TC curtails certification on Island

TC HQ in Ottawa, Wikipedia

If you live on Vancouver Island, and required any marine certification assistance by Transport Canada Ship Safety, you will be required to go to Victoria to get your certification work done; or you may choose to go Vancouver or Prince Rupert. Effective July 2nd 2013, the Nanaimo office of Transport Canada Ship Safety will no longer process deck or engine examinations, issuance of certificates, endorsements, etc. 

Transport Canada is making the marine safety examinations cost-efficient by consolidating services in Victoria. The department will provide the same service as before but through one central location on the island. 

Jillian Glover, Transport Canada Spokesperson

The Nanaimo office has always been a busy one by all observations, apparently too busy, with comments that the inspection workload has gone up 500%. But with limited deep sea traffic, and no noticeable increase in local marine activity this explanation, seem to ring a bit hollow. The usual two front office staff has also taken retirements, at the same time, strangely enough. Seems to me that Transport Canada is just closing the office, maybe not “officially”, but in practicality.

Well, you can’t blame small fishing boat for increase in inspections – Source TSB of Canada

Even more curious, is that the Nanaimo office has had two engineering examiner on duty for many years, while the only Victoria engineering examiner has recently retired. I am told there is now a long time TC employee from the St Catherine’s office, an engineering examiner, that has now relocated to Victoria, another is anticipated shortly.

One hopes that now that a trip to the TCMS office will take the better part of a day, we will not have to go four or five times to get what we need to earn our living. It is hard to get any information out of TC, and they certainly don’t volunteer it, so the decision seems poorly advised from my perspective. At least as far as certification are concerned,  and the wages those certificates earn, vis a vis the cost of living in the capital regional area, one would say it would be more logical to keep certification services at the Nanaimo TCMS office.

Not to mention Victoria, has a physically smaller market of Canadian seafarers working in the area, as oppose to Nanaimo, less than two hours from Campbell River, Powell River, Port Alberni, Nanaimo, etc. All communities with vibrant working harbours and seafarers. Nanaimo – with its existing examination infrastructure – or even Campbell River would be more logical area for a Canadian Seafarer Certification office, certainly a more central area to better serve it’s clients, than Victoria.

For me, as a TCMS client, this will cost me in time and money, and I cannot imagine what a persons in Port Hardy, or up island will have to go through to get a certification. Again this is not surprising to me, I have a distinct feeling that Transport Canada is committed to putting as many “stick in our wheels” as far as Canadian seafarers are concerned.

Below is the brief “official announcement” of the end of important seafarer certification services out of Nanaimo.

Consolidation of Transport Canada’s Marine Examination Centres on Vancouver Island

Effective July 2, 2013, Transport Canada’s marine examination centres on Vancouver Island will be consolidated into one location in Victoria at:
501-1230 Government Street
Victoria, British Columbia
V8W 3M4
Phone: (250) 363-0394
Open Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (except holidays)

Over the next few months, Transport Canada’s Nanaimo marine office will continue to receive applications of certificate renewal and seatime assessment, which will be forwarded to Transport Canada’s Victoria marine office for processing.

Clients in the Pacific Region will continue to have access to marine examination centres in Vancouver, Victoria and Prince Rupert.

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