As you may have heard, (http://www.dieselduck.net/blog/
) the Seafarers International Union of Canada (SIU) filed numerous lawsuits against the Federal Government over Cabotage issues in Canada, late last year.
The first results are trickling in, and the SIU has won.
The federal government, the border service in particular, was wrong in allowing foreign seafarers to work on foreign flag ships working in Canada. This is has been a huge bone of contention for me, for many years, especially after the William J Moore, the ship I was working on, was made redundant by a foreign tanker being allowed to work in Canada; 24 shipmates lost their jobs over it.
The use of "Waivers" of the Canada Coasting Trade Act allows a foreign ship (non duty paid ship) to trade in Canada. However the SIU claimed, rightly, that the crew are not part of that waiver.
The one thing that struck me about the routine granting of these waivers, and the allowance of the foreign ship and seafarers, is how little people Canadian seafarers (like you) gave a shit. Really this is your job, literally, the way you feed yourself!
Needless to say, this is a huge decision; it has wide reaching impacts, clear across Canada, and set a extremely important precedents. I have never been a big fan of the SIU, but I am ecstatic to tip my hat to them for initiating and winning this fight. There are many more lawsuits on the docket, but I am sure this precedent is going to reverberate deeply into those cases.
For the love of god, people you need to wake up, this is your livelihood! Pay attention. This is great news.
You in Newfoundland, and its endless offshore O&G vessels, and their foreign crews taking jobs away from you, and the rest of Canada. The tankers in the St Lawrence and Great Lakes trade, the tankers in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The cable layers and research ships in BC; the hotel ships in Kitimat. These are all good jobs we have lost over the years; massively eroding the viability of our career choice t be Canadian seafarers, which is a very demanding career choice.
Hopefully this now sets an important precedents. Yes, you may be able to bring in a ship in Canadian trade if none is available, but that does not mean that the work on those ships automatically goes to cheap foreign workers, who are "cheaper" than Canadians, because they pay no Canadian income taxes.
Congrats to the SIU and its team !