July 12, 2023 | Circular No. 11552

Dear Member,

You will find below a recap of recent developments regarding the labour disruption at Canada’s west coast ports:


  • Labour Minister Seamus O’Regen issued a news release late yesterday announcing that he had asked the senior federal mediator participating in the ILWU / BCMEA negotiations to provide him with a written recommendation on the terms of a proposed settlement within 24 hours.  According to the Minister’s press release, this directive was based on his view that a deal between the parties is “within reach.”
  • It is our understanding that once the Minister receives the mediator’s recommendation (expected sometime today), he will provide it to the two parties, who will then have 24 hours to decide whether or not to recommend ratification. This being said, neither party is obliged to accept the terms of the mediator’s proposal.


  • Earlier today, we sent a LETTER to the Prime Minister’s office highlighting the significant impacts of the labour disruption from an ocean shipping perspective and calling for the government to reconvene Parliament in order to introduce back-to-work legislation.
  • This follows two previous letters we sent to the Ministers of Labour and Transport (see CLs 11534 and 11545), as well two collective letters we signed on to as a member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.


  • Anchorage capacity at the Port of Vancouver is increasing but still fluid, and is at 52 percent capacity for VFPA anchorages and 73 percent capacity for for SGI anchorages.
  • In addition to 15 vessels that are currently waiting offshore, vessel tracking data shows that another 36 ships are en route to the Port of Vancouver within the next two weeks.
  • Given that there will not be a sufficient number of anchorages to accommodate all these vessels, the port is developing an anchorage allocation plan to be implemented once the recovery process begins.  We will share details of this plan with members as soon as it becomes available.

We will continue to monitor the above situation and revert with news and additional information as warranted.  In the meantime, members with questions on any of the above should contact the undersigned.


Karen Kancens
Vice President