October 4, 2022 | Circular No. 11459

Dear Member,

The Federation held its bi-annual government relations day in Ottawa on September 29, with a view to reminding senior government officials of the importance of ocean shipping to the Canadian economy and highlighting major issues of interest to members and the industry as a whole.  The day was comprised of a series of meetings with key government departments, as well as lunch with senior officials from Transport Canada, including the Deputy Minister.

We take this opportunity to extend our thanks to Board members Colin Conrad, Steve Felder, Jennifer Holmes, Fritz King, Grace Liang, Brian McDonald, John Mears, Marco Renzelli, Anne Marie Rushworth and Michel Sawaya for taking time out of their busy schedules to participate in the event and lend their voice to the issues that were raised.

Following is a more detailed description of the day’s meetings:

CANADIAN COAST GUARD (Mario Pelletier, Commisioner)

Discussion Topics / Issues Raisedt):

  • Icebreaking resources – Current investments and future needs
  • Electronic navigation – Progress to date and leadership role of CCG
  • Buoy tending and four-season buoys – Moving from the St. Lawrence to the Great Lakes
  • Enhanced traffic management – Review of MCTS (marine communication and traffic services)
  • Blue economy strategy – Opportunities for ocean shipping

TRANSPORT CANADA (Annie Koutrakis, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Discussion Topics / Issues Raised:

  • Supply chain efficiency – Rail, terminal and labour challenges and potential solutions
  • Container shipping – Need for Canada to have an appropriate regulatory framework
  • Pilotage – Avenues for addressing ongoing efficiency and cost-effectiveness issues
  • Marine safety – Upcoming regulatory proposals and need for more robust consultative process
  • Environment – Whale protection measures / upcoming discharge regulations for marine protected areas

CANADA BORDER SERVICES AGENCY (Fred Gaspar, Vice President, Commercial and Tra

Discussion Topics / Issues Raised:

  • Lack of regional / national consistency, lack of consultation / advance notice regarding policy and regulatory changes
  • CBSA role in addressing supply chain issues
  • Clarification of CBSA policy on discharging containers at non-container ports
  • CBSA policy on clearance of cruise passengers at non-designated first ports of arrival
  • Future amendments to the Arctic shipping electronic commercial clearance (ASECC) program
  • Implementation of maritime single window in Canada

INNOVATION, SCIENCE & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (Francis Bilodeau, Associate Deputy Minister)

Discussion Topics / Issues Raised:

  • Shipping Federation interest in data and digitization projects
  • Use of technology to address current supply challenges
  • Opportunities for collaboration with ISED


In addition to attending the meetings outlined above, Board members also had an opportunity to meet with a number of senior officials during a cocktail and lunch for Transport Canada, and to engage in a frank and informative question and answer session led by Deputy Transport Minister Michael Keenan on a range of topics. Below is a list of TC individuals who were present at the lunch:

  • Michael Keenan, Deputy Minister
  • Megan Nichols – Acting Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy
  • Marc Yves Bertin – Director General, Marine Policy
  • Tamara Rudge – Director General, Rail Policy
  • Christian Dea – Director General, Economic Analysis
  • Naim Nazha – Executive Director, Marine Safety and Environment
  • Francois Marier – Director, Marine Policy
  • Jennifer Carter – Director, Domestic Shipping and Coasting Trade
  • Julie Bedard – Director, Marine Pilotage


We will be following up on all these meetings in the coming weeks and months, with a view to ensuring that our issues and priorities remain at the forefront of the government’s policy and legislative agenda.


Chris Hall