Marine Transportation

With an improved, modernized infrastructure, a heightened emphasis on efficiency, safety, security and the development of environmental regulations that support international standards, marine transportation in Canada plays a critical role in trade growth and economic prosperity.

7.1 Overview of Marine Transportation

Canada's marine industry comprises domestic marine service operators who provide both domestic and international shipping services, as well as international shipping lines calling at major Canadian ports. The domestic sector can be viewed under four geographical lenses: the Pacific west coast region; the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence; the Atlantic region, and the northern region.

The Pacific west coast region boasts a large and diverse fleet of vessels engaged in barging and towing of cargoes on inland waterways (e.g., Fraser River, Burrard Inlet), on coastal routes within the Gulf Islands and the Strait of Juan Fuca, and on routes to the Queen Charlotte Islands and Kitimat. Some of the larger operators in this region include Seaspan Marine Corporation, Pacific Towing Services Ltd. and SMIT Harbour Towage. There are also a number of ferry services in the area, mainly operated by B.C. Ferries (see the Ferry Services section in this chapter for more details).

Great Lakes/St. Lawrence area operators carry dry bulk and liquid bulk cargo, with vessels meeting the maximum size and capacity limits of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway system. The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, a not-for-profit corporation established by seaway users and other interested parties, follows its legislated mandate to administer, manage and operate the portion of the system under Canadian jurisdiction, while U.S.-based Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation does the same for the U.S. segment. Key marine carriers in this area include: Fednav International Ltd., Algoma Central Corporation, Canada Steamship Lines and Groupe Desgagnés. A recent study by the St. Lawrence Economic Development Council (SODES) and Quebec's department of transportation (MTQ) estimated that in Quebec alone, the marine industry produces $3 billion in economic activity every year.1

The marine industry in Atlantic Canada is engaged in a myriad of activities including container transportation to Newfoundland by Oceanex, oil platform resupply by companies like Secunda Marine, shuttling crude oil between platforms and oil terminals operated by companies such as Canship Ugland Ltd., and providing a large number of intra- and inter-provincial ferry services, such as Marine Atlantic and Northumberland Ferries. The region also has a rich shipbuilding history, which will be augmented even further by Halifax Shipyards carrying out a $25 billion contract from the Department of National Defence to build 21 combat ships over the next 30 years (see Section 12.3).

In the northern region, marine transportation plays a key role in community resupply as well as resource development. Northern Canada makes use of two clearly delineated marine systems: the western Arctic and the eastern Arctic.

In the western Arctic system, marine operations primarily occur in the Mackenzie River Watershed (including the Mackenzie River and Great Slave Lake), the Arctic coast and islands, and Alaska, as well as Richmond, B.C., on occasion. A fleet of tugs and dual-purpose barges brings, among other things, bulk petroleum products and dry cargo for communities, defence installations, and oil and gas exploration sites across the North while transporting natural resources extracted in the North to markets in the South. The largest marine operator in the western Arctic is Northern Transportation Company Limited (NTCL). As well, a ferry service operates in the Yukon along with five ferry services offered in the Northwest Territories.

The government of Nunavut coordinates the eastern Arctic sealift of dry cargo and bulk fuel for government departments, communities and residents. Sealift services are accessible to other shippers under the same contractual terms and conditions. Services include resupply to the eastern Arctic from Churchill and Montreal (and environs), dry cargo sealift, general cargo, use of roll-on/roll-off vessels, tug and barge combination, and delivery tankers for bulk fuel. Many commercial shipping companies operate in the eastern Arctic, including Nunavut Sealink and Supply Inc. (NSSI), Nunavut Eastern Arctic Shipping (NEAS), NTCL, Groupe Desgagnés and the Woodward Group.

Canada's ports and harbours are integral to Canada's transportation system. They serve as vital links and gateways that facilitate domestic and international economic activities. Canada is home to more than 540 ports and more than 940 small craft and fishing harbours (see Addendum Tables M2 and M7). Under the National Marine Policy, three categories of ports2 exist: Canada Port Authorities (CPAs), regional/local ports, and remote ports. All major Canadian ports benefitting from international shipping services have links with the country's rail network. Ports with container-handling capabilities include Vancouver, Prince Rupert, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, St. John's and Saint John. Ports such as Vancouver, Hamilton, Québec City, Sept-Iles and Saint John also handle significant volumes of bulk commodities. Map 12 and Table M23 shows volumes handled for most of the 17 CPAs. Of note, in February 2012, the Port of Oshawa became Canada's 18th CPA.

On the safety side, the Canadian Coast Guard, a Special Operating Agency within Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), allows Canada to exert influence over its waters and coasts. The Coast Guard delivers on public expectations of clean, safe, secure, healthy and productive waters and coastlines. It achieves this mission through eight services, including marine navigation, environmental response services, search and rescue services and maritime security. The Coast Guard is also responsible for icebreaking, dredging and marine communications and traffic management.

Another key component of marine safety is pilotage, regrouped under four federal Crown corporations—the Pacific Pilotage Authority (PPA), Great Lakes Pilotage Authority (GLPA), the Laurentian Pilotage Authority (LPA) and the Atlantic Pilotage Authority (APA)—that provide safe, reliable and efficient marine pilotage and related services for commercial vessels in the coastal waters of British Columbia, within the Great Lakes, in Canadian waters in the Laurentian Region and in Atlantic Canada.

7.2 2011 Year in Review

Economic framework and infrastructure

  • Canadian marine freight traffic reached 392 million tonnes in 20103, an increase of 10% over 2009 (see Tables M18 and M23). Some 58 million tonnes were recorded in domestic traffic flows, 103 million tonnes in transborder traffic, and 231 million tonnes in other international traffic. Marine transportation services handled $170.4 billion in international trade in 2010 (up 12% from 2009), with $88.9 billion in imports and $81.5 billion in exports (see Table M28).
  • In 2010, the 17 Canada Port Authorities (CPAs) handled 269 million tonnes of port traffic—69% of Canada's total tonnage handled at all Canadian ports. The largest volumes in recent years passed through Vancouver, Montreal, Québec City, Sept-Îles and Saint John (see Map 12 and Table M23).
  • In 2010, the rate of containerization4 was highest for freight unloaded at Pacific ports, reaching a record-high of 58.3% (see Table M26). Nationally, the containerization rate was 9.9% for outbound freight and 14.8% for inbound freight, or 11.6% overall.
  • By volume, bulk cargo (largely natural resources) represented the largest share of port traffic tonnage. The most significant imports that moved through Canadian ports include petroleum products, minerals, and coal, while significant exports include minerals (iron ore), petroleum products, coal, and grain.
  • The 2011 navigational season for the St. Lawrence Seaway—its 53rd—spanned a record 284 days, opening on March 22nd and closing December 30th. During that time, 37.5 Mt passed through the system, up 2.5% compared to the previous year. Increases in bulk liquid volumes, salt and scrap metal more than offset a 6% drop in grain volumes. The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation also reached a new three-year labour agreement with its employees.
  • As of January 2012, more than 62,000 vessels were registered in Canada, including 19,660 pleasure craft, 23,559 fishing vessels and 4,482 passenger craft. More than 45,000 of these vessels weigh less than 15 gross tons5—a volume measurement derived by multiplying a vessel's length, breadth and depth by a constant factor.
  • Marine Atlantic Inc. chartered two new vessels in 2011 to replace its two oldest—the MV Caribou and the MV Joseph and Clara Smallwood. The new vessels—the MV Blue Puttees and the MV Highlanders—entered into regular ferry service in March and April 2011, respectively.
  • Foreign participation in Canada's coasting trade—defined as the transportation of goods or passengers between points in Canada and any activity of a commercial nature—has remained low and focused primarily on tankers and special-purpose vessels for offshore activities (see Table M24).
  • CPAs are financially self-sufficient (see Tables M8 and M9). In 2010, overall CPA revenue reached $456.5 million—an increase of 18% over 2009. Total net income for CPAs totalled $101.7 million. In 2010, gross revenue charges paid by CPAs to the federal government totalled $25.8 million.
  • In 2011, CPAs continued to expand their holdings and activities in response to commercial demands. They also undertook capital projects to modernize and improve Canada's marine transportation infrastructure, and pursued business opportunities with various shippers and marine terminal operators. CPAs also engaged in a number of capital and maintenance projects that aimed to develop or maintain port lands and assets. As well, shippers, marine operators and terminal operators invested in new marine terminals and new equipment.
  • In 2011, Ridley Terminals Inc. (RTI)—a Crown corporation that operates a marine bulk terminal on land leased from the Prince Rupert Port Authority—handled 9.1 million tonnes of cargo. Strong global demand for coal continues to drive growth, particularly in Asia, and RTI forecasts increased throughput volumes, revenue and net income. In light of this expected growth, the federal government approved a multi-year capital project for RTI to expand its capacity to handle coal and other commodities shipped through the facility.


  • On October 25, 2011, Canada signed the 2010 Hazardous and Noxious Substances (HNS) Protocol (subject to ratification), which includes roughly 6,500 substances that may pose a pollution hazard or cause other damages or injuries. Should an incident occur, the Protocol allows access to an international fund, which, together with the shipowner's liability backed by compulsory insurance, will provide about $500 million in compensation for any damage that may result.
  • Transport Canada continued to develop new domestic regulations that support international standards to prevent pollution from vessels operating in Canadian waters. Implementation and enforcement of international standards remain ongoing, through inspections and aerial surveillance.
  • Transport Canada adopted measures to further protect the environment from the introduction of invasive species into Canada's waters from vessels entering Canada, and continued strong advocacy efforts to harmonize associated regulations in both Canada and the United States.
  • While the marine sector contributed to the majority of transportation-related SOx6 emissions, it accounted for 6% of total SOx emissions in Canada. The marine sector contributes marginally to emissions of air pollutants other than SOx such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and greenhouse gases (GHG).
  • In 2011, Transport Canada continued development of regulations to implement the North American Emission Control Area under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. A formal discussion paper was released to stakeholders last fall that set out the regulatory approach and included an alternative regime to control air emissions for vessels operating in the Great Lakes.
  • In March 2011, the International Joint Commission published its 15th biennial report on the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The report contains 32 recommendations including the establishment of an incident command system-type structure to prevent and respond to the emergence of aquatic invasive species.


