Ottawa, ON — The Government of Canada has released the final report of the Pilotage Act Review undertaken as part of the Oceans Protection Plan. The Pilotage Act Review was launched on May 31, 2017 to modernize the Pilotage Act while keeping the elements that support Canada’s excellent pilotage safety record. The Review was concluded on April 30, 2018 after extensive engagement across the country. The final report recommends strengthening five key components of the legislation: its purpose and principles, governance model, labour structure, safety framework, and tariff setting process.
The Review’s findings will inform the Government’s decision-making regarding the future of pilotage in Canada. Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport will also engage with key stakeholders and Indigenous peoples on the findings of the Review’s final report. Potential changes will be aligned with the existing and future realities of the marine transportation system.
Marine pilotage makes an important contribution to marine shipping, and ensures the safe transit of vessels. This Review supports the delivery of safe, efficient and environmentally responsible marine pilotage services into the future.
The Chamber of Marine Commerce (CMC) said in a release that it welcomes the submission of the Canadian Pilotage Review’s recommendations and will review these in detail to ensure that it contains the significant changes that are needed to improve a service that has not been overhauled in over 45 years.
“We will be carefully reviewing the recommendations in today’s report. Canada’s pilotage regime is stuck in the 1970s and significant changes are needed to the Pilotage Act and its regulatory framework to support a modern transportation network that is both safe and efficient,” said Bruce Burrows, President of the Chamber of Marine Commerce.
“Pilotage costs in Canada are out of control and have a long history of increasing at rates that far exceed inflation. The government’s Pilotage Review process is an important first step towards creating a pilotage system that not only promotes safety as its first priority but also meets users’ needs, uses sound risk management practices and is accountable and transparent. We look forward to participating in stakeholder discussions going forward.”
During the Pilotage Review consultations over the past few months, the CMC made the following key proposals, among others:
That regulatory authority of pilotage be transferred to Transport Canada.
That the Pilotage Authorities be amalgamated into one national authority.
That pilotage authorities should be able to choose their own work model.
That pilotage corporations (which provide the pilots for service) have greater transparency and accountability.
That Transport Canada review and standardize the pilot certification process and allow ‘certified’ masters and mates to operate fleet-wide.
That the Pilotage Act have a statement of purpose and clear objectives.