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The investigation on damages caused to Yamachiche residences by the vessel EM KEA travelling on Lake Saint-Pierre on April 26, 2017 has concluded that the vessel contravened the Notice to Mariners in effect.  The Notice to Mariners issued earlier that month requested mariners to navigate at safe speed in order to avoid damages to shore properties and to pay particular attention when meeting or overtaking.  AIS data has confirmed that the vessel was transiting at a speed of 17.6 knots and the investigation confirmed that at the time of the incident, a licensed pilot, a member of the Corporation des pilotes du Saint-Laurent Central (CPSLC), was on board the EM KEA and that there was no critical situation requiring the vessel to travel at such a speed on Lake Saint-Pierre.  The Minister of Transport has stated that he intends under the Pilotage Act review to address the need for greater accountability and penalties for actions deemed to be negligent on the part of pilots performing their duties on behalf of recognized pilotage organizations.

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Transport Canada issued a news release announcing a five-year extension to the Government's agreement with the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation to manage, maintain, and operate the Seaway. This extends the agreement until 31 March 2023.

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The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced the seizure of over 4,000 litres of MDP-2-P at the Vancouver Container Examination Facility (CEF). In May 2017 the CEF border services officers (BSOs) processed a commercial container arriving from Vietnam. The shipment was targeted for inspection based on an intelligence analysis and was referred for an in-depth examination upon arrival. The contents were declared as “dishwashing liquid”; however, when officers inspected the containers they noticed inconsistencies between the liquid inside the jugs. Over 2,800 jugs were tested and sent for chemical analysis. More than 800 jugs tested positive for MDP‑2‑P, a Class A precursor chemical listed in Schedule VI of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. MDP‑2‑P is a substance used in the final stage of manufacturing MDMA and ecstasy.  The amount of MDP-2 seized would have contributed to the production of up to 38 million doses of ecstasy depending on the synthesis method utilized to produce the narcotic.

Also just released, the Montreal CEF seized 57 kilos of cocaine hidden inside an industrial pipe imported from Trinidad and Tobago following a more in-depth examination on January 17, 2017. CBSA officers used specialized tools to cut the pipe open. Upon opening the pipe, they found 57.4 kg of cocaine hidden in its walls.

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Four men in their 30s believed to be from the Soviet republic of Georgia were discovered in a container that also contained a vehicle and some food at the Port of Montreal.  The container arrived on OOCL Montreal after calling ports in Hamburg and Antwerp. The men are being treated for dehydration and OOCL is assisting Canada Border Services Agency with an internal investigation. 

Friday, 21 July 2017 10:54

Northern Biomass moves to Nanaimo

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Northern Biomass Consulting Ltd., currently located in Prince George is moving its operations to Nanaimo adding 45 full-time and 200 contractor jobs to Central Vancouver Island.  Talby McKay, President & owner of the company has a clear vision in renewable energy and resources.  McKay has indicated that plans are in the works for a $20 million plant at Duke Point with a $50 million annual operating budget.  Northern Biomass will occupy the Port Authority's original administration building located at 104 Front Street.

Friday, 21 July 2017 10:50

GCT Announces New President and CEO

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David Emerson, P.C., O.B.C., Chair of the Board for GCT Global Container Terminals Inc. (GCT)announced the appointment of Doron Grosman as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Doron replaces Stephen Edwards, who served in the position since 2012. On behalf of the entire organization, Mr. Emerson extends GCT’s sincere thanks to Stephen for his service leading the company, and wishes him well.  Doron is a seasoned, multi-industry executive with with more than 30 years of leadership experience including in a variety of C-suite roles at global Fortune 1000 companies as well as middle market private equity-owned companies.  Doron holds a MBA from the Harvard Business School as well as a Masters of Science in Engineering from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.

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The Trump administration has approved its first offshore drilling plan and gave Italian oil company Eni a quick green light on Wednesday to drill exploratory wells off the coast of Alaska. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) issued a press release stating that it has approved the Eni Beaufort Sea Exploration Plan. The plan calls for drilling into a federal outer continental shelf (OCS) reservoir from a pre-existing gravel island.   Eni US is a subsidiary of Italian multinational oil and gas company Eni S.p.A. In its plan, Eni describes its intent to drill four exploration wells into the federal submerged lands of the Beaufort Sea from its Spy Island Drillsite, a pre-existing facility located in Alaska state waters. Drilling will be conducted during the winter months only and is scheduled to begin in December 2017.


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Snuneymuxw First Nation has informed the federal government that it expects to have Nation-to-Nation discussions on the future of Nanaimo harbour in order to bring alternative harbour governance models forward to replace the Nanaimo Port Authority (NPA).  In a letter written to Ministers Marc Garneau (Transport Canada), Jody Wilson-Raybould (Department of Justice) and Carolyn Bennett (Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs), Chief John Wesley of the Snuneymuxw First Nation said that Snuneymuxw and the surrounding community is united in its desire to work with the federal government on a new harbour governance model.  This past April, both Snuneymuxw First Nation and the City of Nanaimo resolved to work with the marine industry and undertake innovative work to explore and develop a new harbour governance model. That work continues, and forms the basis of the upcoming public dialogue The Future of Nanaimo Harbour, to be hosted in September. 

Friday, 14 July 2017 14:27

Dave Bedwell announces retirement

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Dave Bedwell is officially retiring from his position as Executive Vice President of China Ocean Shipping (Canada) Inc. on September 1st.  Dave was part of the management team that established China Ocean Shipping (Canada) Inc. in Canada in 1994 and is well know throughout industry as he has been a true champion for the ocean carriers.  He will be retiring from his position as Vice Chair of the Chamber of Shipping, after serving 13 on its Board of Directors and he will also be stepping down from the BC Maritime Employers Association's Board of Directors where he has served for several years.  His presence will be missed at the boardroom table and of course at our local golf tournaments, but no doubt the grass will be greener in Kelowna.  Congratulations!

Friday, 14 July 2017 14:15

Tragic Whale Rescue and new measures

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Following the recent deaths of seven North Atlantic Right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has highlighted work underway, including: 

  • Issuing a notice requesting that mariners voluntarily reduce speed along the Laurentian channel in shipping lanes between the Magdalen Islands to the Gaspé peninsula until September 30, 2017;
  • Issuing a notice to the commercial fishing industry in the Gulf of St. Lawrence asking them to watch for whales and to report any sightings;
  • Broadcasting notices on the marine radio system to request that shipping and fishing industries be on alert for whales; and
  • Implementing an immediate partial closure within the snow crab fishing area where whales are known to frequent.

There has been an increased presence of right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence this year and more frequent sightings near shipping lanes.  The population of endangered North Atlantic righ whales is around 500. Earlier this week, DFO and partners responded to a whale entanglement in the area. Tragically, one of the partners, Mr. Joe Howlett of the Campobello Whale Rescue, lost his life while attempting to free the whale. 

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Transport Canada has published the proposed regulatory text for the Arctic Shipping Safety and Pollution Prevention Regulations (ASSPPR) published in Part I of the Canada Gazette on July 1, 2017.  The ASSPPR incorporates much of the Polar Code by reference.   In accordance with the 75 day comment period assigned to the proposed Regulations, comments are to be sent to Drummond Fraser (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) no later than September 14, 2017.

Friday, 14 July 2017 14:03

New Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations

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The Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on July 13, 2016 set out new requirements for safety equipment, written safety procedures and vessel stability for small commercial fishing vessels operating in Canada.

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