  • In 2011, Transport Canada continued to address marine public safety through regulatory development, inspection and enforcement, alignment with international standards, and improved training of marine inspectors.
  • Transport Canada emphasized safety within the Canadian shipping industry by completing its two-year pilot project on safety management systems and holding public and internal consultations on proposed regulations for mandatory implementation. Canada is also moving toward regulated inspections based on risk factors such as compliance history, vessel age and type, and area of operation. Through this approach, vessel inspections will occur where most needed, based on assessed risks to Canadian citizens, waterways and ports.


  • In the context of the Perimeter Security Action Plan announced in December 2011, several marine transportation initiatives aimed at enhancing security will be pursued in the coming months and years, including:
    • establishing a unified approach to screening cargo arriving from offshore through the creation of a strategy to identify and manage risks with inbound cargo arriving in Canadian ports and airports;
    • managing traffic in the event of an emergency by developing regional-level recovery plans should freight flows be disrupted; and
    • developing and implementing processes, procedures and policies to enable an effective, shared understanding of activities, threats and criminal trends or other consequences in the air, land and maritime environment.
  • In December 2011, Canada and the United States agreed to the Regulatory Cooperation Council's (RCC) Joint Action Plan to increase regulatory transparency between the two countries. The Action Plan aims to better align the two countries' regulatory environments and thus reduce barriers to trade, lower costs for consumers and businesses, and foster economic opportunities on both sides of the border.
  • Marine security initiatives include further harmonization of regulations and ongoing collaboration with the United States' marine security regime, as well as the expansion and development of joint programs in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway.
  • Transport Canada's outreach efforts in 2011 on several marine security issues included:
    • hosting an Integrated Maritime Commerce Resilience (MCR) planning workshop with the ports of Hamilton, Halifax and Montreal to encourage communication, coordination and collaboration between the ports in case of disruption to maritime commerce;
    • organizing three regional law enforcement workshops to bring together municipal, provincial and national police services with responsibilities for marine security to discuss best practices and lessons learned regarding Small Vessel and Facility (SVF) security;
    • conducting consultations on proposed amendments to the Marine Transportation Security Regulations (MTSR) at the Canadian Marine Advisory Council's annual meeting in November 2011; and
    • participating and representing Canada in marine security-themed workshops in the Americas under the Organization of American States' Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism Port Security Assistance Program.

7.3 2007–11 Recap

Economic framework and infrastructure

The 2007–2011 period was largely dominated by the worldwide financial crisis and economic downturn, which considerably impacted the Canadian economy. Despite the uncertainty of this period, various initiatives were undertaken to optimize the use of marine transportation and enhance the overall efficiency of Canada's transportation system. For example, amendments to the Canada Marine Act (announced 2008) created a more flexible financial regime for Canada Port Authorities and highlighted a long-term role for ports. These amendments were complemented by policy initiatives that focused on increasing revenue generation options for ports as well as strengthening international relations in support of trade through the Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation Port Services Network. In the same vein, in the hopes of attracting new business, an incentive program was introduced by the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation.

In 2009, Canada amended the Marine Liability Act (MLA) which allowed for Canada's ratification of the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001 (Bunkers Convention) and accession to the Protocol of 2003 to the International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage, 1992 (Supplementary Fund Protocol), bringing the amount of compensation for oil pollution damage in Canada to $1.3 billion (from just over $500 million). The ratification of the Bunkers Convention introduced a compulsory insurance requirement for ships over 1000 gross registered tonnage that carry bunker oil: the shipowner's liability for bunker oil pollution damages must be covered. These legislative amendments also provided for:

  • introduction of a maritime lien for Canadian ship suppliers and ship repairers against a foreign vessel for unpaid invoices;
  • a general limitation period of three year for maritime claims; and
  • exclusion of adventure tourism activities (such as kayaking and whitewater rafting) from the passenger liability regime in Part 4 of MLA to allow adoption of compulsory insurance regulations.

In 2010, Finance Canada waived the 25% tariff on the import of ferry boats of 129 metres or more, and on all general cargo vessels and tankers of any size, to encourage renewal of the Canadian fleet through lowered costs for such vessels.

Finally, the federal government invested significantly in Marine Atlantic Inc. (MAI), a Crown corporation that operates a ferry service between Port aux Basques, NL and North Sydney, NS, which fulfills a constitutional obligation. Additional funding of approximately $950 million was announced between 2007 and 2010 to revitalize MAI and renew its fleet and shore facilities. Also in 2010, $76.4 million was announced to support the extension of three other ferry services in Eastern Canada through March 2014, including remote service between Prince Edward Island and the Magdalene Islands in Quebec.


Between 2007 and 2011, the federal government updated the legal and governance framework for CPAs to enable these ports to pursue commercial opportunities that support Canada's marine transportation infrastructure and trade objectives. This led to amendments to the Canada Marine Act in 2008 to allow increased borrowing authority, giving them greater flexibility to respond to investment opportunities. During that period, the government also issued 59 Supplementary Letters Patent—amendments to existing CPA Letters Patent. Most of these (48 in total) were issued to update real property holdings; five were issued to update port governance and activities; and three were issued to amend borrowing limits. The remaining three Supplementary Letters Patent were issued to reflect administrative changes.

The federal government worked in partnership with CPAs and marine transportation stakeholders over the last five years to enhance port productivity and performance as well as Canada's supply chains and trade corridors:

  • In 2008, the ports of Vancouver, Fraser River and North Fraser Port Authorities were amalgamated into Port Metro Vancouver. This was a key policy measure that positioned these ports to enhance investment opportunities, improve their competitiveness in the global market, and optimize port planning.
  • In 2008, the Gateway Performance Table initiative was launched to examine current and future competitiveness of the Asia–Pacific Gateway as a supply chain portal. Phase 2 of the initiative was launched in late 2010 and focuses on performance metrics, operations optimization, and productivity for inbound and outbound supply chains.
  • In 2009, Transport Canada completed a mandatory review of the Vancouver Container Trucking Regulations. Recommendations from the review included the formation of a Steering Committee, with representatives from the province of British Columbia and Port Metro Vancouver, to discuss emerging issues and work towards long-term stability.

Since 2008, Canada has either ratified or acceded to 12 International Maritime Organization (IMO) Conventions concerning protection of the marine environment, biodiversity, vessels, goods and personnel. This has enabled Transport Canada to fully enforce safety and environmental standards in accordance with the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. These efforts contributed to the successful adoption of the North American Emission Control Area (ECA) proposal, and to the development of environmental standards for ballast water and air emissions. Canada will continue to participate in the IMO work to advance uniform, global measures to address GHG emissions from existing marine vessels.

Beginning in 2008, a patchwork of state ballast water requirements on the Great Lakes, combined with separate and evolving regulatory programs involving the United States Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency, significantly complicated environmental requirements for vessels operating in the Great Lakes. In particular, New York State introduced difficult ballast water requirements. In response, Transport Canada initiated an interdepartmental working group on ballast water to lead a Government of Canada advocacy campaign seeking continuance of seaway trade and a compatible regulatory approach in our navigable boundary waters. Those requirements were withdrawn by New York State in February 2012.

Domestic marine GHG emissions increased by 16% between 1990 and 2008, from 5.0 Mt of CO2e to7 5.8 Mt of CO2e (see Table EN10). This can be attributed to growth in total tonne-kilometres as a result of rising international trade, but the increase was somewhat mitigated by a shift toward larger, more efficient vessels. During the 2008 to 2020 period, domestic marine GHG emissions are expected to increase by 20% (or 1.5% annually), rising from 5.8 Mt to 7.0 Mt of CO2e, due to traffic increase.

Between 1990 and 2009, domestic marine sector emissions of various air pollutants as a share of total emissions of that pollutant increased marginally or remained unchanged (see Table EN11), and overall air pollutant emissions from the marine sector decreased. Marine PM2.5 emissions8 fell by 1,583 tonnes (-14%), SOx emissions fell by 31,965 tonnes (-28%), NOx emissions9 fell by 17,387 tonnes (-13%), VOC emissions decreased by 659 tonnes (-14%) and CO emissions10 fell by 1,560 tonnes (-14%).


Canada's maritime safety record over the 2007–2011 period has shown marked improvements, as shown in Tables S14 and S15. During that period, accidents dropped 31.5%, from 400 to 274, while fatalities slipped from 13 to 12. The accident rate per million vessel-kilometres dropped by 10.1% to 19.5.

Transport Canada continues to evolve to meet the new strategic directions for safe marine transportation, working within the new regulatory regime established by the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 which came into force July 2007. Several more regulations have been updated to align with the new Act and better serve the safety interests of the industry and Canadians. These include regulations relating to collision avoidance, fire drills, navigation and small vessel safety. The vessel registry has also continued to streamline its requirements and processes and has remained a key mechanism for distributing safety bulletins that help keep vessel owners informed of important safety information. Accidents and fatalities continue to decline.

Transport Canada is making significant headway in implementing a modern policy framework and program management tools related to vessel inspections that are risk-based, harmonized with international standards and that support appropriate delegation of some inspection responsibilities to qualified Transport Canada-approved organizations. Encouraging small vessel safety in Canada has been a particular focus. Efforts include the 2011 launch of the renewed Small Vessel Compliance Program (non-pleasure craft) for vessels under 15 gross tonnes and carrying 12 passengers or fewer, as well as improved standardization and delivery of national recreational boating safety programs. These national programs took a new, integrated approach to boating safety that incorporated compliance and enforcement, education and awareness, program management, and the regulatory framework.


