Canadian Shipper


Oceanex bid for judicial review of Marine Atlantic subsidies quashed

St. John’s, NL — The Federal Court of Canada has dismissed a claim for judicial review from Oceanex on Marine Atlantic subsidies.

Since Oceanex and Marine Atlantic together bring in nearly all of the commercial freight in Newfoundland, the decision could have far-reaching effects.

Oceanex had been arguing the terms of union between Newfoundland and Canada stipulate that the federal government must operate a ferry service between the island and Cape Breton, but it doesn’t say Ottawa must subsidize the service.

Meanwhile, the Canada Transportation Act states, “competition and market forces, both within and among the various modes of transportation, are the prime agents in providing viable and effective transportation services.”

Lawyers for Oceanex argued that the minister should have considered Oceanex’s competitive position when setting freight rates.

Today made the following statement regarding the judicial review decision of Marine Atlantic’s 2016-17 rates:

“While we are disappointed with the decision, we want to thank the court for its time and consideration of our Judicial Review application,” said Captain Sid Hynes, executive chairman of Oceanex in a statement. “Oceanex has proudly served the people of Newfoundland since 1909, and we are committed to working hard to ensure we will continue to do so for a very long time to come. It is important now that we take some time to fully review the court decision with our legal team and to consider its implications for marine freight transportation. Once that review is completed, we will be in a position to provide further comment.”