Investigator named to examine proposed changes to the Laurentian Pilotage Authority Regulations

    OTTAWA, June 11 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister
of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced the appointment
of Captain René Turenne as the investigator of the project to amend the
Laurentian Pilotage Authority Regulations. The project aims to modernize the
recruitment criteria for apprentice pilots in two pilotage districts of the
St. Lawrence River.
    The Laurentian Pilotage Authority proposed changes to its regulations, as
published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on March 3, 2007. During the 30-day
public comment period following publication, Transport Canada received three
notices of objections, two from pilot corporations and one from a private
individual. As a result, the Minister appointed Mr. Turenne to investigate the
objections and to report back with recommendations later this summer.
    "Canada's New Government takes the safety and security of the marine
transportation system very seriously. We are committed to taking concrete
action to maintain appropriate levels of safety and to being accountable to
Canadians," said Minister Cannon. "I am confident that Mr. Turenne will
conduct a thorough investigation and provide recommendations that will benefit
all parties concerned."
    Mr. Turenne, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, is a professional sailor who
retired after 38 years in the Canadian Coast Guard. Throughout his career, he
acquired significant experience, including time spent working aboard
ice-breakers, both on the Atlantic coast as well as the Great Lakes and Arctic
Ocean. He also participated in two scientific research trips in Arctic
seawaters, with the "SHEBA" in 1997-98 and the "Northwest Tundra" in 1999, and
one in Antarctica with the "SEDNA IV" in 2006. He holds a degree in nautical
science from the Canadian Coast Guard College, a Master Mariner certificate, a
certificate of proficiency in radio, a Canadian private pilot licence, a
hovercraft operator's licence, a Canadian Coast Guard command certificate and
a Canadian Coast Guard watch-keeping certificate.
    The Laurentian Pilotage Authority initially proposed to amend the
Regulations in the Canada Gazette, as a result of a study on pilotage
workforce needs in the coming years, relating to apprentice pilots. The study
was commissioned by the Authority and it revealed that the existing regulatory
framework is not favorable to meeting future demand for pilotage services. The
Authority proposes to increase the size of the pool of apprentice candidates
while recruiting qualified officers.
    In order to propose any changes to existing pilotage requirements,
pilotage authorities must first demonstrate to Transport Canada that they have
properly assessed the risk associated with the changes and have determined
that safety will not be compromised. Interested parties must also be provided
with an opportunity to comment on the proposed changes. Should there be
several objections to the proposed changes, the Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities is required to appoint a person to investigate
the proposals and to determine the most appropriate course of action to help
ensure continued safe pilotage.

    The Laurentian Pilotage Authority is a Crown corporation created in 1972
under the Pilotage Act. It operates and maintains a safe, efficient and
economical pilotage service on the St. Lawrence River between Les Escoumins
and the St. Lambert Lock, on the Saguenay River and in Chaleur Bay. The
authority sets pilotage charges that allow it to operate on a self-sustaining
financial basis.

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 Subscribe to news
releases and speeches at 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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