Several new marine security measures, programs and protocols came into force between 2007 and 2011 and have changed how the marine industry maintains its levels of vigilance. Transport Canada, under its Marine Security Contribution Program, allocated $7 million in funding for security enhancements in 2007 and $12 million in 2008 before the program ended in November 2009 (a total of $112 million was allocated under the program over its duration). Overall, some 1,226 projects were funded, including security improvements such as fences, security cameras and modernized perimeter security. Ports, marine facilities, domestic ferry terminal operators and domestic ferry vessel operators were able to apply for funds to help pay for improvements to meet their obligations under the Marine Transportation Security Regulations (MTSR).

In 2008, the Marine Transportation Security Clearance Program (MTSCP) was fully implemented at the following Canadian ports: Vancouver, Montreal, Halifax, Prince Rupert, Victoria, Windsor, Hamilton, Toronto, Québec City, Saint John, and St. John's, as well as at the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation. The MTSCP aims to reduce the risk of security threats by preventing unlawful interference with the marine transportation system. This is accomplished by conducting background checks on marine workers who perform particular duties or who have access to certain restricted areas.

In 2009, the Marine Event Response Protocol (MERP) was developed and adopted as an Annex to the Federal Emergency Response Plan. MERP is a means of coordinating a set of government responses to a significant marine event. That year, the Marine Security Program contributed to the development of a Maritime Annex to the Joint Framework for the Movement of People and Goods During and Following Emergencies, which was signed by the United States and Canada and that outlined communication and coordination procedures during situations that affect shared waterways. The Domestic Ferries Security Regulations also came into force in 2009 to increase the level of protection for 18 domestic ferry routes and 29 ferry facilities across Canada. These regulations provide a framework to detect security threats and to take measures to prevent security incidents that could affect domestic ferries and their facilities.

In 2010, the Small Vessel and Facility Security initiative launched several workshops for regional law enforcement—including one in Toronto. That same year, Transport Canada and the Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to foster greater coordination and collaboration and allow operators to use a single set of marine security-related requirements in order to meet both Transport Canada and C-NLOPB marine security requirements.

Transport Canada took measures to help ensure transportation security during major events hosted in Canada, such as the 2010 G20 summit in Toronto and the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics held in British Columbia. Transport Canada's role in these types of events is to provide additional security assessments, establish measures for security zones, if required, and provide personnel for the respective joint operations centres.

Over a three-year period, Maritime Commerce Resilience projects were completed in the ports of Vancouver, Halifax, Hamilton and Montreal. The projects aimed to prepare the maritime community and government officials to coordinate and execute a swift, effective recovery in the event of man-made or natural disasters that significantly disrupt maritime commerce.

7.4 Economic Framework and Infrastructure

International shipping

Canada is situated along numerous international shipping routes that link North America with other regions of the world. Many international container lines call at Canadian ports as members of alliances of container shipping companies and as independent lines. These include Maersk Line, Hapag-Lloyd, Mediterranean Shipping Company, OOCL, Hanjin Shipping, CMA CGM, and APL. A significant number of independent lines serve Canada as well. Liner services provide international shipping for containerized or break-bulk cargoes of higher value, and are offered on specific trade routes under a published schedule. Non-liner services do not have a fixed schedule and are operated on any shipping lane, carrying specific commodities (such as grain and crude oil). The Shipping Conference Exemption Act provides an exemption from certain provisions of the Competition Act. There are no conferences serving east coast ports and have not been since 2008, when the European Union (EU) made conference agreements illegal for all carriers serving the EU trade.

Cruise ship industry

Cruises visiting or departing from Canada are offered on both coasts and on the St. Lawrence from April through October. Cruises on the east coast offer itineraries that combine Canada and New England states, with most departing from or visiting Montreal, Québec City, Halifax, Charlottetown or Saint John. Cruises on the Pacific coast visit or depart from Vancouver or visit Victoria, with most sailings visiting Alaska. In 2011, the Port of Vancouver benefitted from 199 sailings from 27 vessels, and more than 663,000 revenue passengers (see Table M21). The port of Montreal had more than 38,000 international cruise ship passengers on 22 vessels. In Québec City, 20 ships from 16 different cruise lines brought more than 83,000 passengers. In Halifax, 122 cruise ship vessels brought more than 240,000 people to visit the city.

Canada Port Authorities (CPA)

The Canada Marine Act enacted in 1998 created a national system of ports vital to domestic and international trade. The 17 CPAs (18 since the inclusion of the Port of Oshawa in February 2012) are authorized under their Letters Patent to manage and operate specific ports at arm's-length from the federal government on a commercial basis, and are financially self-sufficient.

A recent study estimated that CPAs contribute about $24.5 billion to the Canadian gross domestic product and provide almost 269,000 jobs (in full-time equivalent person-years).11

CPAs play a critical role in supporting Canada's gateways and trade corridors, as they are often the entry and exit points into and out of Canada and handle the most significant share of Canadian trade (24% by volume) when compared to other modes and non-CPA ports.12

Canadian trade—both imports and exports—has been steadily increasing since 1995.13 Increasingly, Canada's major trade partners are located in Asia, prompting a shift in Canada's trade orientation from east (Europe) to west (Asia–Pacific region). Growth in Asia is expected to continue, which places increasing pressures on west coast ports (and on east coast ports for Asian cargo moving via the Suez and Panama canals).14

The increasing competitiveness of U.S. and Mexican ports and gateways is another important consideration for Canadian ports. American ports as well as inland transportation corridors have seen significant investment in recent years. The resulting increases in capacity and efficiency have challenged the competitiveness of Canadian ports and supply chains, particularly for traffic destined for the U.S. Midwest and North American heartland.15

By working in partnership with other transportation stakeholders, CPAs have remained competitive despite the recent global economic crisis. As well, CPAs have expanded their holdings and activities in response to commercial demands, undertaken capital projects to modernize and add to Canada's marine transportation infrastructure, and pursued business opportunities with various shippers and marine terminal operators. Shippers, marine operators and terminal operators have also invested in Canada's national port system through the construction of new marine terminals and the installation of new equipment. For example, in 2011:

  • At Vancouver, Neptune Bulk Terminals (Canada) Ltd. (Neptune) has invested $63.5 million in new equipment to improve its terminal coal handling capacity, optimize energy efficiency, and enhance its environmental performance at its North Vancouver facility. Neptune will also purchase and install a new $45-million stacker/reclaimer, manufactured in British Columbia.16
  • At the Port of Hamilton, Richardson International has invested $5.5 million to expand its port terminal facility to increase handling and shipping capacity.17 As well, the Port of Hamilton completed road, rail, building and security improvements. New facilities by Parrish and Heimbecker as well as McAsphalt Industries have enabled bulk throughput capacity growth.18
  • The Montreal Port Authority and Viterra Inc. announced that Viterra has commenced operation of the Grain Terminal previously managed by the Montreal Port Authority.19 As well, on February 3, 2011, the Montreal Port Authority and Canadian National signed an agreement to improve supply chain efficiencies for container traffic.20
  • At the Port of Trois-Rivières, Phase 1 of On Course for 2020—the program to modernize the CPA's facilities—was launched on May 19, 2011. Over the year that followed, 26,000 square metres of additional outdoor storage was created, two new warehouses were built, road access was improved, and port boundaries were properly defined to increase safety, security and productivity. Overall, this work has increased the port's capacity by 22%.21
  • Using a $30-million investment under the federal Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, the Sept-Îles Port Authority leveraged more than $250 million of private sector investment in the natural resource sector in the North Shore of Quebec.22
  • At the Port of Saint John, the $30-million expansion of American Iron & Metal (AIM) operations on the port's west side continued with a signed 40-year lease agreement.23 As well, in 2011 the port welcomed cruise ships from two lines that have not previously docked in the city: MSC Cruises and Oceania Cruises. Estimates for 2011 calculate that more than 70 ships docked in Saint John, bringing in more than 200,000 passengers and close to 70,000 crew members.24
  • At the Port of Halifax, American Feeder Lines announced the launch of a new feeder service between Halifax, Portland (Maine) and Boston (Massachusetts).25

St. Lawrence and Great Lakes Seaway

Pursuant to the Canada Marine Act (CMA), the St. Lawrence Seaway was commercialized in 1998, with its operation transferred to the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC), a not-for-profit corporation established by Seaway users and other interested parties. Under a 20-year agreement with the federal government—in force until March 31, 2018—the SLSMC manages and operates the Seaway and maintains, repairs, acquires and replaces Seaway assets, of which the federal government retains ownership. The SLSMC is authorized to charge tolls and generate other revenues to finance its activities, and is allowed to recover funds from the federal government to eliminate annual deficits. The CMA established a statutory appropriation for this purpose.

In 2010–11, the SLSMC's total revenue increased by 19.4% to $66.0 million, compared to the previous year's total of $55.2 million (see Table M14). Operating expenses for 2010–11 relating to the management and operation of the Seaway infrastructure amounted to $67.0 million, an increase of 3.1% from the previous year. Asset renewal expenditures, representing the cost of maintenance and major repairs of locks, canals, bridges, buildings and other infrastructure assets excluding capital acquisitions, totalled $49.3 million for 2010–11, compared to $45.2 million in 2009–10 As for transiting tonnage, 2011 saw a 2.5% increase in volumes to reach 37.5 Mt (see Table M19).

