Canada Transportation Act Review - Report

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Have you read the Canada Transportation Act Review?

Poll ended at Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:41 am

No
0
No votes
Yes - the whole thing
1
25%
Yes - only the "marine bits"
1
25%
Yes - only Chapter 10 - on Marine Transport
2
50%
 
Total votes: 4

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JK
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Canada Transportation Act Review - Report

Postby JK » Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:09 am

Jolly Jack already posted this, but it is important that all Mariners look and see what impacts this act will have on their future and question and respond.
The CTA Report is the result of a Review that concluded in December 2015. The Review was a requirement under the Act, which is Canada’s umbrella economic legislation for transportation. The last review was done 15 years ago. The arms-length Review examined how to ensure that the national transportation system continues to support Canada’s economic competitiveness, trade objectives, and prosperity.

This Report is an opportunity to deepen our understanding of transportation system pressures and opportunities and to advance an ambitious vision for transportation in Canada.


http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/ctareview2014/canada-transportation-act-review.html
Canada Transportation Act Review - Report

On February 25, 2016, the Minister of Transport tabled in Parliament the Canada Transportation Act (CTA) Review Report.
•Volume 1 (pdf)
•Volume 2 (pdf)

The Review was launched on June 25, 2014, and concluded on December 21, 2015 when it was submitted to the Minister of Transport by the Chair of the Review, the Honourable David Emerson, P.C., O.B.C.

The Review looked forward 20 to 30 years to identify priorities and potential actions in transportation that will support Canada’s long-term economic well-being. The Report embodies many months of analytical work, significant public consultations and includes a number of recommendations.

The Government is currently reviewing the Report and is looking forward to hearing from Canadians on the findings of the Review. Collaboration with key partners will be essential to ensure that Canada’s transportation system is well positioned to capitalize on global opportunities, contribute to a high-performing economy and meet the evolving needs of Canadians.

Please refer to this website for the latest developments on the Government of Canada’s forward approach to the CTA Review Report.

Comments and questions may be forwarded to Transport Canada at ✉ TC.CTAReport-RapportLTC.TC@tc.gc.ca......


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Re: Canada Transportation Act Review - Report

Postby Revolver » Sun Mar 06, 2016 6:11 am

If international operators gain access to Canada's domestic trade; how are Canadian seafarers going to keep their wages...
If there's a 2nd Canadian Registry with foreign flag and foreign crews; essentially, how are Canadian seafarers even going to keep their jobs...

Is our clock ticking, are we basically doomed? Or am I cynical, understanding this all wrong, and way off base...

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Re: Canada Transportation Act Review - Report

Postby The Dieselduck » Sun Mar 06, 2016 9:03 pm

I don't think your are being too cynical, one just has to look as to what's happening in Australia. Its exactly the same people pulling the string here.

Just on the fact that we are not training enough people, and industry is keeping wages low and therefor not attracting new blood - we should expect the end of cabotage in Canada, well at least the end of residency requirement. I was talking with a captain recently that the St Lawrence pilots launched a recruitment campaign to fill vacancies, but they had very little response. They are resorting to calling people at home now, to see if they would be interested in joining pilots.

I haven't had a read through the report yet, but will download and digest now, thanks for posting the link.
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Re: Canada Transportation Act Review - Report

Postby Revolver » Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:06 pm

Industry is definitely keeping wages low; for example on the lakes if you don't get your OT hours - you don't make enough money. (OT hours/salary/day rates blah blah is a whole other can of worms though)

We currently have 4 schools (BC, MI, Romuski, and Georgian...that all?) pushing numbers out every year, but they are low. My grad class had 6 engineers including myself.
With the average age of Canadian mariners, and the new Manila Convention - there will be a LOT of retirement in the next 10 years.

I heard of the numbers of Pilots they're looking for, and know a couple of people who are looking to go there...but surprisingly little - seeing as by the sounds of it being a pilot seems like a pretty decent gig to get.

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Re: Canada Transportation Act Review - Report

Postby JK » Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:55 pm

I worked with fellows who were on the CSL ships when they were recrewed overseas. They were woken up in the middle of the night, given a small amount of time to pack their gear and pulled off the ship. The new foreign crew walked on. Now we are going to see that here?

