government has also set four conditions for any LNG projects which are: a guaranteed fair return for BC's natural resources, guaranteed jobs for British Columbians, respect and make partners of First Nations and to protect BC's air, land and water. As part of this new framework on LNG, the government will also be setting a cap on carbon tax at $30 dollars, exempting LNG facilities from paying increases in carbon tax that are expected to increase to $50 a tonne by 2021. The LNG Canada project, with an expected $40 billion investment, is expected to make a final decision by the fall of 2018.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has released a new report, Skills for an Automated Future recognizing the need to prepare for automation, artificial intelligence and advanced robotics to increase Canada's productivity and competitiveness. The report indicates that waiting until after workers lose their jobs to automation and relying on traditional training programs could represent a significant cost to the Canadian economy, between $6 and $18 billion each year. By mapping out core, essential skills, making training programs more flexible and by starting now, Canada can make that amount more manageable.
On March 22 2018, CN and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) announced that the parties have reached a tentative agrement to renew the labour contract for approximately 1,700 CN locomotive engineers in Canada. Details of the agreement are withheld pending ratification, which is expected to take around 60 days. CN transports more that C$ 250 billion worth of goods annually, across a rail network of approximately 20,000 route-miles spanning Canada and mid-America.
The Government of Ontario has accepted Damen's proposal to build two ferries with full electric propulsion. Damen is building a Road Ferry 6819 and a Road Ferry 9819 (68 metres and 98 metres respectively) to operate in the Canadian waters of the Great Lakes. The vessels will be the first fully electric, non-cable vessels in Canada. It is estimated that electrification of the two ferries one servicing Kingston and Wolfe Island and the other Millhaven and Amherst Island (Loyalist Township) – will reduce emissions by the equivalent of seven million kg carbon dioxide per year.
On February 25, 2018 Capt. Erling Myhrstad passed away peacefully amongst family and friends. He was an active industry member and was involved with several committees under the Chamber of Shipping and the BC Maritime Employers Association through the years until he retired from Star Shipping (Canada) as the Operations Manager in 1992. Capt. Myhrstad joined Star Shipping as Port Captain for Vancouver in 1968 and later worked in the Bergen, Norway and San Francisco offices in various managerial positions before returning to Vancouver in 1978 as the Operations Manager for Squamish Terminals. A private service was held last week.
On Tuesday, March 13th the Chamber of Shipping was honoured by the participation of not only our members and guests, but also the federal Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, who agreed to be our event's keynote speaker. With media in attendance the Minister announced new actions to protect Canada's coasts and waterways which includes new pilot projects for Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness initiative on British Columbia’s North Coast and measures to reduce the underwater noise impacting Southern Resident Killer Whales. The Haida Nation and the Gitga’at Nation with work with federal partners to develop, test and evaluate a new marine awareness information system.
In the AGM official business, the following incumbent directors were re-appointed for a two year term: Richard Chappell of Westwood Shipping Lines, Kim Christensen of ACGI Shipping, George Runyon of Evergreen Shipping Agency, and Oscar Pinto of Valles Steamship Canada Ltd.