Szrad welcome to Canada, like I said in reply to another similar posting, marine job hunting in Canada is a frustrating experience.
I have worked on foreign going vessel and I have worked on Canadian vessels, for the most part I do agree with you, I don't understand the difference "great lakes experience", or "Canadian experience" might come into play for engineers, I sometimes agree with needing experience on a tug, but that more of a mindset prerequisite rather than technical knowledge.
Employers in the past have expressed concerns that other industries have been poaching engineers, especially from Georgian College. Nuclear power plants have been known to do this in the past. Canadian companies don't express a show of good faith in trying to keep engineers in the ranks for future use. I believe it is counter productive for the industry and certainly creates a lot of frustration on people trying to get in such as yourself.
I moved this post, originally posted in the "available jobs" area, perhaps more people will share they're experience and perhaps an idea or two, can surface to help companies better communicate their needs with this marine engineering community.
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