Vancouver, March 13, 2018 – The Chamber of Shipping was pleased to host federal Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, at its Annual General Meeting of members. The Minister used this opportunity to highlight the Government of Canada’s support for the marine shipping industry and the importance it plays in ensuring a competitive, fluid and environmentally sustainable national supply chain and trade corridor.
“Over the past year, we have been working closely with the federal government on many issues related to the shipping industry, but specifically on those that help to deliver on commitments made under the Oceans Protection Plan,” said Robert Lewis-Manning, President of the Chamber of Shipping. “We see a real opportunity to contribute to this critical dialogue by providing evidence-based advocacy which will ultimately help us to strike a balance between a strong economy and a healthy environment.”
Minister Garneau graciously acknowledged this effort by calling attention to the seventy-plus shipping industry participants who voluntarily implemented noise reduction measures under the Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) Program in an effort to help protect the Southern Resident Killer Whale population. He also noted the critical leadership role the Chamber provided on the development of the recently released Interim Anchorage Protocol.
The Chamber also welcomed the Minister’s announcement of a new pilot program with the Council of the Haida Nation and the Gitga’at Nation under the Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness initiative in Northern B.C. The Chamber has long advocated for innovative approaches to managing risk from coastal shipping and are encouraged by this real-time, data-driven system that will further deepen the relationship between B.C. Indigenous communities and the shipping industry. A similar approach is being finalized for the Southern B.C. coast, as well as for the Atlantic and Arctic coasts.
Minister Garneau also took the time to address the current congestion challenges Canadian railways are facing as it relates to the shipment of commodities to and from Western Canadian Ports. Stressing the importance of passing the Transportation Modernization Act as soon as possible, the Minister reiterated his commitment to the issue.
The Chamber looks forward to a continued partnership with the Government of Canada and remains committed to working on behalf of its member companies to ensure the marine shipping industry remains healthy and viable, while operating as responsible community partners and environmental stewards.
About Chamber of Shipping
The Chamber of Shipping represents commercial carriers and their agents in Canada which trade internationally and domestically. The marine transportation sector is vital to supporting Canadian trade and our continued prosperity and high standard of living depend on our ability to deliver resources, goods, and people in a responsible and competitive manner. Canada remains a strong trading nation, with one in five Canadian jobs and more than 60 per cent of our gross domestic product directly linked to exports.