Transport Canada tables amendments to the Pilotage Act



    OTTAWA, June 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister
of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today tabled five key amendments
to the Pilotage Act to help ensure the financial self-sufficiency of pilotage
authorities while maintaining high levels of safety.
    "A strong and safe marine transportation system is vital to our economy
and environment," said Minister Cannon. "The proposed amendments would result
in less government intervention and a better way of doing business - a way
that is more accountable to Canadians."

    
    The five key proposed amendments to the Pilotage Act, include:

    - section 15, to make it possible for an Authority to engage both
      employee pilots and contracted corporate pilots with a Pilot
      Corporation for provision of pilots, simultaneously;
    - section 15.2, to ensure an arbitrator considers both the requirement
      for an Authority to be financially self-sufficient and the summary of
      an Authority's corporate plan when selecting a final offer;
    - section 18, to include in the objects of an Authority the requirement
      to be financially self-sufficient;
    - section 21(2) to give flexibility to the Minister to conduct an
      investigation when a notice of objection is received concerning
      amendments to regulations governing the qualification of pilots or
      compulsory pilotage areas; and
    - section 35, to require the Canadian Transportation Agency to consider
      both the requirement for an Authority to be financially self-sufficient
      and the summary of the Authority's corporate plan when making a
      determination concerning an amendment to a tariff regulation.
    

    The amendments would not allow retroactive claims except for contract
negotiations underway.

    Consultations on the amendments to the Pilotage Act were held by
Transport Canada as of February 1, 2007. The consultation process included key
stakeholders in the pilotage industry to review certain governance elements of
the Pilotage Act. Consultations were held in cities across the country, such
as Vancouver, Prince Rupert, Oakville, St. John's, Halifax, Quebec City,
Montreal and Ottawa.
    "Canada's New Government takes the safety and security of the marine
transportation system very seriously and is committed to ensuring that
appropriate levels of safety are maintained," added Minister Cannon. "Pilots
would still be required to have certification and possess a degree of skill
and local knowledge of the waters of the pilotage area. The proposed
amendments improve the day to day business of pilotage authorities and would
in no way affect the safety of persons on board ships, the environment or the
vessels."
    Marine pilotage is an important element of safe marine navigation in
Canada. Pilotage authorities created under the Pilotage Act are Crown
Corporations and are required by law to be financially self-sustaining, which
in recent years has been difficult to achieve for some authorities. It is
apparent that the business model created by the Pilotage Act has prevented
some authorities from fulfilling this legal mandate.
    The Pilotage Act, which came into effect in 1972, governs how pilotage
authorities hire pilots, either as employees or pilot corporations and how
they negotiate service contracts with pilot corporations. It also imposes a
regulatory review process additional to the Government of Canada's standard
process - all of which can have a negative effect on an authority's financial
sustainability.

    For more information about the Pilotage Act, please visit
www.tc.gc.ca/MarineSafety/menu.htm.




For further information:

For further information: Natalie Sarafian, Press Secretary, Office of
the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613)
991-0700; Kirsten Goodnough, Communications, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613)
993-0055; Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news
releases and speeches at apps.tc.gc.ca/listserv/ and keep up-to-date on the
latest from Transport Canada; This news release may be made available in
alternative formats for persons with visual disabilities.


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