While 2016 was a very busy and challenging year for marine transportation worldwide, it was particulary active for the Chamber of Shipping as we adapted to working with a new federal government, continued to support industry through a challenging commercial period, formalized policy positions and advocacy strategies, and transitioned new leadership and staff.
Early in the year, the federal government tabled the Canada Transportation Act Review Report, and later announced its strategic plan for the Future of Transportation in Canada (Transportation 2030) and the broad programming initiatives of the Oceans Protection Plan. Both Pacific Northwest LNG and Trans Mountain Expansion projects received federal approval this year, providing a degree of optimism for new investments into the local economy and marine industry in general.
While some outcomes in 2016 were tangible, some were less tangible and designed to prepare for and influence significant changes anticipated in 2017. These outcomes included increasing the awareness of our industry to elected and non-elected officials in the federal government. The Chamber aggressively increased its federal advocacy and is now the most active advocate for ship owners, operators, and agents in Canada. The impact of the federal advocacy included:
While not an exhaustive list, we are expecting the following aspects to guide the Chamber’s advocacy efforts in 2017:
The scope and complexity of challenges facing the industry is clearly significant and growing. While we must strive to reduce costs and increase efficiencies within the supply chain, vessel operators will likely face additional complexities from growth in certain commodity markets that will demand innovative solutions. It is inevitable that marine transportation will have increased visibility with the public, coastal communities, and the government in 2017 and that such visibility should be leveraged to explain how increasing trade benefits Canadians.
We intend to face these challenges by:
We would like to thank the Chamber’s membership for its active involvement in 2016. The best outcomes typically emerge when the membership is engaged in identifying the need and is involved in developing a strategy to improve any given situation. We hope that you will be even more engaged next year. From the entire team at the Chamber, we wish you a Happy & Prosperous New Year!
Vancouver – The United Nation’s International Maritime Organization celebrates World Maritime Day today with a theme to remind us that “Shipping is Indispensable to the World.”
Canada is a nation that is largely dependent on ships to move goods to and from coastal communities and international markets. An estimated 80 per cent of global trade by volume and 70 per cent by value are carried by sea and handled by ports worldwide.
Recognizing concerns voiced on the cumulative impact of shipping, we encourage the federal government to foster the collaboration on marine spatial planning that currently includes communities, Indigenous People and stakeholders, including the Chamber of Shipping. An integrated coastal strategy that is developed through meaningful dialogue and actions will protect our vital ecosystems and provide Canadians with greater certainty on the sustainability of their communities.
"Canada has an opportunity to get it right and develop a global model for sustainable marine transportation that supports trade in its strategy for coastal waters," states Robert Lewis-Manning, the President of the Chamber of Shipping.
The Chamber of Shipping is asking the federal government to:
On April 27, 2017 the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau began consulting Canadians, stakeholders, and provinces and territories, and Indigenous groups to hear their views and discuss ideas for a long-term agenda for transportation in Canada.
The Minister focused on five themes:
View our response to the Minister on the Future of Canada's Transportation System.
The Federal Government has issued a draft Action Plan for consultation as part of this species’ recovery strategy, as required by the Species at Risk Act (SARA). These species were listed as Threatened and Endangered in 2003 and have not seen any noticeable positive change since then. Consequently, there is significant pressure on the Government to implement measures quickly. In fact, the government has already received over 9,000 submissions during this consultation, many of which identify shipping as a major contributor to underwater noise, and are demanding that the government implement a “moratorium” and stop any growth in marine transportation activity that might add to the noise profile until such time as the cumulative impact is understood. SARA is a powerful law and there are regulatory options in this law that could have a significant impact the marine industry.
For more information read our submission to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Canada is well-positioned to increase trade in North America and globally which will build prosperity for Canadians and businesses across Canada. Such trade will positively leverage numerous industries, including agriculture, wood products, manufacturing, tourism, natural resources, and renewable and non-renewable energy.
