June 6, 2023 | Circular No. 11531

Dear Member,

Transport Canada continues to advance the transition of the private pilotage systems on the Quebec North Shore to a public system under the Pilotage Act.  This transition follows the 2018 LPA risk assessment recommending compulsory pilotage for the ports of Baie Comeau, Havre-St. Pierre, Port Cartier and Sept-Isles.  Transport Canada intends to transition the pilotage systems in these ports through an Interim Order by February 2024.  Considering the effort required by all stakeholders, the enforcement of the Interim Order by this date is viewed to be highly ambitious. Both Transport Canada and the LPA (Laurentian Pilotage Authority) continue to express the importance of not impacting operational efficiencies or increasing costs.

To date, Transport Canada has completed phase one in which four working groups (one for each port) were established to discuss; the geographical limits of the pilotage district of the ports; the pilot boarding areas; the size of ships subject to compulsory pilotage in each port; review current practices and procedures; address the recommendations made in the PRMM risk analysis completed in August 2018; and target qualification, competence and training criteria for pilotage licenses and certificates for each ports.

The next phase of the transition is the creation of a Regulatory Committee scheduled to meet between June and September with the objective of reaching consensus on issues that were raised during the working groups. The Federation will be on the Regulatory Committee together with key members and stakeholders. Following the Regulatory Committee meetings, if no consensus is obtained, Transport Canada will make the necessary decisions based on the respective inputs. The following phases will include the drafting of the Interim Order in the Fall, publishing in January and effective in February 2024.

In parallel to the work of Transport Canada, the Federation is also working closely with the LPA, as ultimately, they will be delivering the service and creating the tariff structure. The LPA have created several internal working groups focused on pilot service contracts, tariff structure, pilot ordering/dispatch and pilot boat/pilot transfers.

The Federation continues to work closely with members and will remain engaged during the transition. The Pilotage Committee has formed a working group to focus on the transition and recently invited Transport Canada and the LPA to the April and May Pilotage Committee meetings respectively.

Please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned for any questions or comments.


Chad Allen
Director, Marine Operations
Shipping Federation of Canada