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Hiring all ranks of Marine Engineers for Cruise Ferry in BC

Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:02 am
by The Dieselduck
Below is a job posting found on WorkBC website, I believe it is a sham to keep this ship crewed with cheaper east block crews under the Temporary Foreign Worker program. Please read my additional post on this thread below and please submit your resume as soon as possible. We cannot allow this to happen without some resistance.

Any other insight or questions, PM me or send me an email at my regular email address.



Osauhing HT Laevateenindus

HT Laevateenindus (HT Shipmanagement) is the ship management company for the vessel Silja Festival. This vessel is in Canada, acting as a floating hotel for workers on the Kitimat Modernization Project and the Kitimat LNG Terminal Project in Kitimat, British Columbia for approximately 9 months.

We are currently recruiting qualified and experienced personnel for the following marine crew position on a rotational basis of 3 months on and 3 months off:

First Engineer (NOC 2274)
Job duties: In-charge of an engine room watch, responsible to the Chief Engineer for operations and maintenance of the engine rooms and equipment.
Terms of employment: project based 9 months
Number of positions available: 2
Wage: 33.52 CAD/hour

Second Engineer (NOC 2274)
Job duties: Responsible for engine room watch and to the 1st Engineer for operations and maintenance of the engine rooms and equipment.
Terms of employment: project based 9 months
Number of positions available: 2
Wage: 33.52 CAD/hour

Watch Engineer - Officer in Charge of and Engineering Watch (NOC 2274)
Job duties: Responsible for an engine room watch and for the operations and maintenance of the engine room and equipment.
Terms of employment: project based 9 months
Number of positions available: 2
Wage: 33.52 CAD/hour

Electrical engineer - Electro-technical Officer (NOC 7242):
Job duties: Responsible for overseeing and carrying out maintenance, repairs and modifications of the electronic/electrical systems on board the vessel.
Terms of employment: project based 9 months
Number of positions available: 2
Wage: 34.28 CAD/hour

Refrigerator Equipment Engineer (NOC 2243):
Job duties: Responsible for the maintenance and operation of the refrigerating and HVAC equipment on board, including planned maintenance and repairs to equipment, ensuring that Engine Room logs and maintenance records are completed.
Terms of employment: project based 9 months
Number of positions available: 2
Wage: 24.10 CAD/hour

They are also looking for Engine Room Ratings, the pay being in the 25/hr range - similar to the Refrigeration Engineer, mmmmm.

Education: Diploma/certificates of proficiency of Chief Engineer. Must be willing to undergo ship type specific training according to STCW convention and Flag state requirements.
Work experience: At least 3 years’ experience on board similar size, class, and construction of vessel or sister ship as Second Engineer ore Chief Engineer.
Language: Written and Oral English is the required. Written and Oral Estonian language is preferred.
Contact information: Please email or mail your application to:
1500 – 570 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 3P1
Attention: Catherine Hofmann

Location of work: MV Silja Festival (IMO No 8306498, Flag: Republic of Latvia) Kitimat, BC
Built by STX Finland, Helsinki Yard in 1986
Owned and managed by AS Tallink Grupp
Technically managed by Owned by HT Shipmanagement, Tallinn, Estonia

LOA 168m
Beam 27.6m
GRT 34,414
Berths 1879
Speed 22 knots

The vessel has been chartered by Rio Tinto Alcan to house additional workers being contracted for the Kitimat smelter’s modernization project. The ship is expected to be used for nine months and will have a service staff of 110 persons.

ME jobs in BC - must have very low expectations

Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:09 am
by The Dieselduck
A law firm in Vancouver, specializing in commercial law, is recruiting all ranks of Transport Canada certified Marine Engineers to crew the foreign flagged "Delta Spirit Lodge".

The Delta Spirit Lodge is actually the MV Silja Festival, a Latvian flagged cruise ferry, owned and operated by Baltic Sea ferry heavyweight, Tallink. The ship was pulled from regular ferry service in May 2013, and has been operating in Kitimat, British Columbia, under a Canada Coasting Trade Act waiver granted earlier this year. It is crewed by non-Canadians since its arrival in Canada, to work on BC Northern Coast.

You could be one of the "lucky few" selected for the job, however you should be prepared to accept a salary cut of about 50-75% less than the current market offers. There is also no benefit package, and you should be prepared to be onboard for a three months stint.

Of course, this is only if you are the special one, selected for these positions First Engineer, Second Engineer, Watchkeeper, Electro and Refrigeration engineer. But in order to be selected you will need "three years experience on sister ship" to the Silja Festival, and be able to "write and speak Estonian".

In Canada, that should not be a problem to find a person like that, right.

