Official start of the end of Canadian seafaring

February 14, 2017

Attached is a press release by the European Ship Owners, gloating about the exciting new opportunity that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will represent to their businesses. Meaning this is the official start of the end of Canadian Seafaring. Specifically mentioned in CETA, and boasted in the owners’ press release, is dredging activities. I am a Chief Engineer on one of the few dredging ships working in Canada,…

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Immigration adrenaline

February 9, 2017

Several years ago, in the project Blue Riband, I proposed many new ideas to address a shortage of marine professionals on ships and ashore. The project was meant to highlight shortcomings that I observed in the Canadian marine industry (but worldwide too), propose solutions, and mostly start a conversation. I needed to get those ideas out of my head, so from that perspective it was a success, but otherwise did…

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Making shipping great again (?)

November 24, 2016

GCaptain and others media sources are reporting that Wilbur Ross Jr. , a “78-year-old contrarian (who) has made a fortune betting on troubled banks and distressed assets in industries such as steel, coal and textiles” (from G&M), is being considered for the post of Secretary of Commerce (aka Minister of Trade). Some highlights of his Wikipedia page, include 24 years with “Rothschild” in NYC, “textile manufacturing”, “Mittal” union busting, “miners…

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“Gentleman’s Agreement” and how they affect professional Canadian seafarers

October 31, 2016

Ontario – “Yours to discover” We were in port unloading, nearby, a well-known ship was in the dry-dock, getting repairs done. I thought to myself, what a great opportunity to dispel some myths, and have a look at this vessel, and perhaps “drop my name in”, as I had heard of the wages and conditions being “decent”. Once on board, I found the ship was not what I had imagined…

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A sea of garbage

October 1, 2016

When we are out for a walk around the neighborhood, I feel dismay sometimes at the amount of litter I see. Once in a while the boys and I will grab garbage bags and go clean up around the neighborhood and its community mailbox, a high traffic area that seems to attract litter. It is important for me to reinforce to my children that we should respect our home and…

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Dealing with Transport Canada: bring patience and cash

June 21, 2016

Over the course of my 20 year career as a professional mariner in Canada, I routinely deal with Transport Canada, the certification authority in Canada. Some of my peers find these interactions akin to going to the dentist, sure they are useful, but not that pleasant. This post is about one of my recent interaction with Transport Canada Marine Safety (TCMS); you can be the judge of what its akin…

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Is the neighbor’s green grass lacking morality?

March 28, 2016

Some time ago, I received an interesting email, using the term “morality”, or the lack thereof, in describing the offshore oil and gas industry. Morality is not often used in shipping, but maybe it ought to. I thought it was in interesting wording by a young professional, and in itself provided some insight in our maritime industry in general and its future. Here are parts of his emails, and my…

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CTA Review – my comments to Canada’s Minister of Transport

March 15, 2016

Dear Minister Garneau, I am writing to you, to express my disappointment in the recent submission of recommendations under the Marine Section of the Canada Transportation Act Review (CTA), submitted to you, in December 2015, by the review panel’s chair, Hon. David Emerson. A little about me; I am a Transport Canada Marine Safety certified Marine Engineer; I completed a Marine Engineering apprenticeship at BCIT in Vancouver, and I have…

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