Small Craft Harbours Program at Fisheries and Oceans Canada

There were 923 small craft harbours and fishing harbours in Canada at the end of 2011 (see Table M2). Within Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the Small Craft Harbours (SCH) Program operates and maintains a national system of harbours to provide commercial fishers and recreational boaters with safe and accessible facilities. SCH's mandate is to keep harbours critical to the fishing industry open and in good repair. Over time, the objective is to retain a network of approximately 750 core, locally managed fishing harbours. All non-core harbours (i.e. recreational harbours and fishing harbours with low or no activity) are planned for divestiture.

Fishing harbours

In the late 1980s the Harbour Authority concept was introduced, which devolved responsibility for day-to-day management and operation of core commercial fishing harbours to local, not-for-profit, incorporated entities—called Harbour Authorities—controlled by local harbour users and operating under lease agreements with DFO. As of December 31, 2011, Harbour Authorities managed 684 core fishing harbours across Canada, about 91% of the SCH Program target. Non-core fishing harbours (i.e. those with low or no activity) were targeted for divestiture further to Program Review decisions in the mid-1990s. These divestitures have had minimal impact on the commercial fishing industry and continue to be operated according to their original purpose; they are also kept safe and publicly accessible for at least five years. To date, 377 fishing harbours have been divested.

Recreational harbours

Over time, the SCH Program intends to divest all recreational harbours in its inventory. Since 1994–95, 690 (or 82%) of SCH recreational harbours have been divested. The SCH disposal strategy, approved by Treasury Board in 1995, permits disposals at a consideration of $1.00, subject to conditions including a requirement to maintain public access for at least five years. Prior to transfer, where a harbour must first be refurbished, SCH is authorized to make reasonable repairs and conduct environmental clean-up or provide an equivalent financial incentive under the SCH Divestiture Grant Program to recipients. This is to facilitate harbour disposal and ensure that facilities are transferred in a safe condition. Recipients are mainly municipalities, local non-profit organizations, First Nations or other federal departments. In the absence of an interested public body, the facilities are offered at market value to the general public. As a last resort, if neither public nor private interest in the facilities exists, they are demolished. Tables M3 to M5 summarize, by region, the status of the SCH recreational harbour divestiture program, the recipients of harbours divested and the type of management of the remaining harbour sites in the SCH inventory.

International shipping in Canada

While land transport dominates Canada–U.S. trade, Canada relies heavily on a competitive international shipping industry to transport its trade with countries other than the United States. Every year, ships registered in foreign countries carry approximately 99.9% of Canada's deep-sea (non-U.S.) cargo. As Canadians increasingly seek trading opportunities beyond the traditional U.S. market—particularly with newly emerging economies—Canada's reliance on international shipping markets may affect the make-up of the foreign partners with which it trades, as reliance on international shipping markets (i.e., foreign-owned and registered shipping) may facilitate or present a barrier to diversifying Canada's international trade. Dependency on the international market runs the risk of a shortage of ships or sudden spikes in freight or charter rates, which affect the cost of getting Canada's goods to market and the country's competitiveness against other suppliers that own a greater portion of their shipping/logistics chains. International shipping is essentially comprised of three cargo-based markets: dry bulk shipping; tanker or liquid bulk shipping (tanker market); and container shipping (liner shipping market). Each market is further divided into segments based on vessel size and trade route served. Indices unique to each market segment track freight rates, or prices charged by ocean carriers, and generally reflect the balance between demand for the goods being carried and supply of ships available to carry them. However, the freight rate is rarely an all-inclusive price and is subject to various fees and surcharges.

Moving Low Value, Resource Commodities from the Praries to Market

Container availability in the Prairie provinces is a function of shipping line profitability. Shippers in the Prairie provinces are often challenged to attract a sufficient number of empty containers to move their goods to market.

The most important factor driving apparent container shortages in these provinces is the low potential profit available to shipping lines. Most of the exports produced in the Prairie provinces are resource commodities that are low value relative to their weight and volume. This low value limits exporters' ability to absorb higher transportation costs. During times of congestion, shipping lines have the financial incentive to focus on providing transportation services to those shippers able to pay more for container availability.

Container shortages in the Prairie provinces can also occur when demand is insufficient to support balanced traffic flows. This can occur when the number of loaded containers imported into a community is insufficient to meet the demand of local exporters hoping to use these containers to move their goods to market. To bridge the gap between demand and supply, containers have to be repositioned from other locations where there is a surplus of empty containers.

Freight rate indices generally trended upward in the period immediately preceding the 2008 global financial crisis, and then collapsed in the fourth quarter of 2008. Indices saw modest gains in 2009 as recovery took hold, with relatively stable prices through much of 2010. However, 2011 has generally shown mixed results, with some shipping markets experiencing declines in freight rates due to oversupply of ships, despite industry efforts to reduce supply even as demand for cargo continued to increase, albeit at levels well below 2008 peak demand.

Ocean shipping costs in the dry bulk sector play a pivotal role in the success of Canada's resource exports. The Baltic Exchange Dry Bulk Index, a measure of charter costs for classes of dry bulk ships, hit a high of 11,459 points in the second quarter of 2008 before plummeting to a low of 666 points in the fourth quarter of 2008. The index recovered to a high of 4,291 points and then hovered from 2,163 to 4,643 points through to the third quarter of 2010. The index started 2011 at 1,621 points and closed the year at 1,738 points.

Tanker charter costs affect the profitability of Canada's exports and imports of crude petroleum and refined products. Tanker charter costs declined by roughly 50% in 2009 from their most recent peak levels in 2008, and continued to decline into 2011. According to Fearnleys, an international shipping consultant, the average time charter rate for a modern Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) declined from an average daily rate of U.S.$90,000 in July 2008 down to $18,000 in September 2011. VLCCs are tanker ships of 200,000–350,000 deadweight tonnage (DWT—where DWT is a measure of the total weight a ship can safely carry) that generally carry only crude oil. Similarly for clean product tankers, Fearnleys data show that average daily charter rates for an 80,000 DWT tanker peaked at $30,500 in October 2008 and fell to $14,625 by September 2011.

Canada's domestic shipping industry

For Canada's large commercial vessels, 2011 saw positive outcomes stemming from a culmination of many efforts and events throughout the previous four-year period. Of particular interest was the gradual renewing of part of Canada's ageing fleet of commercial and government vessels.

In previous years, renewal of commercial vessels had been impeded by numerous factors such as costs and duties. The situation changed considerably in 2010 as the global economic downturn led to cancelled ship orders and competitive shipbuilding prices, a strong Canadian dollar, low interest rates, and decreased steel prices. In addition, the Government of Canada waived the 25% tariff on certain foreign-built vessels. Together, these factors have encouraged and accelerated the replacement of Canada's ageing vessels with cleaner, safer and more efficient vessels, often with greater capacity.

As a result, 2011 was a strong year in terms of new Canadian vessels entering into service, with more additions to the Canadian fleet expected in the years to come. This, in turn, is resulting in social, environmental and economic benefits for Canada and its people, while positioning the country's marine transportation system to be more competitive and sustainable.

It should be noted that foreign participation in Canada's coasting trade has remained low, ranging from a low of 1.2% to a high of 11.1% of total tonnage carried between 2000 and 2010. The majority of vessels temporarily imported under a coasting trade licence are tankers and special-purpose vessels for offshore activities. Some cargo vessels are also imported temporarily for use in the east coast (Atlantic and St. Lawrence Seaway regions).

Ferry services

A ferry is defined as a boat or ship that carries passengers, vehicles or cargo across water. Ferry services are offered on regular, frequent and return basis. Ferries represent a form of transportation and are part of the transport system for many waterside cities and islands. In Canada, ferry service offerings are not limited to provinces and territories with large lakes and lengths of shoreline. Most provinces propose seasonal ferry services in their regions, as ferries permit point-to-point transit at much lower capital costs than bridges or tunnels. Many cable ferries are operated on lakes and rivers in Canada.

Marine Atlantic, a Crown corporation, offers commercial and passenger ferry services between the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia. It operates a year-round, constitutionally mandated service between Port-aux-Basques, Newfoundland and Labrador and North Sydney, Nova Scotia and a seasonal, non-constitutionally mandated service between Argentia, Newfoundland and Labrador and North Sydney.

In addition, there are a number of privately and publicly owned intra-provincial, inter-provincial and Canada–U.S. ferry operations serving Canada as shown in Table M17, including:

