The Government of Canada has tabled amendments to the Pilotage Act, which establish several themes, including centralization of regulatory powers and standardization in Transport Canada, increased transparency, and increased powers of enforcement and monetary penalties. Overall the amendments have the potential to support improvements to safety, efficiency, and competitiveness. Items that should be of close interest to shipowners, operators, and agencies include:
- The inclusion of principles in the Act regarding efficient and cost-effective pilotage services (clause 226);
- An emphasis on emerging technologies (clause 226);
- Transparency of all contracts (clause 231);
- The improvement of the tariff setting process while retaining the current regulatory safeguards (238); and
- The standardization that will occur with regulatory powers being retained by Transport Canada (clause 252).
There is still a great deal of analysis required of this draft legislation, especially as it is the most significant change to the Pilotage Act in years. We will continue to evaluate it as we prepare to provide feedback to Government through the legislative process. With only 29 sitting days remaining for the House of Commons, this bill will move rapidly through the legislative process.
The full Bill can be found here: http://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/42-1/bill/C-97/first-reading