West coast tugs and the Prime Minister’s babysitter

August 18, 2018

The federal government of Canada recently revealed a plaque commemorating the humble tug and its important role in BC’s development. Tugs and towing was a fundamental part of BC development, since all matters of products moving in and out of tight inlets and tricky narrows, deep fjords were generally move by tug and barge. BC’s tug industry spawned an important marine cluster around Vancouver. Notable marine industry names from the…

Read More >>

It’s a good news bad news thing

June 26, 2018

For nearly 20 years now, Canada, and many jurisdictions, have steadily migrated to a Safety Management System, where cash strapped government essentially downloaded responsibility of enforcing safety regulations onto industry itself. Companies love it because, well, safety glasses, cliché slogans, and dubious reporting present fewer impediments to their cash flows, than knowledgeable safety inspectors working on behalf of the common good – the government and the citizen they represent. Occasionally,…

Read More >>

Random drug testing for seafarers in Canada

June 23, 2018

Browsing the Canada Merchant Service Guild (the Guild) website the other day, I ran across a very interesting paper, it was an arbitration decision, ruling in favour of the Guild and against west-coast tug and barge operator, Seaspan, over it’s random drug testing policies. I completely despise these “CYA”, big brothers, top down attitudes, which these drug policy initiatives seem to be born from. Controlling and punitive motives are probably…

Read More >>

Seat Belts Please : TCMS is on the move

May 26, 2018

Big changes to the Marine Engineering certification process in Canada are underway to bring it inline with the Manila Amendments of the SCTW code. STCW2010 as it is called, came into force January 2012, however Transport Canada and its Transport Canada Marine Safety (TCMS) division, the federal regulator responsible for certifying seafarers in Canada, has yet to produce supporting regulations. They were required to be issued two years after agreeing…

Read More >>

MT18 breaks records!

May 14, 2018

  It is with great pride that we extend a great big thank you to all our participant, for a very successful Mari-Tech 2018 Technical Conference and Marine Exhibition, this past April in Victoria, BC. By all metrics, the conference was a great success, and we thank our sponsors, in particular, our MT18 Platinum Level Sponsor, Babcock, which was an early and substantial participant. Wartsila and BC Ferries, our Gold…

Read More >>

Transport Canada and Engineering CoC – A fine mess

January 29, 2018

Some engineer like myself have been putting off upgrading my Canadian Marine Engineering Certificate of Competency, my “CoC”, or “engineering license” / “ticket”, due to the fact the system had become cumbersome, and completely out of touch with reality. As signatory to the Standards of Training, Certification, Watchkeeping (STCW) convention of 1995, as amended in Manila, in 2010, Transport Canada (TC) agreed to update its licensing system to be in…

Read More >>

TC issues brief statement on SSB fiasco

November 16, 2017

I reached out to Transport Canada Media Relations for a statement on the Ship Safety Bulletin situation. Namely, were the Marine Engineering Certificate of Competency issued under the Ship Safety Bulletin 05/2017, still valid? I also asked about timeline of new guidelines (SSB) being issued, and what resources were made available to address the backlog of applications. I received a response a couple of days after asking. Being a government…

Read More >>

Not so fast there !

November 14, 2017

It was a Tuesday morning; I was getting ready to ship out to sea, setting my affair in order when I received a call from the Transport Canada Marine Safety (TCMS) office. It had been almost two week since I had call to schedule a time where I might come in to discuss the likelihood that I could upgrade my Certificate of Competency (CoC), under the recently released STCW 2010…

Read More >>