  • BC Ferries, a former Crown corporation commercialized in 2003, is the largest passenger ferry line in North America and one of the largest in the world. With a fleet of 35 vessels, it operates on 25 routes, serving 47 terminals and provides all major passenger and vehicle services on the west coast, carrying travellers between mainland British Columbia and Vancouver Island as well as other islands (e.g., the Gulf Islands and the Queen Charlotte Islands) along the coast of British Columbia.
  • Black Ball Ferry Line provides year-round daily ferry service linking Victoria with Port Angeles, Washington.
  • The Yukon, the Northwest Territories and the Prairie provinces all operate ferries as part of their highway network; these services cross small bodies of water.
  • Washington State Ferries offers daily spring to fall service between Sidney, British Columbia, the San Juan Islands and Anacortes, Washington.
  • Société des traversiers du Quebec (STQ), a Quebec Crown corporation, operates five ferry services on the St. Lawrence and Saguenay rivers with a fleet of 12 ships.
  • Compagnie de Gestion de Matane (COGEMA), a Canadian National Railway (CN) subsidiary, operates the only rail ferry in Canada, between the Quebec ports of Baie-Comeau and Matane, with possible freight interchange with CN at Rivière-du-Loup.
  • Relais Nordik, a service offered by the Desgagnes Group from April to January, links Rimouski and Sept-Îles with 10 villages on the Lower North Shore of Anticosti Island, between Havre St-Pierre and Blanc Sablon. Seven of these villages have no road access.
  • Coastal Transport Limited, based in Saint John, New Brunswick, offers daily ferry trips to Grand Manan Island from the ferry terminal in Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick.
  • C.T.M.A. Traversier Ltée, a division of CTMA Group, operates a passenger and vehicle ferry service between Cap-aux-Meules, Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec and Souris, Prince Edward Island between April and January, as well as a reduced winter ferry service in February and March. The federal government has provided financial support for this service since 1971 towards operating deficits as well as to cover the cost of maintenance and repairing Transport Canada's assets used in the delivery of this ferry service (one vessel and two terminal facilities).
  • Bay Ferries Limited operates a passenger and vehicle ferry service between Saint John, New Brunswick and Digby, Nova Scotia, using a Transport Canada- owned vessel and two terminal facilities. The operator receives funding from the federal government toward operating deficits as well as to cover the cost of maintenance and repairs of Transport Canada's assets used in the delivery of this ferry service.
  • Northumberland Ferries Limited operates a passenger and vehicle ferry service between Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island and Caribou, Nova Scotia, using Transport Canada-owned ferry terminal facilities and two vessels, for eight months of the year (May to December). The federal government has been providing financial support for this service since 1941.
  • Labrador Marine operates a wintertime ferry service between Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador and Blanc Sablon, Quebec to complement its 10-month service between St. Barbe, Newfoundland and Labrador and Blanc-Sablon. The Corner Brook–Blanc Sablon service became a permanent year-round service after the successful completion of pilot projects in 2010 and 2011, as well as a $1.3-million contribution from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Numerous inter-provincial ferry and coastal services are operated along Canada's east coast. Provinces offer intra-provincial ferry services; some operate these as components of their highway networks (i.e., as links within their highway systems). Intra-provincial ferries that are river crossings are affected by fluctuating water levels. The provinces of New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and both the Northwest and Yukon Territories do not charge a fee on ferries they operate (with one exception: the Wollaston ferry service in Saskatchewan) nor does British Columbia for inland ferry services that are designated as part of its highway network. All other provincially operated ferry services do charge a fee.

Finally, several ferries are used as extensions of public transit in major cities, such as:

  • Metro Transit in Halifax, used between terminals in downtown Halifax, Dartmouth and Woodside to ease traffic on bridges;
  • Quebec-Levis ferry in Québec City, operated by the Société des traversiers du Quebec;
  • Toronto Island Ferry, which runs routes to Hanlan Point, Ward's Island and Centre Island from the dock at Bay Street and Queen's Quay;
  • Translink, which operates SeaBus ferries between public transit bus hubs at Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver and Waterfront in Vancouver, where commuters can connect with the Skytrain or the West Coast Express commuter rail; and,
  • Aquabus Ferries Ltd operates a small, water-taxi like service serving eight locations on Vancouver's False Creek. Its 12-passenger ferries are the smallest in Canada.

Accessibility and ferry services

The Terminal Code of Compliance is a code of best practices in accessible transportation applicable to airport terminals and some rail and ferry terminals, mainly those under federal jurisdiction. In the Terminal Code Compliance Report of 2010, the Canadian Transportation Agency reported that, as it applies to ferry terminals, both Marine Atlantic Inc. and Northumberland and Bay Ferries have achieved full compliance. Non-federally regulated ferry services may have also achieved a level of accessibility in compliance with the Code, but these were not assessed. Ferry operators voluntarily offer free attendant fare for daily, but not overnight, passage.

The Quebec Société des traversiers continues to work on recommendations emanating from the Kéroul Report of 2007 and is looking at improving how its Quebec-Levis ferry connects with Paratransit in Québec City.

Accessibility at Marine Atlantic

Prior to going into service in March 2011, Marine Atlantic's two newest vessels, MV Blue Puttees and MV Highlanders, were modified to add adapted cabins, tactile signage, audible notification of deck level in elevators and visual alarms.

Shortsea shipping in Quebec

Shortsea shipping—the movement of cargo and passengers by sea but without directly crossing an ocean—from a sustainable development perspective, can contribute to improving air quality, lighten road traffic congestion and cut down on noise pollution. Quebec's Shortsea Shipping Roundtable aims to promote marine transportation within the province and between Quebec and the rest of North America. The province plans to act as a clearinghouse for information and expertise, and to promote the integration of maritime transport in domestic and continental transport lines. This roundtable deals with the transport of both goods and passengers. Shortsea shipping services in Quebec include the operation of public and private ferries, the provision of maritime services to isolated communities, the inter-regional maritime movement of petroleum, oils and lubricants, the delivery of de-icing salt, and new multi-modal services.

An example of this type of service is when Groupe Océan transported woodchips by barge along the North Shore to the Kruger paper mill establishment in Trois-Rivières between April 2005 and June 2007. This initiative permitted the elimination of 18,000 heavy-truck trips per year along highways 138 and 40. It also resulted in decreased use of the ferry running between Baie- Sainte-Catherine and Tadoussac. This transportation operation replaced trucking for nine months a year, until the closure of the Ragueneau and Forestville Kruger sawmills in the summer of 2007. Through this initiative, the Kruger company reduced its transportation costs, an estimated $350,000 was saved per year in road surface maintenance costs, and GHG emissions were reduced by 9,000 tonnes per year. The initiative also decreased road hazards, given the decline in the number of required heavy-truck trips.

For nearly a year, the St. Lawrence Ship Operators, in cooperation with Transports Quebec and Hydro-Quebec, headed a feasibility study on shipping goods to the major North Shore shipyards. Diverting a portion of transport from door-to-door trucking to a truck-ship-truck solution proved beneficial—and a realistic option from technical, logistical, economic and social perspectives. The study's final report presents a concrete business case for implementing maritime transport services to the North Shore region through a third-party logistics company, bringing together several ship operators and a partner trucking company. However, a number of logistic, economic and social challenges remain, including industry leadership and cooperation among various modes of transportation. The introduction of financial incentives may incite private investment, which could make shortsea shipping a viable long-term solution for Quebec.

Across the country, a number of other shortsea shipping activities are taking place, particularly in the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes Seaway, off the coast of British Columbia and in the North.

7.5 Environment

Canada's environmental role at the International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Canada joined Norway and other countries at the IMO in July 2011 to bring about the first international standards for energy efficiency that aim to reduce GHG emissions from the shipping industry. Beginning in 2013, new ships will be assigned a measure of carbon efficiency—the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), which includes target efficiencies for new ships. All ships will also be required to have a Shipboard Energy Efficiency Management plan onboard that outlines actions a ship is taking to increase its energy efficiency. Canada contributed funding towards a study commissioned by the IMO Secretariat to examine market-based measures to encourage reductions in GHG emissions that are currently under consideration for the shipping industry. Canada has been a leader in developing international measures to control the movement of aquatic invasive species from ships' ballast water. Canada also played a key role in IMO's Expert Group on Market-Based Measures and participated in discussions that led to the adoption of new IMO standards for ships to manage garbage and nutrients that may be present in sewage.

Air pollution

Emission Control Area

In March 2009, Canada and the U.S., with support from France on behalf of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, submitted a joint proposal to the International Maritime Organization for the establishment of an Emission Control Area (ECA) on the east and west coasts.

In March 2010, the Parties to International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships Annex VI (MARPOL Annex VI) voted to adopt the North American ECA. The ECA is the largest of its kind, spanning from the baselines of the territorial sea, south of 60° north latitude, out to the 200 nautical mile limit of the Exclusive Economic Zone. The ECA sets new emission standards to reduce ships' air emissions, enhance environmental protection and provide substantial benefits to human health. Effective August 1, 2012, sulphur content in marine fuels will be limited to 1% and to 0.1% after 2015, thereby delivering a 96% reduction of sulphur oxide emissions from ships.

Alternatively, ships may use emission control systems that deliver equivalent performance and continue to burn higher-sulphur fuels. Ship engines built after 2016 will also be subject to enhanced emission controls for nitrogen oxides. These regulations are expected to help reduce air pollution, smog and acid rain and benefit human health in coastal areas as well as further inland. To bring the ECA into effect, Transport Canada is developing regulations under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, which are expected to be in force by the fall of 2012.

Transport Canada has committed funding on research and development projects that facilitate marine emissions reductions of both GHG and air pollutants. These initiatives align with the IMO MARPOL Annex VI and the adoption of the North American Emission Control area. They also support the development of standards and best practices to further reduce marine air emissions.

Great Lakes requirements for low-sulphur fuel

Transport Canada is developing air emissions regulations under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 for commercial marine vessels operating on internal waters of the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence Seaway system. Under the proposed approach, Canadian shipowners must meet a gradually decreasing sulphur content in fuel used on average across their fleet, from 2012 to 2019. These regulations are being advanced as industry makes efforts to renew and modernize Canada's domestic fleet. Starting in 2020, individual vessels will be required to meet Emission Control Area level standards. The standards can be met by using low-sulphur distillate fuels (such as marine diesel), alternative fuels (such as liquid natural gas), emission control technologies, on-board procedures, or a combination of these that achieves a performance equivalent to using fuel with the prescribed sulphur content. These regulations are expected to be released in coordination with the ECA.

Marine shore power

Marine shore power is a technology that allows ships to plug into the local electrical grid to power their vessels while at port, thereby avoiding the use of auxiliary engines that consume fuel and produce GHG and air pollutant emissions.

Canadian ports face barriers to adoption of this technology, including the initial capital cost of these installations, the lack of Canadian experience with this technology, and the complexity of contractual arrangements with partners (e.g. utilities, provincial and/or municipal governments) governing access to city electrical grids and power lines. Additionally, the benefits of shore power are shared among many stakeholders, making the business case for investment by the port challenging.

The federal government's Shore Power Technology for Ports program was designed to mitigate barriers to adoption of marine shore power technology facing Canadian port stakeholders. The program is aimed primarily at Canadian port authorities, but any stakeholder can build a business case and submit an application.

