A few components of federal transport plans are taking shape

By Alex Binkley

A railway service bill, and action on a budget proposal to track transportation trends appear to be the federal government’s first initiatives connected to its Transport 2030 action plan. Meanwhile it’s moving ahead with proposals from last year’s $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan to acquire icebreaking and ship-towing assistance. Transport Minister Marc Garneau has said he’ll introduce legislation this spring to implement seven key measures recommended by the report on the Canada Transport Act review released last year.

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Emerson urges big-picture view of trade corridors

By Alex Binkley

Don’t let discussions of improved trade and transportation corridors become mired in debates about which infrastructure projects are most important, says David Emerson.

The former federal cabinet minister and head of the group that produced a sweeping review of Canadian transportation policy released last year, says it would be a mistake to focus solely on the state of railways, bridges, pipelines and power transmission lines.

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Shipping Federation seeks clearer definition of “shipowner” in European free trade deal

By Alex Binkley

An overly restrictive definition of shipowner in the bill to approve the Canada-Europe free trade deal will negate much of the potential economic benefit of allowing the repositioning of empty containers between Montreal and Halifax, says Michael Broad, President of the Shipping Federation of Canada. The terms of the trade deal restrict permitted empty container movements “to EU owners only. Asian or South American owners cannot participate in that.”

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Minister Marc Garneau points to Seaway’s pivotal role as 59th Seaway season begins

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, joined by the U.S. Saint Lawrence Development Corporation, marked the opening of its 59th navigation season with a special tribute to marine shipping’s substantial contribution to Canada’s economic development and quality of life. CSL St-Laurent, the first ship to transit the St. Lambert lock in 2017, featured a monumental work of art work commissioned by Montreal-headquartered Canada Steamship Lines, a division of the CSL Group, as a tribute to Canada’s 150th anniversary and the 375th of the City of Montreal.

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Trump’s Arctic: Making America Great in the region

By K. Joseph Spears

Has America’s Arctic policy changed with the election of President Donald J. Trump? His November 2016 election came as a surprise to political pundits and mainstream media. The previous Administration of Barack Obama made climate change a cornerstone of U.S. Arctic policy. Obama’s Arctic policy was the subject of articles in the March and November 2016 issues of Canadian Sailings. It is an understatement that the new President has been less vigorous in his approach to climate science and the underlying causes of climate change. Whether this impacts U.S. Arctic policy remains to be seen: it is still very early days. President Trump has made it clear that he wants to make America great again and thicken the borders of continental America and this must also include the northern border along the coast of Alaska. These efforts will impact Canada.

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Trudeau’s Arctic: Warming up to the region

K. Joseph Spears

Canada’s Liberal government was elected October 2015 and is now in the second year of its mandate. A picture is emerging of the Trudeau government policy in the Arctic. Canada and the United States entered into a Joint Policy Statement on the Arctic when Prime Minister Trudeau attended his first state visit to Washington while President Obama was still in office. The joint declaration was based upon the foundation of climate change and science-based decision-making that provided a guidepost for resource development and sustainable shipping activities, to name two of the issues addressed in the joint statement. This joint declaration is the subject matter of an article in a March 2016 issue of Canadian Sailings. With the new Trump Administration, the status of this joint declaration remains undetermined, especially given the new Administration’s avoidance of statements related to climate change.

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A mandatory Polar Code – How does it affect shipping?

By Captain David (Duke) Snider, FNI FRGS

The IMO’s mandatory International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) came into effect in January 2017. How does the Polar Code make the playing field of Arctic Shipping different? The biggest difference is the mandatory nature of this new IMO instrument. After a series of voluntary polar shipping guidelines that have existed since the 1990s, the Polar Code is the first mandatory IMO instrument focused on shipping in the Arctic and Antarctic. The new Code sets in place baseline goal-based standards for design, construction, operation and crewing, and environmental protection measures for ships operating in Polar Waters. In the coming months, governments will be required to bring their national regulations and requirements into line with the Polar Code. Transport Canada is currently in the process of doing exactly that, consulting with stakeholders on changes to the Arctic Shipping Pollution Prevention Regulations to enable compliance with the Polar Code onboard Canadian ships and in Canadian waters.

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NEAS to benefit from infrastructure spending and northern mining activities

By Brian Dunn

NEAS Group President and CEO Suzanne Paquin is relieved that business in 2016 was better than it was in 2015, when ice and unfavorable wind conditions delayed the start of the Arctic shipping season by several weeks. “Things went quite a bit smoother than in 2015, although we had some (late) ice in Ungava Bay last year. We’re getting good cooperation from the Coast Guard as the delivery of goods is an important service to northern communities. We did 11 voyages in 2016, compared to an average of 12 most years.”

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The case of Clipper Adventurer: Between a rock and a hard place

By Kiley Sampson and K. Joseph Spears

On January 27 2017, Mr. Justice Shawn Harrington of the Federal Court handed down an interesting decision that examined potential liability of the government of Canada involving the grounding of adventure cruise vessel M/V Clipper Adventurer which ran aground on an “uncharted rock” in Coronation Gulf in the Canadian Arctic on August 27, 2010. Before his appointment to the bench, the judge was an experienced admiralty law practitioner. This article will examine both the findings of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) and the Federal Court decision with respect to liability of the vessel owner. The grounding, and the subsequent TSB Marine Investigation and Federal Court decision are of interest to students of Arctic shipping. The grounding provides an insight into issues with respect to government of Canada’s obligations to provide Arctic shipping infrastructure and hydrographic charting, and the liability of vessel owners. It has been said that litigation is “an expensive way to learn.” This was a costly learning lesson.

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New York dockers’ union calls for abolition of crime-busting Waterfront Commission

By Alexander Whiteman

Vice-President of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA),Kenneth Riley, has called for the abolition of the Waterfront Commission of New York. He claims it has overstepped its remit to investigate waterfront crime and is now seeking to regulate and reduce dockworker numbers.

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