Thursday, 18 September 2014 18:08

National Research Council to focus on cargo ships

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The National Research Council has announced a program aimed at finding economical and viable business based technology to improve safety and performance of marine vessels.  Building on its work under the Marine Vehicles program, the program will focus on technologies and processes for reducing operating costs of vessels, contributing to safe Arctic and offshore oil and gas operations. The end result is to support a sustainable and competitive shipbuilding industry in Canada for military vessels, marine commercial transportation, and offshore resource industries.

Examples of work that will be conducted within the program by NRC will include advanced controls for systems like auto-pilot and roll stabilizers, improved vessel performance monitoring and analysis systems, the development of Arctic station-keeping technology and training simulators, advanced controls for unmanned marine vehicles, and conceptual and preliminary design tools for ice-class and inshore vessels.

Thursday, 18 September 2014 17:45

Asian Gypsy Moth high risk period ends in Canada

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a pdf notice (43 KB)  confirming that the high risk period for Asian Gypsy Moth in Western Canada ended on September 15th. From Sept 16th, CFIA will continue to conduct a rate of inspection for vessels that have visited a high-risk area during its' associated high-risk season.   If AGM life stages are found aboard a vessel during an inspection between Sept 16th to the end of February, the vessel will be placed under regulatory controls (Notice of Quarantine and Movement Certificate), but it will not be ordered out for cleaning, and vessel operations will not be disrupted. 

Note that high risk period continues in most ports in the United States.  This week in Journal of Commerce, it was reported that Customs and Border Protection agents in Los Angeles have quarantined 15 ships detected with Asian Gypsy Moth.  This is a record season with three month left to go in the AGM high risk period in Southern California.  

Thursday, 11 September 2014 23:32

Franklin Arctic expedition ship located

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Just weeks after announcing plans to continue the search for two British explorer ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, the Prime Minister has revealed that one of the two ships has been found.  Further analysis is needed to determine which one of two ships that vanished in the Arctic more than 160 years ago it is. Sir John Franklin led the two ships and 129 men in 1845 to chart the North West Passage in the Canadian Arctic. Expedition sonar images from the waters of Victoria Strait, just off King William Island, clearly show the wreckage of a ship on the ocean floor.The find was been described as "the biggest archaeological discovery the world has seen since the opening of Tutankhamun's tomb almost 100 years ago" by  British archaeologist, William Battersby, who has written extensively about the Franklin expedition. The government began searching for Franklin's ships in 2008 as part of a strategy to assert Canada's sovereignty over the Northwest Passage.

Friday, 05 September 2014 10:06

Roberts Bank Rail Corridor project completed

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The opening of the new Mufford Crescent overpass at 64th Avenue in Langley yesterday signified the completion of all nine of the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor (RBBC) infrastruction improvement projects.  Total funding for the project was approximately $307 million and this supported through contributions from the federal and provincial governments, railways, TransLink, and municipalities.  The 70-kilometre RBBC connects Deltaport Terminal at Roberts Bank with North America's entire rail network.

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The Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) has released a its Joint Forward Plan which essentially states that the next steps will focus on the following three key components:

Department-Level Regulatory Partnerships: creating public documents that will outline RCC strategies and the framework for how the activities will be managed between regulatory partners

Department-to-Department Commitments and Work Plans: establishing first set of commitments to cooperate in specific areas of regulatory activitiy

Cross-Cutting Issues: identifying current laws, policies and practices in both governments that can present challenges/opportunities to international regulatory cooperation.

The Joint Forward plan touches on a number of marine related issues including marine safety and security, transportation of dangerous goods, and plant health.

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Canadian Premiers met this week in Charlottetown, PEI, and agreed on improvements to the Canadian Energy Strategy (CES).  The vision and principles provide the foundation for provinces and territories to work together, in respect of their own jurisdiction, on energy issues while recognizing the need to grow economy, protect the environment and enhance the quality of life for all Canadians.  To view the full document visit:

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The Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, has announced that the search for the ill-fated 1845-46 Franklin Expedition vessels: the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror will continue.  Led by Parks Canada, the 2012 Franklin Expedition will, with the help of a number of public and private sector partners, continue to search for the two historic vessels and will also collect scientific data to increase knowledge of the Arctic in a number of areas, including the collection of data for the production of navigational charts and topographical maps in the Arctic and supporting marine archaeology and ecosystem management.  Four ships will support the on-going expedition: the Canadian Coast Guard ship Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Kingston, the Arctic Research Foundation’s research vessel Martin Bergmann, and OOE’s One Ocean Voyager, as well as a number of smaller platform vessels. 