Port emissions

The National Port Inventory project will result in a detailed, activity-based inventory of air emissions associated with both marine and land-based port-related operations for all 17 CPAs. This includes a GHG and CAC emissions assessment related to the use or activity of all equipment from four major source groups comprising marine vessels, cargo handling equipment (CHE), rail locomotives and motor carriers. The inventory will include the activities throughout the entire Port jurisdiction of the designated Canadian Port Authorities (CPA), including:

  • A detailed inventory of emissions in 2010 associated with CPA's marine and landside operations
  • Quantification of emission reduction measures currently in place and planned for the future
  • Forecast of the 2010 emission inventory in five-year increments through 2025 (e.g. 2015, 2020 and 2025)

Emissions will be compiled using Transport Canada's Port Emissions Inventory Model (database tool) and Guide for inventories of CAC and GHG emissions in the ports. Results will be made public, and will allow CPAs to show environmental leadership and reach a higher level of environmental performance. The subsequent data analyses and model development outputs from this project available will allow Transport Canada to better inform discussions related to the policies and legislation aimed at reducing energy use and emissions related to marine transportation, including providing an emission baseline for the Marine Shore Power Program.

A similar approach in 2009 focused on the port of Montreal showed that marine vessels had the most fuel consumption, with 24.8 million litres, followed by CHE at 7.1 million litres. The report26 also showed the emission levels of 10 air contaminants by source.

EcoAction Program at Port of Metro Vancouver (PMV)

PMV's EcoAction Program promotes attainable emissions reduction goals for ocean-going vessels that enter the Port, and rewards those who excel in environmental stewardship.

Vessels may qualify for one of three levels of harbor due rates based on implementing one of the emission reduction options within a given category. The reduced rates, Bronze, Silver and Gold, are designed to provide a wide variety of technology and fuel options to vessels in order to promote and build awareness around a number of alternative emission reduction practices.

As acknowledgement of and encouragement to shipping partners who advance the goal of bringing cleaner ships to Vancouver, the Port has introduced the newly established Blue Circle Award for participants in its EcoAction Program for Shipping, a recognition reserved for only the highest emissions reduction achievements.

More information is available at:

Water pollution

Ballast water

The Government of Canada is committed to reducing the risk of aquatic species invasions from ships' ballast water. This environmental concern is particularly pronounced on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway system, which serves as a critical transportation corridor for commodities such as iron ore, coal, minerals and grain. Accordingly, Canada has developed strong and effective ballast water regulations that recognize both the environmental and economic importance of these waters. Recognition that strong international rules are also needed to regulate the global fleet that carries North America's trade led to Canada's April 2010 ratification of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004. This convention requires vessels to be equipped with treatment systems that effectively, reliably, and dramatically remove live organisms from ballast water under the challenging conditions found on active vessels.

In November 2010, Transport Canada published the Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. Today, all vessels entering the St. Lawrence Seaway from outside Canada's exclusive economic zone are inspected under a Canada–U.S. program before they enter the Great Lakes. This enforcement action ensures full compliance with exchange and flushing requirements, as ships must either have met the regulatory requirements or take corrective action to meet these standards. Scientific research has demonstrated the effectiveness of this program, and in fact recommended it for other freshwater ecosystems around the world. No new non-native species attributed to ships' ballast water has been reported on the Great Lakes since 2006, which demonstrates the effectiveness of the regulations and the joint enforcement program.

In light of the patchwork of regulations described in section 7.3, Transport Canada has also been working closely with U.S. state and federal agencies to encourage uniform, science-based rules for managing ballast water to protect shared waters while providing a predictable regulatory regime for marine shipping.

National Aerial Surveillance Program

Transport Canada monitors ships transiting Canadian waters through its National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP). The NASP conducts over-flights of vessels moving through Canadian waters on a routine basis. During these flyovers, crew members inspect vessels and their wakes for signs of potential pollution or other violations of the Canadian Shipping Act, 2001. In 2010–11, some 12,365 vessels were flown over during 2,506 patrol hours of surveillance (see Table EN7). Of these, 84 pollution incidents were detected.

The NASP has become a world leader in marine aerial reconnaissance. It has finalized upgrades to surveillance equipment onboard all three aircraft used in this program and enables the use of live streaming video. This will allow aircrews to link people on the ground with events being monitored by aircrews in real time.

Initiatives to contain maritime pollution

In 2010, the federal Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD) tabled a report to the House of Commons concerning the federal government's management of oil and chemical spills from ships in Canadian waters and, more specifically, its state of preparedness to respond to such spills. In response to the report, key federal departments involved in marine emergency prevention and response activities created the Inter-departmental Marine Pollution Committee. Several sub-committees were also formed to address key recommendations, including a sub-committee on the management of hazardous and noxious substances as well as another on policy and legislation—both of which are chaired by Transport Canada.

Transport Canada is working with key federal departments and agencies to ensure that adequate, up-to-date data on the movement of hazardous and noxious substances by ships is available. This, in turn, will support the development of a national hazardous and noxious substances ship-source preparedness and response regime. National consultations will lead to the design of the proposed regime and to recommendations for the adoption of the IMO's Protocol on Preparedness, Response and Co-operation to Pollution Incidents by Hazardous and Noxious Substances (OPRC-HNS Protocol).

Another initiative underway is the Ice Navigation and Oil Detection Radar project, which will significantly enhance the ability to detect and track ice, oil and other targets using radar from both shipboard and fixed platforms. This technology will provide a unique capability in Arctic waters to improve the safety and the fuel efficiency of ships operating in a challenging environment, thus reducing their emissions. In addition, it assists in oil spill clean-up and enhances search and rescue response capabilities.

7.6 Safety

Qualified, well-trained seafarers are critical to safe marine operations. Currently, approximately 30,000 valid certificates have been issued by Transport Canada to seafarers who work in Canada. This includes 9,681 examinations conducted in 2011 to ensure nautical officers, marine engineers and other disciplines are competent to carry out their required duties (see Table M31).

A well-maintained domestic vessel fleet is also essential for safe marine operations. For large vessels (greater than 15 gross tons), 54 types of vessel- specific certificates exist—the majority of which directly support safe operations, while the remainder encourage protection of the environment. Each certificate is time-based and requires inspection of the vessel by a Marine Inspector or recognized organization in order to be issued or maintained. Transport Canada conducts inspections and issues over 5,500 certificates per year.

Safety statistics

Canadian registered vessels

The past two decades have witnessed an average yearly decline of 5% in recorded marine accidents involving Canadian registered vessels as shown in Table S14. Marine accident statistics include both shipping accidents and accidents aboard ships. In 2011, the steady downward trend continued with 274 reported accidents (247 shipping accidents and 27 accidents aboard ship). This 2011 accident figure represents a 7.7% decline from 2010 (297), and was 24.1% lower than the 2006–2010 five-year average. Please see Tables S1, S14 and S15.

There were 11 fatal Canadian vessel accidents resulting in 12 fatalities in 2011, a decrease compared to the previous five-year average of 17 fatalities. The majority of fatalities in 2011 (75%) resulted from accidents aboard ship, which included persons falling overboard.

Of the 274 Canadian vessels involved in shipping accidents in 2011, fishing vessels represented nearly 43%, while all other non-pleasure craft accounted for almost 53% (see Table S16 and S17). Pleasure craft comprised the remaining 4%, and these accidents are recorded when involved with non-pleasure craft or when engaged in a commercial activity at the time of the occurrence (e.g., charters).

Based on forecast movement data, the 2011 Canadian vessel accident rate of 19.5 (available only for non-pleasure craft—excluding fishing—of over 15 gross tonnes) has increased from the 2010 rate of 18.0 but remained below the previous five-year average (20.7).

Some 22 Canadian vessels confirmed total losses due to a shipping accident in 2011, down 27.2% from the previous five-year average of 30.2%. The greatest proportion of losses in 2011 was found in fishing vessels, at 95.5%.

Foreign flag vessels

In 2011, 48 accidents occurred that solely involved one or more foreign flag vessels—down from the previous five-year average of 59.2. These accidents resulted in three fatalities and no confirmed vessel losses. For more details on marine accidents, including a regional breakdown of occurrences, see Tables S14 to S17.

Recreational boats

Boating is by far the most frequent type of activity leading to water-related injury and fatality in Canada, accounting for more than 3,000 deaths in Canada from 1991 to 2008. In 86% of the cases, the boating activity was recreational and 95% of the deaths resulted from immersion including drowning, with or without cold exposure. For recreational boating, deaths associated with powerboats accounted for 58% of deaths and unpowered boats for 37%. The most frequent recreational boating activity was fishing, accounting for 37% of immersion deaths. Males 15 and older accounted for about 90% of victims, continuing to make them the key target group for prevention. Failure to wear a flotation device was an equipment factor for up to 88% of victims, and for an even higher proportion of non-swimmers and those who had consumed alcohol. Finally, a key environmental factor for recreational boating immersion deaths in Canada is cold water, which has been associated with at least 35% of fatalities.27 Figure S17A shows annual recreational boating fatalities.

In 2011, more than 100,000 new applications and transfers of licenses were issued from the Pleasure Craft Licensing Centre in Fredericton, New Brunswick. It should be noted that Canada has approximately 6 million recreational boaters in any given year.

Ensuring safe navigation

Marine pilotage

Marine transportation personnel face serious navigational challenges every day: dangerous weather, treacherous tides and currents, underwater hazards, congested waterways, and narrow channels. Opposite this list of hazards is the accumulated experience and knowledge of the marine pilot—mariners who use their knowledge of local waters to safely guide vessels to their destinations.

All four Pilotage Authorities experienced a surplus in 2011, resulting in a combined gain of approximately $10 million. Table M11 shows the non-audited financial results of the four authorities in 2011.