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Re: Canada Transportation Act Review - Report

Postby JK » Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:53 pm

I was talking with a captain recently that the St Lawrence pilots launched a recruitment campaign to fill vacancies, but they had very little response. They are resorting to calling people at home now, to see if they would be interested in joining pilots.


Martin, they are a Crown Corp . You know, I think that the government has gotten to the point where ordinary JoeBlow can't navigate the system to apply for a job. Or, more to the point, the government thinks it is fine to hire people for 3-4 months then lay them off. This goes on for years. The jobs are there, the people are qualified, they have the certification to prove it, so hire them. Anyone who can work elsewhere will, because they are jerked around so much.

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Re: Canada Transportation Act Review - Report

Postby The Dieselduck » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:01 pm

Anyone who can work elsewhere will, because they are jerked around so much.


I think that is exactly right.


Just to update this,with the new pay system in the government somewhat online, engineers will work elsewhere because they get paid. That's right, paid. it is hit or miss if you work CG as a casual if you will get paid on time.
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Re: Canada Transportation Act Review - Report

Postby Revolver » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:55 pm

Okay so long terms, if all Canadian cargo movement on the lakes go tits - all those Seafarers have to go somewhere.

While we don't produce enough seafarers now, if all the lakes get taken up and displace those mariners - we then don't have enough jobs to place all them. Lookin' pretty bleek.

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Re: Canada Transportation Act Review - Report

Postby mentatblur » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:09 am

I'm trying to get back into sailing, after taking a couple years off to try another trade. Is it really getting that bad out there? When I was sailing, people then were always doom and gloom too. Turns out I was lucky in my first career path after all! Hope there are still jobs out there. I have to wait 2 months to do the MED refresher as well :(

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Re: Canada Transportation Act Review - Report

Postby The Dieselduck » Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:08 pm

Oh I think there is still be enough jobs for a little while, such as at coast guard, until they are privatized, and some ferries. But probably mostly Navy will take up people, more of a dead end job for a civilian though. Doom and gloom, perhaps, but one cannot ignore the realities.

The ship owners in Canada are very powerful, they don't necessarily want foreign competition, they just want foreign seafarers, a cheap workforce, make more profits. So I would say look for stunts like the Conservatives pulled, like temporary foreign workers, abuse of the Canada Transportation Act waivers and such. Not necessarily an "end" to cabotage, that would threaten "exclusive rights" in Canada - well protected by the CTA. But I think this is partly on the table as we have swung too much towards anarchy in Canadian shipping, and we may see a complete breakdown in cabotage protection, such as whats going on in Australia.

In the end the slide of the supply of Canadian trained seafarers will continue to near zero, as the wages and condition continues to slide, begun in the early eighties and has not stopped, although it did take a pause in the 2007.

The real question; this is obviously unsustainable even for the greedy set, so I wonder what the endgame will be, and how do we as professional prepare for it, or is it just a true anarchy model being developed. Or maybe the MBA types will have reduce us to simple robots, more for them, which is obviously the hope for unmanned shipping. But still, there needs to be some sort of technical, experience in these companies, which I fail to see an continuum in that knowledge, which is where I fail to see the reasoning behind this mad dash for the bottom even for those with short term thinking that seem to dominate the business world.
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Re: Canada Transportation Act Review - Report

Postby JK » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:12 pm

I think that CG will eventually be a dead end job for engineers with the new SCTW. You will be able to coast but not go deep sea. If you end up on a lower powered vessel you definitely will have ticket issues.

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Re: Canada Transportation Act Review - Report

Postby Revolver » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:15 pm

NL and NS offshore should remain...

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Re: Canada Transportation Act Review - Report

Postby The Dieselduck » Fri Mar 11, 2016 3:55 am

If the behaviour of the Canada Transportation Act board is any indication, I certainly would not bet on that, although Newfoundland has done a pretty good job at locking up jobs for itself.
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Re: Canada Transportation Act Review - Report

Postby The Dieselduck » Sat Mar 12, 2016 6:29 pm

Just posted this assessment of the Marine portion of Emerson transportation review, on the newly refitted blog area. http://www.dieselduck.net/blog/


Canadian transportation review: painting a target on Canadian seafarers
Posted By martin on March 12, 2016

In December 2015, the Hon. David Emerson submitted his report to the Minister of Transportation on the state of transportation affairs in Canada – well, mostly rail and air, and some other stuff, like shipping. Some may recall Mr. Emerson, Vancouver based, Economist by trade, elected as a Liberal MP, only to cross the floor shortly after the election, to the Conservative Party, under Harper, back in 2006.

