The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, has announced that the Government of Canada's intends to amalgamate the Oshawa and Hamilton port authorities to form a new entity. Aligning with the Transportation 2030 vision, the amalgamation seeks to improve port efficiencies and planning in the region. The Oshawa and Hamilton port authorities carry similar commodities including steel, project cargo and bulk cargo such as fertilizers, asphalt and grain. Cargo handled at both ports produces over $6 billion in economic activity and 4500 direct and indirect jobs. An official certificate of intent will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I on February 9, 2019. Interested parties will have until March 11, 2019 to submit comments.
The Senate Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans held its first day of study of Bill C-55, an act to amend the Oceans Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act, on Tuesday. The provisions in the bill are meant to create a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) in Canada, and improve the process of designating them, helping to speed a process which can currently take up to 10 years. The bill focuses on conservation and sustainability, however, industry has concerns about insufficient consultation and uninformed decision making that will have a wide-reaching affect on the marine industry.
Further to the announcement on January 14th, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) commenced its investigation into possible freight rail services issues in the Vancouver area in December 2018 and January 2019 by holding oral hearings on January 29th & 30th. Participants provided oral submissions to a 3-person Panel, presided by CTA Chair and CEO Mr. Scott Streiner. Participants expressed concern that recent embargo and permitting systems discriminated against some commodities, congestion and delays of export cargo arriving at terminal was having an economic impact on shippers, and a lack of empty marine containers had delayed unloading of rail cars. The three railways appearing before panel, BNSF, CP Rail and CN Rail indicated that any operational measures undertaken during the time frame being investigated were to address a surge of volumes and did not constitute a service failure. The CTA has 90 days to complete the investigation.
This week NDP candidate Sheila Malcolmson won a significant by-election in Nanaimo and secured the coalition government in place between the NDP and Green Party. Also of note Premier Horgan made some changes to key Deputy Ministers in his Cabinet:
As part their investigation into possible freight rail service issues in the Vancouver area, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) will conduct on January 29th and 30th from 9:00 am at The Sutton Place Hotel (845 Burrard St). The hearing will be used to gather additional information and hear evidence from witnesses regarding freight rail service issues. Members of the public are welcome to attend as observers – seating will be limited. The Chamber has submitted a request to appear before the panel.
The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has initiated an investigation into possible freight rail service issues in the Vancouver area. Their decision to launch an investigation is based on information received from shipper associations and other parties. The investigation will assess whether there is evidence of discriminatory treatment of certain commodities, how freight rail permits and/or embargoes are being used, and whether railway companies operating in the Vancouver area are fulfilling their service obligations. A public hearing will be held in Vancouver at the end of January to give railway companies and shipper groups an opportunity to provide evidence in response to questions from the CTA.
The Province of British Columbia has announced its Coast Forest Sector Revitalization initiative that seeks to increase the processing of BC logs on the coast and reduce wood waste by redirecting it to BC’s pulp and paper mills. The intention is to ensure more BC logs and fibre are process in BC. Unfortunately, the initiative has neglected to take into consideration the number of marine industry jobs that support log exports. The Province is planning to implement the goals through a series of legislative, regulatory and policy changes over the next two years.
Canada Border Services Agency has released Customs Notice 19-03 to provide guidance to carriers that wish to reposition empty containers. The new Transportation Modernization Act now permits vessels of any registry to reposition empty containers they own or are leasing, between locations in Canada (on a non-revenue basis) without the requirement of obtaining a coasting trade licence. The provisions are retroactive to December 10, 2018. The Chamber of Shipping is seeking further clarification on the reporting requirements and will advise members accordingly.
The Government of Canada has awarded a contract to London Offshore Consultants from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia for the development of a risk assessment methodology related to hundreds of vessels of concern (abandoned, wrecked or dilapidated vessels) in Canadian waters or on Crown land. The risk assessment methodology, expected to be delivered by this summer, will help the Canadian Coast Guard assess the level of risk these vessels pose to the environment, the economy and public safety. The contract valued at $551k is part of the Government of Canada's $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan.
Transport Canada has released Ship Safety Bulletin No. 01/2019 to clarify its interpretation of maximum height of timber deck cargo above the ship’s weather deck. The bulletin states that the height of cargo is measured from the base of the timber deck cargoes stow to the highest part of the cargo. For example, in case of a crowned top surface, the height shall be measured to the top of the crown. There are concerns with this interpretation and the lack of consultation. The Chamber will be discussing this further in upcoming meetings and with Transport Canada.