Using the average number of assignments per pilot as an indicator, the overall efficiency of pilotage services in 2011 was slightly less than in 2010. Exceptions were the APA, where the average number of assignments per pilot remained the same, and the LPA and GLPA, where the average slightly increased. Variations between the authorities and from year to year are related to traffic levels. Table M16 shows the number of assignments for each pilotage authority as well as the total for all pilotage authorities in 2011.

Navigable waters protection

Through the administration of the Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA), Transport Canada assists in ensuring the public's right to navigate Canada's waters without obstruction. It reviews and approves works built in, on, over, under, through or across navigable water in Canada prior to construction. Additionally, the Navigable Waters Protection Program (NWPP) ensures that appropriate navigation safety measures such as warning lights, buoys or other markers are used and maintained during the construction and long-term operation of the approved works. Transport Canada is also responsible for investigation and correction of obstructions to navigation caused by works or wrecked vessels. This can include ordering the relocation, removal or alteration of an obstruction. At the owner's expense, the program may also facilitate the relocation, removal or alteration of the obstruction.

As the Receiver of Wreck, the NWPP acts as the custodian of found and recovered wreckage while attempting to return the wreck to its proper owner. If an owner is not identified, the program may also determine a salvage award.

Arctic navigation

Global demand for raw materials, coupled with a continued decrease in Arctic sea ice during the summer melt season and the resulting improved marine access, make it highly plausible that Arctic marine activity will increase in the future. Shipping associated with the anticipated expansion of resource development activities (hydrocarbons, hard minerals and fisheries) and with regional trade is of concern to Arctic residents due to its potential for social, cultural and environmental impacts.

Every year for the past five years—since the lowest-ever summer-minimum Arctic ice coverage in 2007—one or more routes of Canada's Northwest Passage has been ice-free for a period of time in the summer. Should sea ice reduction continue, open water itself may become a resource in terms of providing an efficient, seasonal, and shorter global shipping route between major markets in Europe, Asia and North America.

In 2009, Canada expanded the range of its Arctic waters pollution protection for ships to 200 miles—the maximum permitted under international law. In 2010, it became mandatory for certain vessels to report before entering and when operating in Canadian Arctic waters, to ensure safe and efficient navigation as well as protection of the marine environment. A total 140 individual vessels reported to the Canadian Coast Guard Marine Communication and Traffic Services in 2010, and 135 vessels did so in 2011. Cruise ship traffic is relatively stable, at approximately 2,000 passengers on board seven cruise ships making 11 trips a year.

Given the challenges of responding to shipping emergencies in this vast, remote region, accident prevention becomes a priority. Work is underway at the International Maritime Organization to develop robust, mandatory international rules for polar shipping. Canada plans to harmonize its Arctic shipping rules, to the extent possible, with international requirements.

International standards

International Maritime Organization

The international nature of shipping and the vast number of administrations involved around the world requires international coordination in developing common safety standards. This is undertaken by the International Maritime Organization (IMO)—of which Canada is a founding member—which helps shape requirements for all vessels around the world. The IMO is a United Nations Specialized Agency that governs the world's maritime shipping activities. Canadians benefit from IMO participation through enhanced marine transportation systems at home; the Canadian marine industry gains by ensuring its voice is heard regarding requirements they must meet abroad.

Harmonized work with the United States

On February 4, 2011, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama announced the creation of the Canada–United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) to increase regulatory transparency and coordination between the two countries. The Joint Action Plan under the RCC aims to align recreational boat manufacturing standards and develop a proposal for aligning monitoring and compliance regimes. For pleasure-craft manufacturers, harmonized standards will simplify the process of ensuring compliance to applicable standards for vessels that are exported. Harmonized standards will help regulators (Transport Canada and the United States Coast Guard) in compliance monitoring and will facilitate collaboration to enforce similar requirements and resolve potential non-compliance issues common to both countries.

Regulatory misalignments do exist between the United States and Canadian standards for life jackets and personal floatation devices. The Joint Action Plan aims to move to a common standard for life jackets, and considers developing mutual recognition arrangements for other marine safety equipment. Benefits of mutual recognition include increased competitiveness for Canadian and U.S. manufacturers, improved efficiencies in approval processes, and broader choices for consumers. The new common standard is expected to increase wearability and promote innovation in the design of personal floatation devices.

Port State Control

Foreign vessels entering Canadian waters are boarded and inspected through the Port State Control (PSC) Program to ensure compliance with various international conventions. PSC programs are regional in nature; countries sharing common waters have grouped together under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to ensure that vessels trading in their area are not sub-standard. Canada is signatory to two MOUs: the Paris MOU, which is made up of 22 European Union countries and 5 non-European countries, and the Tokyo MOU, comprising 18 Asia–Pacific countries. Canada and the other member countries play significant roles in the global elimination of sub-standard ships. Transport Canada Marine Safety inspectors are trained based on international requirements to carry out inspections on high-risk ships that come to Canadian ports.

Transportation Safety Board

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is an independent agency created to advance transportation safety through the investigation of occurrences in the marine, pipeline, rail and air modes of transportation. In 2010, the TSB released the TSB Watchlist, which identifies safety issues investigated by the TSB that pose the greatest risk to Canadians. The TSB Watchlist includes two main marine problems: the number of accidents involving loss of life on fishing vessels being too high, and emergency preparedness on large passenger ferries operating in Canada in need of improvement. Transport Canada considers these safety issues to be a priority and is engaged in an expedited regulatory development process. This entails the development of a project plan and process map for interim expedited responses to safety priorities and TSB recommendations, and engaging in web-based consultations on TSB Watchlist items.

The Canadian Marine Advisory Council established a working group on marine TSB recommendations. This working group, comprised of Transport Canada and industry representatives, held its first meeting at the November 2011 Canadian Marine Advisory Council meeting.

7.7 Security

Canada enjoys one of the largest, safest and most secure marine transportation systems in the world. It is vital to the country's prosperity, connecting Canada to the international marine transportation system—and the global economy.

The Marine Transportation Security Act aims to protect the country and its citizens from marine-related security risks in a way that respects Canadian values. Transport Canada is responsible for carrying out the Act, working with partners to increase the level of protection against unlawful interference, terrorist attacks, or from elements of Canada's marine system being used as a means to attack the country's allies. Transport Canada oversees marine security policy, regulatory affairs and marine security operations and has functional authority over regional marine security operations.

Regulations and initiatives

Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group

The Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group (IMSWG) was established in 2001 to ensure a whole-of-government approach to marine security. Chaired by Transport Canada and comprising 17 federal departments and agencies, the IMSWG coordinates federal responses to marine security issues, analyzes Canada's marine system for gaps, and addresses those gaps. The IMSWG also oversees the Marine Security Coordination Fund that supports one-time or limited projects that contribute to the coordination of marine security efforts.

In 2011, the IMSWG completed the Maritime Security Strategic Framework—a reference point for all departments and agencies of the Government of Canada with maritime security responsibilities. The Framework communicates a common understanding of the threat environment and gaps in current capabilities. It also emphasizes collaborative solutions to marine security challenges by leveraging existing capabilities. Ongoing and future efforts build on individual departments' and agencies' strengths and expertise to ensure efficient and effective use of available resources.

The Framework highlights five security activities—Marine Domain Awareness, Safeguarding, Responsiveness, Resilience, and Collaboration—through which current and future maritime security efforts are to be focused. It outlines specific action items and next steps in pursuit of security related to Canada's maritime domain.

Marine Transportation Security Regulations

Canada's Marine Transportation Security Regulations (MTSR) came into effect on July 1, 2004 to implement the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. The IMO created the ISPS code in response to the events of September 11, 2001 to set out a framework of security measures to significantly enhance the deterrence, prevention and detection of acts that threaten security in the marine transportation sector. The aim of the MTSR is to prevent unlawful interference with marine transportation in Canada and to ensure that appropriate action is taken where that interference occurs or could occur.

Transport Canada has embarked on a long-term project to amend the MTSR. The amendments focus on responding to Canada's obligation to implement new IMO requirements, further harmonizing with the United States' regulatory regime, reducing industry's regulatory compliance and financial burdens, and addressing interpretation issues and regulatory gaps. Transport Canada held consultations with industry and other government departments across the country from 2008 to late 2010. It is expected that the amendments package will come into effect in late 2012.

Improvements to the Transportation Security Clearance Program (security screening)

The Marine Transportation Security Clearance Program (MTSCP) was introduced in December 2007. Its purpose is to reduce the risk of security threats by preventing unlawful interference with the marine transportation system by requiring background checks on workers who perform certain duties or who have access to certain restricted areas—primarily those responsible for the integrity of major Canadian ports and marine facilities.

The MTSCP is not a new government program; rather, it is an extension of the existing Transportation Security Clearance Program that has been in place at airports across Canada since the 1980s. It represents a risk-management strategy of the Government of Canada to address the modern threat environment and protect Canadians and their industries.

Supporting these security efforts, Transport Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police signed an agreement in April 2009 on the sharing of sensitive law-enforcement information, including details on organized crime and criminal association. This new information-sharing agreement enables transportation security clearance decisions to be based on more complete data from a broader range of intelligence sources.

Oversight and enforcement

Transport Canada conducts inspections, reviews and approves security plans, and works with stakeholders to assist them in meeting the requirements of the Marine Transportation Security Act and its regulations. The department also engages in promotional, educational and awareness activities to make sure the regulated community is aware of its legislative and regulatory responsibilities. If violations or non-compliance instances are found, the department uses a graduated enforcement approach—advising stakeholders when problems exist, equipping them with information, and providing opportunities to correct problems before further action is taken.