Some of the leading technologies to be employed will include the CSA’s RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery, high resolution multi-beam and side-scan sonar, Parks Canada’s remotely operated underwater vehicle and autonomous underwater vehicle, and DRDC’s state-of-the-art autonomous underwater vehicle, Arctic Explorer, which was developed in collaboration with private-sector partners. Five Parks Canada-led searches for the Franklin Expedition ships have already taken place, surveying and charting over 1,200 km2 of the Arctic seabed, which is equivalent to over 2,200 football fields. This year’s expedition builds on the work of the previous searches and is expected to greatly exceed the best year of mapping to date.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have issued a second mid-season bulletin to advise vessels of high population levels of Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) in the regulated countries.  To date 20 vessels have been detected with AGM on the west coast of Canada and have been ordered out for cleaning and re-inspection by CFIA.  While the number of vessels found with AGM is fairly consistent with previous years, the number of egg masses found on each vessel are of significant concern.  The joint bulletin is to remind operators to order inspections at the regulated countries immediately prior to departure and to remind crew of the necessity to carry out self-inspections while en route.  Vessels departing from Russian ports during the specified risk period are of particular concern.  Should CFIA conduct an import inspection on the vessel, decks should be clear of debris and any obstacles that may hinder the inspection.  pdf 2014 In-season CFIA USDA Urgent Advisory (44 KB)

Friday, 15 August 2014 12:56

Order specifying grain quantities

Published in the Canada Gazette on August 13, 2014 is the Order Specifying the Minimum Amount of Grain to be Moved under the Canada Transportation Act.  This Order in Council extends the original deadline of August 3, 2014, which coincided with the end of the crop year, through to November 29, 2014.  The OIC specifies that 536,250 metric tonnes of grain must be moved each week by the both CN and CP.  Furthermore, it addresses potential volume requirements for subsequent months.

  • December: approximately 430 000 per week;
  • January to February: approximately 400 000 per week;
  • March: approximately 455 000 per week; and
  • April to the end of the crop year: approximately 536 250 per week.

Actual minimum movement volumes would need to be set by a new order in council and would be based on additional monitoring of the situation over the next four months.

Friday, 08 August 2014 12:03

Temporary measures implemented for Ebola

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The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has requested that CBSA coordinate the request to the shipping community to help in preventing the spread of the Ebola virus disease into Canada.  

The CBSA has implemented temporary measure requiring marine carriers arriving in Canada, that have in the past 30 days called into ports on the west coast of Africa, or who have crew or passengers aboard who have been in the affected areas within the past 30 days, to have available and provide a faxed copy of the Maritime Declaration of Health Certificate to the CBSA. 

In accordance with section 38 of the Quarantine Act, marine vessels are required to provide officers with any information or records in their possession that are reasonably required in relation to the duties performed under that Act.  The Canada Border Services Agency is responsible for enforcing the Quarantine Act.

PHAC has requested that CBSA require affected vessels fax or email the certificate to the National Targeting Centre (NTC) 24 hours prior to arrival in Canadian waters. 

NTC Fax:  613-960-1556
NTC Email:  CBSA-ASFC-PANS/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Friday, 08 August 2014 10:51

Joint CFIA-USDA Asian Gypsy Moth advisory

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the US Department of Agriculture have released a joint advisory to remind operators that vessels arriving to Canada and US directly from any of the high risk areas for Asian Gypsy Moth - Far East Russia, Japan, Korea and China - must be inspected and certified prior departure.  Also confirmed in the advisory is the USDA's intention to begin issuing penalties for vessels arriving with a valid inspection certificate and failing to submit ports of call data for the last two years.  

So far this season, 15 vessels have been found with Asian Gypsy Moth with most of the detections discovered over the last few weeks in BC.  CFIA has advised that the recent detections are expected with new the AGM population cycle starting in July.  All vessels are required to self-inspect while en route from these area of interest to avoid any potential disruption upon arrival and inspection by CFIA.  The AGM detections this season have been found on certified vessels.  Download the 2014 In-season CFIA - USDA Advisory.

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Following a Canada Border Service Agency inspection at the Port of Montreal, a container destined for Toronto was founds to contain 72.8 kg of Ketamine and 23.5 kg of Norephedrine concealed in a number of rice sacks.  Three Greater Toronto Area residents were arrested for illegal and charged under the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act and the Criminal Code. 

Ketamine is often mixed with other illicit drugs such as MDMA or methamphetamine and over the several years, increased seizures and trafficking of Ketamine in Canada indicate a renewed organized crime interest in the drug. Norephedrine (also known as PPA) is often used as a precursor chemical to produce amphetamines, 4-methylaminorex and other illicit drugs.

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