The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have issued a joint notice asking shipowners and operators to strengthen the inspections for the insect. The warning comes after several vessels arrived in Vancouver last week with infestations and the vessels were ordered to vacate the port. The USDA and CFIA have encouraged ship operators to do more than normal self checking for the AGM as all the vessels with infestations had been inspected and certified in Asian ports, yet moths and larvae were still present.
The federal government has reached a deal to sell Ridley Terminal to a US equity firms and First Nations. Located in Northern BC, Ridley Terminals Inc. is a Crown corporation that owns the facility in the Port of Prince Rupert which exports coal. This deal will see 90 percent of its shares sold for $350-million to U.S. private equity firms, Riverstone Holdings LLC and AMCI Group. The remaining 10 percent will be transferred to a limited partnership owned by the Lax Kw’alaams Band and the Metlakatla First Nation.
The provincial government is taking the first step towards ensuring that more BC logs are processed in BC by applying a new, targeted fee-in-lieu of manufacturing for exported logs harvested from a coastal BC Timber Sales licence. The fee will be dependent on the economics of individual stands. Stands containing high-value species and that are easily accessible will have a higher fee than stands with low-value species that are remote and difficult to access. This will be in effect for five years, starting July 31, 2019. Further details including log export exemptions, including maps to exempted areas can be found at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019FLNR0179-001419
The Government of Canada has issued Ship Safety Bulletin No. 11/2019 to implement additional speed restrictions in specific zones in the Gulf of St Lawrence in response to recent deaths of the North Atlantic Right Whales.
Adding to the situation this week were three North Atlantic Right Whales found entangled in rope and fishing gear. All three were sighted in areas already closed to fishing. The three whales are being monitored and attempts at disentanglement will be attempted if it can be done safely.
The new Environmental Response Regulations were published on July 10th in the Canada Gazette Part II and are now in force. The principal objective of the Regulations is to improve the effectiveness of Canada’s Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Regime for prescribed vessels and Oil Handling Facilities (OHFs) while engaged in the loading and unloading of oil. Enhanced prevention and planning activities by the OHFs, in conjunction with increased compliance and enforcement by Transport Canada, provides an increased state of readiness. TP 14909E is the associated guidance document.
The Province has renewed its service contract with BC Ferries for the next four-year term April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2024. The renewed contract reflects increased annual funding from the Province to BC Ferries of $32.5 million to support fare affordability and another $5.8 million annually to support the increase of 2,700 round trips on 10 minor and northern routes announced earlier this year.
Canada Border Services Agency has issued Customs Notice 19-14 to advise that as of June 30, 2020, the CBSA will no longer accept B13As. Exporters, or their customs service providers, will be required to report their exports electronically. There will be two electronic reporting methods available to exporters to report goods: the Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS) and the G7 Export Reporting Electronic Data Interchange (G7-EDI). Exporters can register for CERS once it is in place, March 16, 2020. G7-EDI is currently in existence and can be used now. G7-EDI requires an investment from the exporting client.
Exporters currently using CAED and participants in the Summary Reporting Program will receive letters from the CBSA with information about how to activate their CERS account between February and June 2020. CAED will be decommissioned on June 30, 2020.
The Canadian government has announced that they will be making a $17 million investment into increasing capacity at the Port of Belledune to increase the movement of domestic goods to international markets. The project includes filling in the water gap between the M.D. Young Terminal and Rayburn Doucett Terminal to create a larger berth. This work will also create additional space for commodities at the south end of Terminal 3 which handles general cargo and bulk. The Port of Belledune is a deep-water facility located in northeastern New Brunswick which handled its record annual volumes of 2.9 million metric tons in 2018.
The BC government announced that as of Monday, July 1, the container trucking commissioner will have authority to set rates and fuel surcharges. The decision is designed to help maintain stability, fairness and competitiveness in the sector. In setting rates, the commissioner will be guided by the principles of balancing fair compensation for drivers and ensuring the ongoing competitiveness of the sector. This action supports the commissioner’s implementation of a new $25 positioning rate to compensate drivers for trips without containers, which currently are unpaid.