Maritime Commerce Resilience

Between 2007 and 2011, Transport Canada's Maritime Commerce Resilience (MCR) initiative worked with the Canada Port Authorities and other members of the Canadian marine community to strengthen Canada's supply chain. The MCR initiative promoted the integration of resiliency principles into an organization's operations and emergency management plans, ensuring that the organization's assets, dependencies and the supply chain have the ability to mitigate the potential impacts of a terrorist attack or other emergency. The MCR initiative also worked to minimize single points of failure in the Canadian maritime supply chain, reduce disruptions to the flow of goods and avoid systemic failures. Through the MCR initiative, a Critical Infrastructure Assessment tool was developed and provided to marine stakeholders to assess vulnerabilities in their supply chains and develop mitigating measures.

Transport Canada has launched MCR projects in Halifax, Hamilton, Montreal and Vancouver. In 2011, awareness and outreach initiatives were undertaken to expand and enhance the marine community's awareness of the importance of resilience planning.

Maritime domain awareness

Maritime domain awareness is having true and timely information about everything on, under, related to, adjacent to, or bordering a sea, ocean or other navigable waterway. This requires a coordinated effort within the federal government as well as with stakeholders and global partners. Transport Canada and its partners—including those in the IMSWG—work together to reduce marine security risks and achieve greater maritime domain awareness. These efforts contribute to the security, safety, and prosperity of Canadians and the country's allies.

Canada's Marine Security Operations Centres (MSOCs) are an example of such interdepartmental integration. Located in Halifax, Victoria and the Niagara Peninsula, the MSOCs involve federal government departments and agencies responsible for marine security, asset support or maritime expertise. The MSOCs enable partner government departments and agencies to work together and share intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information through interagency staffing and collaboration. The MSOCs provide Canada with a marine security capability that is resourced, organized and equipped to ensure maritime domain awareness.

Waterside security

Due to the potential lack of clear understanding of roles and responsibilities in waterside security in Canadian ports, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Transport Canada conducted a detailed policy and legal analysis of jurisdictional boundaries, adequacy standards and federal-provincial mandates to clarify roles and responsibilities and better coordinate future activities. Both organizations are currently reviewing the analysis results and developing next steps.

Harmonization and international partnerships
Canada–United States Regulatory Cooperation Council

The Canada–United States Regulatory Cooperation Council includes several marine security initiatives, such as:

  • Greater coordination and consultation between the U.S. Coast Guard and Transport Canada in order to align regulatory requirements where possible.
  • Aligning the Canadian definition of “Certain Dangerous Cargos” (CDCs) with that of the United States to ensure equal treatment for vessels carrying CDCs across the border.
  • Incorporating a reference to Alternative Security Arrangements (ASA) in Canadian regulations, which would see the two countries agreeing to alternative security measures for unique or specific situations.
  • Exploring the feasibility of developing an expanded Joint Initial Verification Program to address issues in partnership related to the safety and security of vessels entering the St. Lawrence Seaway.
  • Investigating the feasibility of mutual recognition of regulatory oversight regimes for Canadian and United States' domestic fleets on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway.
Beyond the Border Working Group

Canada and the United States have also created a Beyond the Border Working Group (BBWG) composed of representatives from federal departments and agencies, including Transport Canada. The BBWG facilitated the development of the Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness Action Plan announced in December 2011.

The Action Plan includes three initiatives in which the Marine Security Program is actively involved:

  1. Enhance domain awareness in the maritime environment. Taking a common approach to threat assessment based on the principle that a threat to either country represents a threat to both.
  2. Develop a joint strategy to address risks associated with shipments arriving from offshore, based on informed risk management. This is key to establishing a harmonized approach to screening inbound cargo arriving from offshore, which will result in increased security and expedited movement of secure cargo across the Canada–United States border—under the principle of “cleared once, accepted twice”.
  3. Collaborate at the regional level between countries to facilitate maritime commerce recovery following an emergency. This is intended to mitigate the impacts of disruption on communities and the economy by managing traffic in the event of an emergency.
Bi-national and other international partnerships
United States

Transport Canada has engaged the United States Coast Guard through the Bi-National Marine Security Working Group, established to enhance coordination of marine security matters of common interest and to ensure a consistent approach to international maritime security. Both participants recognize the continued need to evolve their efforts to include collaboration and coordination of operations and regulatory/policy development in support of a shared vision for security and economic competitiveness.

Transport Canada has also worked with the United States on international marine security efforts through the IMO, the G8 and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum. Canada's Marine Security Program has close relations with the United States Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection and the United States Navy. These joint efforts reflect Canada's role as a maritime nation and help maintain and improve U.S. and international confidence in Canada's marine transportation system. These initiatives also ensure that Canada is able to move products and people across great distances to world markets effectively and efficiently.

Under the Joint Inspection Verification Program, Transport Canada has invited the United States Coast Guard to observe Transport Canada inspectors conducting pre-clearance ISPS28-compliance verifications on international vessels prior to their first entry of the season into the St. Lawrence Seaway/Great Lakes System. These verifications are not full ISPS-verification examinations but pre-clearance exams designed to give the United States Coast Guard reasonable assurance that a vessel is in substantial compliance with the ISPS/MTSR requirements before entering United States waters and ports. This program strives to reduce duplication of efforts by reducing the number of subsequent inspections of ships entering the system.

International Maritime Organization

The IMO focuses on the improvement of safety at sea and the prevention of pollution from ships. The IMO is also responsible for international aspects of liability and compensation and the facilitation of maritime traffic. At the September 2011 meeting of the IMO Trade Facilitation Committee, Canada agreed to co-chair, along with the United States, a Correspondence Group to develop guidance relating to measures that would facilitate trade recovery. Over the coming year, Transport Canada will draw and consolidate best practices from its experience in MCR planning over the past four years, as well as continue to consult with government, industry partners and the international community in developing these international best practices.

Anti-crime capacity building

Through the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade's Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP), Transport Canada participates in international efforts to increase countries' capacities to apply international standards—mainly the ISPS Code and other effective counter-terrorism and security measures. The ACCBP provides training, funding, equipment and other technical and legal support to enable other countries to prevent and respond to terrorist activity.

Transport Canada and the United States Coast Guard work with the Organization of American States/ Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism, under its Port Security Assistance Program, to increase maritime security capacity building (also funded by the ACCBP) throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. To date, nearly 2,500 port security officials have been trained in various aspects of maritime security, such as cruise ship facility security, customs and port facility coordination, and risk assessment. Transport Canada also has bilateral maritime security partnerships with Jamaica and Mexico to provide capacity building and enhanced mutual awareness and understanding.

Special events

Transport Canada regularly participates in Tall Ships events. Nova Scotia and the Great Lakes will host some of these events in 2012, and will require Transport Canada to establish exemption measures for facilities the ships interface with and to provide additional inspections for ships and facilities.

Regulatory management
Red Tape Reduction Initiative

Transport Canada is participating in the Government of Canada's Red Tape Reduction Initiative, which enables businesses and industry to identify regulatory irritants that have a clear detrimental effect on growth, competitiveness and innovation. The initiative aims to reduce administrative barriers and create a healthy climate for small businesses to further grow and succeed in Canada. As part of this initiative, Transport Canada is working towards introducing amendments to the Marine Transportation Security Regulations to clarify that regulated Canadian-flagged vessels on domestic voyages may interface with either regulated or unregulated ports and marine facilities, with a view to increasing business competitiveness.


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  1. Quebec Marine Industry Economic Impact Study, produced by Les Conseillers ADEC Inc. for the SODES and MTQ.
  2. At the end of 2010, Canada had 17 CPAs (one Harbour Commission), plus 41 regional/local ports and 26 remote ports operated by Transport Canada. A total of 239 other ports were previously operated by Transport Canada but have been transferred.
  3. The most recent year for which information is available.
  4. Share of total tonnage carried by container.
  5. For further details on registered vessels, see
  6. Sulphur oxide.
  7. Carbon dioxide equivalents.
  8. Particulate matter emissions.
  9. Nitrous oxide.
  10. Carbon oxide.
  11. CPCS Transcom Ltd. for the Association of Canadian Port Authorities (June 2011). Canada Port Authority Infrastructure Study.
  12. CPCS Transcom Ltd. for the Association of Canadian Port Authorities (June 2011). Canada Port Authority Infrastructure Study.
  13. CPCS Transcom Ltd. for the Association of Canadian Port Authorities (June 2011). Canada Port Authority Infrastructure Study.
  14. CPCS Transcom Ltd. for the Association of Canadian Port Authorities (June 2011). Canada Port Authority Infrastructure Study.
  15. CPCS Transcom Ltd. for the Association of Canadian Port Authorities (June 2011). Canada Port Authority Infrastructure Study.
  16. Association of Canadian Port Authorities. 2011. ACPA Manifest (Volume 8, No. 3, Summer 2011).
  17. Association of Canadian Port Authorities. 2011. ACPA Manifest (Volume 8, No. 4, Autumn 2011).
  18. Association of Canadian Port Authorities. 2011. ACPA Manifest (Volume 8, No. 3, Summer 2011).
  19. Association of Canadian Port Authorities. 2011. ACPA Manifest (Volume 8, No. 4, Autumn 2011).
  20. Association of Canadian Port Authorities. 2011. ACPA Manifest (Volume 8, No. 3, Summer 2011).
  21. Association of Canadian Port Authorities. 2011. ACPA Manifest (Volume 8, No. 3, Summer 2011).
  22. Association of Canadian Port Authorities. 2010. Canadian Ports Magazine.
  23. Association of Canadian Port Authorities. 2011. ACPA Manifest (Volume 8, No. 3, Summer 2011).
  24. Association of Canadian Port Authorities. 2011. ACPA Manifest (Volume 8, No. 3, Summer 2011).
  25. Association of Canadian Port Authorities. 2011. ACPA Manifest (Volume 8, No. 3, Summer 2011).
  26. See [PDF Version, 3000kb]
  27. Transport Canada and The Canadian Red Cross Society (2011). Boating Immersion and Trauma Deaths in Canada: 18 years of Research (1991–2008).
  28. International Ship and Port Facility Security Code.
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