The report is a sizable document reviewing the transportation system in Canada and getting a sense of the big picture, and suggesting where the government should go from here. It was initiated by the Harper government, in June 2014, and the previous review was completed in 2001. It has allot of business buzzwords, “ renewed infrastructure, improved operational efficiency, greater profitability, more choice, and generally lower prices for users, international competitiveness.” to me, this means: corporate profits, public investments – a sweet deal if you can get it!

I have the honour to submit Pathways: Connecting Canada’s Transportation System to the World. The Report is the product of a review of the Canadian transportation system and the legal and regulatory frameworks which govern it, including the Canada Transportation Act. Consultations were held and advice received from a broad range of transportation inter­ests, other governments, experts and members of the public.


What stands out for me the most, is that the majority of the (marine) themes addressed are exactly what’s been called for by "industry", for as long as I can remember over my 20 year career, as an active part of the marine transportation infrastructure in Canada. It begs the question to be asked then; why don’t any of these suggestions ever come to fruition – is there any real expectations of implementation now.



Industry demands! huh, I mean Government Strategies

Some of the more interesting recommendations are the calling for a Second Registry, more money for coast guard, the unification of all the Pilotage Authorities, and of course a furthering of relaxation of Cabotage regulations (Canada Coasting Trade Act), and demands of lower fees for Canadian ship-owners and larger pubic investment in ports and such. And let’s not forget the removal of all duties on foreign built vessels – in order to finish off Canadian ship yards, once and for all (strangely, these people don’t seem to make up part of the transportation infrastructure). Another word, all very good recommendations for a small group of people, depending of course, on certain circumstances.

Come to think of it, the marine section of the report is basically just straight regurgitation off the wish list from Canada’s marine industry, who’s sole focus is their bottom line.

Properly fund Coast Guard new builds, nothing new here, it’s been a major problem for many decades yet nothing happens. More observations that will surprise no one: major shortage of crew predicted for Canadian ships, nothing new here. TC Marine Safety just keeps increasing the thresholds, and limits access. So the report goes on to offer an interesting comment…



“Alternative Crewing” …wink, wink, nudge, nudge

The Review heard repeatedly in consultations and from stakeholder submissions that seafarers are aging and the pool is diminishing, not just in Canada, but throughout the Western world. Recruitment is difficult—young people are not attracted to the maritime lifestyle and the prospect of long periods away from home. Alternative recruitment methods should be explored to ensure that Canada has the skilled and experienced workforce it requires for the immediate and longer term.


Although “not part of its mandate”, the report place significant emphasis on “alternative recruitment” to make Canada competitive – read, Temporary Foreign Workers – cheap third world labour. Anybody dealing with certification and Transport Canada will attest to the long drawn out antiquated process that it is, especially since STCW95’s introduction, back in the late 1990’s. So yes, an alternative is desperately needed, but I suspect, the report’s vision is probably far from mine.

This particular “alternative recruitment” statement seems over the top, and I looked up and down the report, and I can’t find a single piece of evidence, that anyone, other than industry “stakeholders” and it obsession with the bottom line, was consulted in drawing up such recommendation. In the appendix, there is a long list of operators, ship owners and their lobby groups, yet not a single mention of labour groups, or training institutions having had their say, much less, from a simple seafarer like me.

I find it grossly irresponsible that the report right away presents the only solution to the problem is to relax crewing / immigration standards to allow third word crews onboard Canadian ships – and really, that’s what “alternative crewing” means, so that crew cost can come down further.

In the report, there is no inkling to even investigate other options, or even the source of the issue of crew shortage in Canada, like the convoluted and antiquated certification system, that in my view, is the cause of most of the problems. The report also makes no mention that wages haven’t budge, except to go down, in nearly a decade, yet demands of the job, regulatory, economically and socially have only increased.

Mr. Emerson goes on to buttress his argument by extolling the virtues of short sea shipping – “most socially and economically responsible way to ship goods” – is suffering, due to expensive crews, expensive Canadian shipyards, and that there is too much red tape in getting foreign crews to do the job more efficiently.