The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport has issued a statement on the deaths of several North Atlantic right whales in Canadian waters. With six deaths reported in the month of June, Transport Canada is implementing an interim precautionary speed restriction of 10 knots, for vessels of 20 metres or more in length travelling in the western the Gulf of St. Lawrence and in the two designated shipping lanes north and south of Anticosti Island, effective immediately. The penalty for non-compliance is $25,000.
Seaspan Shipyards is celebrating the official handover of the CCGS Sir John Franklin, the first Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel, to the Canadian Coast Guard. As the first large vessel to be built and delivered to the Government of Canada under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, the delivery of the vessel marks a significant milestone in the revitalization of the Canadian marine industrial sector.
The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, has announced the reappointment of Lorraine Cunningham as the Chairperson of the Pacific Pilotage Authority for a term of eight months, commencing on October 4, 2019. Cunningham has been Chairperson of the PPA since 2012 and prior to that she served as a director between 1999 and 2012.
The Canadian Government has approved by Order in Council for the second time the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, with construction on the $7.4 billion pipeline set to begin as early as fall 2019. The decision follows the National Energy Board’s reconsideration process focused on marine shipping impacts and engagement with Indigenous communities and groups. Supporting the decision are accommodations measures which include Co-Developing Community Response, the Salish Sea Initiative, the Terrestrial Cumulative Effects Initiative and the Quiet Vessel Initiative. The government has committed to directing every dollar the federal government earns from the pipeline to investments in clean energy projects, with proceeds from the eventual sale directed towards helping transition the country away from fossil fuels and towards cleaner sources of energy. When complete, the 1,150-kilometre expansion project would nearly triple the existing pipeline's capacity to 890,000 barrels a day.
The Senate has voted to pass Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act. The draft legislation passed by a margin of 3 votes after the House of Commons quashed a recommended amendment for a mandatory review of the legislation within 5 years. Alberta has vowed to launch a legal challenge to this bill, claiming that it is discriminatory to Alberta’s ability to access global markets. This legislation does not provide any additional marine safety measures for the BC North Coast and it does not stop a tanker from transiting the area, but it does stop tankers from stopping at ports on the coast of northern BC.
The Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility is now officially open on Tsawwassen First Nations industrial lands in Roberts Bank. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s new $33M facility provides additional space for Canada Border Services Agency to examine and process marine containers more efficiently. The TCEF is the second facility for the Lower Mainland and will be focussed on servicing containers from Deltaport and Fraser Surrey Docks. VFPA selected Tidewater Container Services Inc. (Tidewater), a subsidiary of Harbour Link Container Services Inc. (Harbour Link), to be the operator and drayage provider for the new facility. A blockchain pilot is underway to help measure performance and turnaround times for containers examined at the TCEF. The new fixed large-scale imaging device is still in the works and expected to be installed and operational on the new site in 2020.
The Canadian Space Agency has successful launched the RADARSAT Constellation Mission satellites from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This new generation of earth observation satellites will provide satellite data for safe navigation and help inform decisions around key challenges facing our oceans. The satellites will also help surveillance of activities in Canada’s Marine Protected Areas to ensure that prohibited activities that compromise an area’s conservation objective are not occurring, and will also assist in pollution events by predicting the path of pollution as it drifts along ocean current by using a map of marine wind directions derived from radar images.
The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport has announced the appointment of Rita Carla Andreone as director for a term of 3 years, and Kenneth Bruce Clayton as director for a term of 3 years to the Prince Rupert Port Authority. The appointees come from diverse backgrounds, with experience in a number of fields, and are active members of their communities. They bring a wide array of knowledge and senior executive and corporate governance expertise to their transportation positions.