“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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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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Insulting and repulsive

July 28, 2014

Silja Festival – from interwebs Last week, the operators of the Delta Spirit Lodge, through a Vancouver based Law Firm specializing in Commercial Law, put advertisements on the BC Government’s taxpayer funded WorkBC website. The advertisement was looking for all ranks of seafarers, including marine professionals holding a Transport Canada engineering Certificate of Competency of Second and First Class. The Delta Spirit Lodge is actually the 28 year old MV…

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TC – Interesting for all the wrong reasons

July 7, 2014

It caught my eye one evening on watch, while catching up on my maritime news. There it was a Transport Canada (TC) advertisement, a few simple lines, in French and English, in a US based magazine. Well, that was strange to start with, I thought to myself, then I read the ad: “News for owners of vessels over 24 meters, change in service delivery for certification and inspections”.   I…

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Looking to dodge Cdn taxes? look to DFO for advice

March 14, 2014

What’s good for the goose… In response to my recent blog post on a decision, denying a Canada Coasting Act waiver by the Canada Transportation Agency (CTA) – which is very unusual – Halifax Shipping News tweeted about another story, where the Canadian federal government seems to be stabbing the Canadian marine industry in the back. In his blog post, Halifax Shipping News highlights a Request for Proposal (RFP) by…

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Used but good… Almost never !

December 22, 2013

What makes you think I have more time to sort your shit out? My father in law is nearly in his nineties, having lived a full life, but with many hardships. They grew up in the time of the great depression, where all things were precious and should not be “thrown out”. I don’t entirely disagree with this philosophies, but one must come to grips with the realities of the…

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Highs and lows

April 20, 2013

May Edition now on news stands Toot tooot. There’s my own horn. BC Shipping News has picked an article of mine featured here, a few months ago, about the realities of the marine engineering training efficiency in Western Canada over the past twenty years. The piece, Reap what you sow, was the first part of my larger exercise, exploring the marine engineer workforce situation in Canada. The article is in…

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