The Canadian Coast Guard announced that 208.7 cubic metres (208,769 litres) of oil was removed from the Manolis L shipwreck. This is enough oil to fill 1313 oil barrels. The operation led by the CCG and undertaken by Ardent Global Marine Services was successfully completed in September 2018. The operation was conducted using remotely operated vehicles (ROV) in 70 meters of water depth, in cold water of approximately one Celsius. The heavy fuel oil was heated for removal using steam, recovered from the wreck, transported to shore and transferred to an environmental company for proper disposal. During the bulk oil removal operation, 14 of the tanks onboard the Manolis L were pumped and flushed. The amount of oil recovered exceeded the estimate of 115-150 cubic metres (115,000 - 150,000 litres) that was expected to be in the vessel. This was the first operation of its kind in these conditions. The success of this operation is an example of the Coast Guard’s ability to effectively address vessels that pose environmental risks.
The Government of Canada has provided Oceans Network Canada (ONC), a national network of ocean observation systems based at the University of Victoria (UVic), with $12.6 million in funding over the next four years. The funds will build on ONC’s ocean noise monitoring program and will expand its monitoring of sea surface currents in Pacific waters. This data will help inform our efforts to protect the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale and will help make our oceans safer by improving navigation and emergency response. The announcement was made with the official opening of the new Ocean-Climate building at UVic’s Queenswood campus where ONC is housed with over 200 researchers, scientists and students.
In support of the implementation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has issued Customs Notice 18-27 to implement a number of regulatory amendments and new regulations, effective as of the date of coming into force December 30, 2018. Included are new regulations re the certification of origin of goods imported from a free trade partner. The regulations will set out the criteria by which an importer may complete the CPTPP Certificate of Origin for goods for which preferential tariff treatment under the CPTPP will be claimed.The changes are implemented in accordance with paragraph 167.1(b) of the Customs Act, and remain subject to future decisions from the Governor in Council.
On January 2 2019, a Canadian International Trade Tribunal Procurement Decision has determined that a complaint filed against the Department of Public Works and Government Services (PWGSC) by Horizon Maritime Services Ltd. / Heiltsuk Horizon Maritime Services Ltd. was to be valid in part. The Complaint regarding the procurement process for two emergency towing vessels alleges that PWGSC did not conduct a fair procurement process, as the successful bidder was non-compliant with certain mandatory requirements in the solicitation process, including requirements relating to the pulling power of the towing vessels. Pursuant to subsections 30.15(2) and (3) of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act, the Tribunal recommends that the PWGSC re-evaluate mandatory requirement No. 12 of the Request for Proposals for all of the bids received prior to bid closing, as soon as practicable and no later than within six months of the determination. The Tribunal has also recommended that the current designated contract remain with the winning bidder, Atlantic Services Limited (ATL), until the completion of the re-evaluation. However, the Tribunal recommends that no further expenditure under the contract be undertaken by PWGSC pending the re-evaluation.
Transport Canada has announced that Minister Garneau has cleared Santa Claus for take-off for this year’s round-the-world flight to deliver presents to millions of good boys and girls everywhere. This year’s delivery mission will include a special co-pilot - Mrs. Claus! While reviewing this year’s pre-flight checklist with Mrs. Claus, Minister Garneau stressed how important it is for her, Santa and the reindeer to get adequate rest and to avoid consuming alcohol or drugs to ensure that everyone is #FitToFly on this very important mission. Earlier this month, Transport Canada inspectors travelled to the North Pole to inspect Santa’s sleigh and its safety systems. The inspectors checked the landing gear and the reindeer harnesses, as well as the communications and navigation systems. Rudolph’s nose was tested to make sure that it is operating at maximum brightness. In addition, Santa’s gift bag full of presents was checked using the latest screening technology to ensure it is secure and ready for delivery.
While this is excellent news for all good boys and girls, one of our long-standing ships' agent has asked, "so if Santa was coming to Canada would he...
Great to see that at least one of our members still has a sense of humour at this time of the year!
The Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau has announced that the Government of Canada will begin a call for proposals under the National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF). As part of the Fall Economic Statement, the Government proposed a new Export Diversification Strategy to help businesses succeed, and increase Canada’s overseas exports by 50 per cent by 2025. The government will begin accepting expressions of interest starting on that date. Detailed information on the process and how to apply, along with the applicant guide, will be added to the website on January 15, 2019. Transport Canada will evaluate projects on specific trade-related criteria that:
In addition to the above criteria, projects will be assessed for the extent to which they will add capacity or address bottlenecks near major ports, airports, or along road and rail corridors in Canada that help generate or increase overseas trade.
Transport Canada has released an interactive map of the Oceans Protection Plan initiatives across Canada. The map displays and provide details of the various initiatives under the $1.5 billion plan and will be updated regularly.