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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
 
Meeting No. 42
 
Tuesday, November 4, 2003
 

The Standing Committee on Transport met at 9:06 a.m. this day, in Room 269 West Block, the Chair, Joe Comuzzi, presiding.

 

Members of the Committee present: John Cannis, Joe Comuzzi, Bev Desjarlais, Roger Gallaway, Jim Gouk, Stan Keyes, Mario Laframboise, James Moore, Marcel Proulx and Lynne Yelich.

 

Acting Members present: Christian Jobin for Ovid Jackson and Joseph Volpe for Pat O'Brien.

 

In attendance: Library of Parliament: Jean-Luc Bourdages, Analyst.

 

Witnesses: Union des municipalités du Québec: Jean Garon, Board Member; Diane Fortin, Urbanist, Policy Adviser. City of Lévis: Jean Garon, Mayor; Alain Lemaire, Member Executive Committee ; André Hamel, Member Executive Committee; Pierre Brochu, Member Executive Committee; Michel Hallé, Lawyer.

 
Pursuant to the Order of Reference of Tuesday, March 25, 2003, the Committee resumed consideration of Bill C-26, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and the Railway Safety Act, to enact the VIA Rail Canada Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.
 

Jean Garon made an opening statement and answered questions.

 

By unanimous consent, it was agreed, — That the Clerk of the Committee be authorized to make the necessary arrangements for a working diner to discuss the Committee's future business and that the expenses be covered by the operational budget of the Committee.

 

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This compulsory pilotage requirement, as stipulated in the Pilotage Act, is outdated and unnecessary given the skill and experience of the Canadian Masters and crews and the sophistication of the navigation technology used on the ships.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

.

 

After debate, the question was put on the motion and it was agreed to on the following recorded division: YEAS: John Cannis, Roger Gallaway, Jim Gouk, Stan Keyes, James Moore, Lynne Yelich — 6; NAYS: Christian Jobin, Mario Laframboise — 2.

 

At 10:14 a.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 10:23 a.m., the sitting resumed.

 

Jean Garon made an opening statement and, with Alain Lemaire and André Hamel, answered questions.

 

At 11:11 a.m., the Committee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

 



Georges Etoka
Clerk of the Committee

 
 
2003/11/04 3:17 p.m.