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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Meeting No. 29

Monday, May 26, 2003

The Standing Committee on Transport met at 3:38 p.m. this day, in Room 371, West Block, the Chair, Joe Comuzzi, presiding.

Members of the Committee present: Larry Bagnell, Rex Barnes, Joe Comuzzi, Roger Gallaway, Jim Gouk, Ovid Jackson, Stan Keyes, Mario Laframboise, James Moore and Marcel Proulx.

Acting Members present: Joseph Volpe for Liza Frulla and Joe Fontana for Pat O’Brien.

In attendance: From the Research Branch of the Parliament: John Christopher, Principal Analyst.

Witnesses: From the Office of the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel: Rob Walsh, Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel; Gregory Tardi, Senior Legal Counsel. From the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority: Jacques Duchesneau, President and Chief Executive Officer; Michael McLaughlin, Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer; Mark Duncan, Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer; Ian MacKay, Legal Counsel.

Pursuant to an Order of the House dated Wednesday, February 26, 2003, consideration of the Estimates 2003-2004 - Votes 2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60.

Rob Walsh, made an opening statement and with Gregory Tardi, answered questions.

Jacques Duchesneau, Ian MacKay, Michael McLaughlin made statements and, with Mark Duncan answered questions.

It was agreed, -- That the Minister of Transportation be invited to appear before the Committee tomorrow or the day after, but before Thursday, May 28, 2003, to provide answers to some Committee’s questions on the Canadian Air Transport Security  Authority 2003-2004 Estimates.

After debate, the motion was agreed to, on a show of hands:

YEAS: 8          NAYS: 0

At: 4:47 p.m., Joe Fontana took the Chair.

At: 4:58 p.m. Joe Comuzzi assumed the Chair.

At: 5:52 p.m., Stan Keyes moved, -- That In its review and study to date of the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway System, the Subcommittee on Marine Transportation heard from stakeholders who outlined their concerns regarding the negative operational and economic impact of the legislated compulsory pilotage requirements for Canadian owned and operated ships in Canadian waters.

 

This compulsory pilotage requirement, as stipulated in the Pilotage Act, is outdated and unnecessary given the skill and experience of the Canadian Masters and crews and the sophistication of the navigation technology used on the ships.

 

The pilotage charges applied to Canadian vessels are substantial and are detrimental to the competitive position of Canadian carriers, shippers and industries dependant on marine transportation.

 

An exemption from compulsory pilotage for Canadian ships can be achieved by amending the Pilotage Act. The amendments would not generate any financial cost to the Government of Canada.

 

Exemptions would only be granted to duly certified ships and those Masters and crews meeting exacting criteria for skills and experience.

 

Amending the Pilotage Act would be a significant step in modernizing the pilotage regime in Canada, and would allow the Pilotage Authorities to contribute to a more effective, efficient and commercial Canadian transportation system as envisaged in the Canada Transportation Act and the Canada Marine Act and as exemplified in the renewed focus of the Canadian port system and the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation.

 

Amending the Pilotage Act would also be consistent with the principles for a safe and secure, efficient and environmentally responsible transportation system in Canada, as outlined in Straight Ahead – A vision for transportation in Canada.

The amendments would enhance the efficiency of the transportation marketplace, ensure the safety and security of the marine transportation system in cooperation with other responsible agencies, and encourage innovation and skills development.

 

The Committee, in consultation with the Subcommittee, recognizes the necessity to proceed immediately on this matter.

 

Therefore, the Standing Committee on Transport recommends to the Minister of Transport:

 

-         That the Pilotage Act (R.S.,c.P-14) be amended to provide for conditional exemption from compulsory pilotage for Canadian vessels in pilotage waters.

 

-         That in Section 18 of the Pilotage Act, the objects of a Pilotage Authority also include the concept that it is fundamental to the public interest that Canadian ships be afforded maximum operational flexibility in order to encourage and promote a competitive maritime commerce in Canada.

 

-         That the conditions for exemption from compulsory pilotage be specified in the legislative amendments, to include the following:

 

o       Canadian ships be certified by Transport Canada or its delegated authority

 

o       Canadian ships be certified to the International Safety Management Code or an equivalent safety management system

 

o       Canadian ships be under the control of a Master or deck watch officer who

 

§         is a regular member of the compliment of the ship;

 

§         holds a valid certificate of competency of the proper grade and class issued by the Minister of Transport or recognized by the Minister for the purpose of subsection 130(1) of the Canada Shipping Act;

 

§         has been certified within the preceding twelve months by the owner of the ship as having completed, in the previous three-year period, in the capacity of a Master or deck watch officer, not less than ten trips of the compulsory pilotage area in which the ship is navigating;

 

§         has successfully completed a bridge Resource Management course approved by Transport Canada;

 

§         possesses an official passage plan before commencing each passage; and

 

§         possesses a working knowledge of one or both official languages as may from time to time be required by the Pilotage Authority.

 

-         That the Minister of Transport proceed with these amendments immediately.

 

Debate arose there on.

At: 6:07 p.m. the sitting was suspended to go in camera on future business.

At: 6:10 p.m. the Committee met in camera to consider its future business.

At: 7:04 p.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

Georges Etoka

Clerk of the Committee