A strong voice for Industry… well at least it’s bottom line

Basically the vision of the future for the Marine sector has a big red target painted on the backs of Canadian seafarers. The marine portion of the report would appear to be a simple exercise in putting the interest of a few, ahead of all other concerns, for the government to pander to, and to get the tax paying public to pay for the expensive bits.

Apart from the expected, “nothing is more important than big business” attitude of the Harper government, the broader message for me, in general, is the inability of government to produce a decent vision for the marine transportation portfolio. The greater good of the country seems to be a bridge too far. It is almost comical to read this report, as most of us in the industry are familiar with the governments “piecemeal fix it” approach to problems, usually brought up by special, well financed interest.

The report highlights the many agencies that are intertwined in regulating the Transport sector. To me, this signal exactly the problem; it’s a multi-agency problem. A fundamental, government wide, breakdown in its ability to do anything meaningful, other than to the benefit of a few connected groups – individuals really. The rest of the time the bureaucracy seems to only pushes paper, create skewed reports like this and talk in circles – overall, make the system worst.

This report continues with the same lack of vision we’ve had for decades, what a waste of money and energy.



Confirms the establishment’s status quo

I don’t know what the solution is, but it is clear to me that there needs to be some major radical thinking to come to bear – these schools where these MBA’s are coming from, is not teaching the stuff needed by responsible government or organizations.

I heard on the CBC last month, a discussion from the Treasury Board president – the man in charge of running the actual functions of government – on how government must attract a new generation of young people, to get them passionate about government work, and empower them. Well, this is not a new argument either, everyone agrees, it is a much needed ideal to strive for. As the rebuttal guest clearly mentioned, we’ve all heard this, starting even before the Chretien era, in the nineties.

I can’t identify anything in Harper’s Neanderthal era that I can be proud of as a Canadian, and this report certainly maintains that belief. The marine portion of this report just continues to highlight the same structural issues in the many departments of the government I’ve seen for decades.

Bloated, ineffective decision making, hiding from public view, limited, if any consultations, lack of action on consultation if not aligned with pre-set objectives, bullying, more and more hurdles, special interest agenda driven decisions. Nobody seems to be able to work towards the common good of Canada, especially not in the long term. Provides no vision, whatsoever !


Is it Sabotage?

A few months ago on Twitter there was discussion on a text from the US Central Intelligence Agency’s manual on how to destabilize a government – and they have a great deal of experience with this – in it, a list of thing that guarantees a governments ineffectiveness. The Simple Sabotage Field Manual struck a chord with me, half-jokingly referring to the state of Canadian government functions, especially in the transportation sector.

It seems, as with pretty much anything to do with the Canada Transportation Agency, there is nothing for the benefit of anyone in this report other than the few, usual, well connected players, especially in the marine sector. Even from this perspective, I feel the report is nothing we haven’t heard before, parroting special interest needs; benefiting the few at the expense of the common Canadians. Despite it’s plans of laying a blueprint for the next 20-30 years in the future, Mr Emerson’s report offers little hope that anything will change, because the underlying motive is a flawed concept, excluding the large majority of the real stakeholders.

The report acknowledges that transportation is crucial to Canada’s well-being, furthermore, that the Marine sector is responsible for 90% of trade, yet it provides no vision to counter it’s assertions that most metrics show us steadily falling down numerous scales. Canada’s fall in various comparative metrics, used extensively in the report, in itself, is quite telling, the establishment’s status quo is not good for the country.

Come to think of it, it’s a perfect report for the government, blueprint for a “stable” government transportation policy, kind of stuck in cement, continuing to protect the status quo for the benefit of the few.

You can read find it here; the minister is also soliciting comments, which you can send.
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Re: Canada Transportation Act Review - Report

Postby The Dieselduck » Sat Mar 12, 2016 8:38 pm

We really need to get our shit together as Canadian seafarers, because we are getting rolled over, and over, and over.

Our personal independence and can do attitude is killing us. We are not sticking together and we are being trampled to oblivion; this report just goes to show that, no input at all from regular professional like us who make the machine go round and round. I think TC should make an effort to reach out and be accessible to regular folks, but we need a voice strong enough to at least get a seat at these tables.
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