Roger Gallaway moved, — That in its review and study to date of the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway System, the Subcommittee has 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This compulsory pilotage requirement, as stipulated in the Pilotage Act, is outdated and unnecessary given the skill and experience of the Canadian Masters and crews and the sophistication of the navigation technology used on the ships.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.
A new regime for Canadian ships can only be achieved by amending the Pilotage Act. The amendments would not generate any financial cost to the Government of Canada.
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 Subcommittee recognizes the necessity to proceed immediately on this matter.
Therefore, the Committee recommends:
- That the Standing Committee on Transport recommend to the Minister of Transport that the Pilotage Act (R.S.,c.P-14) be amended to transfer the regulatory power for Canadian vessels in Canadian waters to the Minister of Transport. These powers are currently granted to Pilotage Authorities.
- 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 Minister of Transport proceeds with these amendments immediately.