Promoting a safe, efficient, and competitive transportation framework is essential to Canada’s prosperity and competitiveness in a global marketplace. This must be achieved in a sustainable manner that respects the importance of the marine eco-system and its value to Canadians.
A safe, efficient and competitive marine transportation framework should include:
The Chamber of Shipping represents the interests of transportation carriers, agents, shippers and service providers responsible for over 60% of Canadian international and domestic trade. Our members are supportive of transportation excellence which includes a competitive and sustainable transportation system that protects the marine ecosystem.
Canada’s reputation as a world leading trading partner should include a clear governance framework for managing and protecting trade corridors through comprehensive marine spatial planning. This should be delivered under the auspices of federal agencies with strengthened roles and clear responsibilities. The current framework relies upon the statutory authority of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and to a limited extent, Environment and Climate Change Canada through its agency, Parks Canada. This inevitably leads to a patchwork of initiatives and often does not include the necessary expertise or data to support informed planning. The current approach is not optimizing protection of the environment or trade.
Canada is a trading nation with over 60 per cent of our annual gross domestic product and one in every five Canadian jobs being directly linked to exports. This strong position could grow substantially with further trade agreements such as the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), and Can/U.S. Pre-clearance Agreements. Marine transportation is a critical enabler to domestic and international trade and vital to the North American and Global Supply chain. Shipping accounts for 90 per cent of good transported around the world and, in more remote communities in Canada, it provides the necessities of life.
The establishment of Marine Trade Corridors should include a comprehensive marine spatial planning strategy. Key elements to this planning include:A clear governance framework between federal and provincial departments, and Indigenous People that outlines roles and responsibilities;
Formal recognition of low-impact marine corridors must be done in collaboration with all marine stakeholders, including the United States where corridors affect both countries. Canadians and Indigenous People expect comprehensive, transparent, and inclusive management of Canadian waters and waterways. A coordinated and cohesive marine spatial planning strategy delivered by Transport Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Parks Canada, Natural Resources Canada, and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada is essential to ensuring the safe and effective flow of goods by commercial shipping.
Canada has been gradually increasing its market share of international trade volumes in the Asia Pacific. The success of the Western Gateway can be attributed to strategic investments in infrastructure, competitive pricing and labour stability. Building on this success is a significant amount of private sector investment in Canadian ports and marine terminals. An efficient and cost–effective transportation system is critical in supporting these investments.
With further commitments to increase federal funding in infrastructure, it is critical that the cumulative impact of cost recovery for infrastructure, added services and competition for rail service does not erode competitiveness of Canadian gateways.
Competitiveness in our trade corridors can be realized by:
Encouraging the adoption of new technologies to manage compliance and add efficiencies in risk assessment and inspections.
Canada has an enviable marine safety record that continues to deliver transportation in diverse and challenging conditions. This is the product of a strong safety culture, comprehensive international and national regulations, and a pollution preparedness and response framework that has evolved to respond to the growth in marine commerce in Canada.
While Canada’s marine industry enjoys an excellent safety record, it must seek continuous improvement, especially as growth in Canadian and international trade is expected in the future. Canada’s safety framework must be sufficiently adaptive to recognize the increased interest by regional and local communities to be more involved in the protection of the environment in which it operates. Furthermore, the safety framework of tomorrow should incorporate advanced technologies that could provide advanced warning of potential risks, increased transparency, and support supply chain efficiencies.
An effective Canadian Marine Safety Framework should comprise the following:
Commercial marine shipping prefers predictability in the regulatory environment, especially as the capital investments associated with vessels and infrastructure are significant and must be made for a horizon outward of twenty years. In certain situations, regulations affecting the marine industry have been made in isolation and without a comprehensive understanding of the technical, operational, and commercial realities of shipping.
In addition to having a predictable regulatory environment, commercial marine shipping is regulated globally and must be prepared to trade in new global markets. In order for this to happen, a predictable and harmonized regulatory approach is essential, especially with Canada’s major trading partners.
The Marine Transportation Framework of the future should include:
Additional authority and capability for both Transport Canada and the Canadian Transportation Agency to collect and analyze data;