Does this advertisement sound like a sick joke to you? Sure did to me. Basically you have a foreign ship with a non Canadian crew working in Canada, enjoying its entire publicly funded infrastructure, without paying any income taxes.

Not paying income taxes is just one advantage that they have, to dramatically undercut my ability to earn a living in my own backyard, as professional Marine Engineer.

Obviously the ad's purpose is to fail to attract Canadian Marine Engineers, and therefore prove to the government that there are no Canadian engineers available. This is simply wrong. There are plenty of Certified Marine Engineers in Canada, but they should not be expected to work for unsustainable terms.

Having "failed" to find Canadian Engineers, they would then be able to operate in Canada, with foreign engineers, who don't have our costs hampering them, and undermining our entire marine industry. Nothing makes my blood boils more than this, and I encourage you to do something about it.

Take action now! there is only us, there is nobody else looking out for our interest.

I love my job, and I spent a very long and hard time trying to carve out a meager living to support my family in BC. Like many of you, I have jumped through the endless hurdles and challenges that is working in Canada as a Marine Engineer. I am not prepared to just turn my back on it, and I ask for your help.

If you hold a Transport Canada CoC of any rank, across Canada, whether you are working or not, ashore or not, I want you to submit your resume to this Catherine Hofmann, her Email is

Do it now.

If they are truly serious about hiring Canadian Marine Engineers, they will make you an offer, at that time, make a counter offer that is mindful of the current standards we have earned, the hard way.

I will not be undercut in my own backyard; stealing bread from the mouths of my kids, paying taxes for infrastructure that helps this system even further, is not right. I am not accepting this situation, and I urge you to recognize the impact this will have, clear across Canada and do something about it.

Spread the word to peers. Call your local Member of Parliament and express your opinions. The Coasting Trade Act, and the routine granting of waivers, is a seriously flawed system. This, combined with the Temporary Foreign Worker program, takes that flawed system to the next level. It will set a major and very dangerous precedent, which directly threatens to our ability to earn a living in Canada as a professional mariner.

Read more on my blog ... lsive.html
Silja Festival
Silja Festival

Re: Hiring all ranks of Marine Engineers for Cruise Ferry in BC

Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:11 pm
by The Dieselduck
Flying home last night I had a chance to briefly speak with a worker coming back to Nanaimo from Kitimat, for time off. He was a Heavy Equipment operator, working on Chevron's LNG export plant preparation.

I didn't have much time to speak, but was able to ask him some questions. He was making about $45/hr, plus 3.5 hrs of overtime (working 12 hrs days) he was working 2 weeks on/off and lived at camp facilities onshore. He stated the Silja Festival was just for the RIO Tinto smelter upgrade project, not the LNG project. He did not notice any foreign workers on his site.

Interesting... well, maybe I should do the 8 week course at VIU...

Copy of letter to MP

Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:29 am
by The Dieselduck
Ms. Crowder,

I am writing to you to express my deep frustration at a situation that is currently ongoing in Kitimat, British Columbia. It is a situation that is undermining my ability, and those of my peers, clear across the country, to feed our families.

There is a foreign ship, the Latvian flagged ferry, Delta Spirit Lodge (Silja Festival is its real name), which has been granted a “waiver” of Canada’s Coasting Trade Act. This act essentially states that Canadian ships with Canadian crews, who pay taxes to the crown, are the only ones able to carry on business in Canadian territorial waters.

With this waiver, the Silja Festival is currently working in BC without paying taxes. Additionally, the seafarers on this ship, in addition to coming from regions of the world with lower living standards, pay no income taxes on their earnings – unlike their Canadians equivalent, like myself.

The company operating this ship must been under some scrutiny by a government agency, as last week, they issued numerous advertisements – on the tax payer funded WorkBC website, ironically – calling for Transport Canada certified Marine Engineer. I am one of these very specialized engineers, having spent a great deal of resources on a long formation process mandated by the Federal Government. I also have extensive and direct experience on these types of ships.

The advertisements are clearly designed to fail, as conditions and terms offered are just unrealistic under the current Canadian market conditions. On pay alone, the terms stipulated in the advertisement would represent a pay cut of about 60% to our Cedar household of five, to which I am the sole income provider.

The advertisements further express requirements that are highly unlikely to be fulfilled by Canadian Marine Engineers. These include being able to “speak and write Estonian” and having “three years of experience on sister ship”. Obviously the “failure” to find Canadians to do this work, would prove to the relevant authorities that it is a situation that can continue – but it must not.

I would like to meet you to discuss this egregious abuse, as if it is allowed to continue, would represent a massive blow to the marine industry across Canada and its highly trained and specialised workforce crucial to Canada’s economy. It is a dangerous precedent that cannot be allowed, and I am asking for your help in making sure this does not go further.

You may wish to read my blog, which provided further details and context on this matter, it can be found at ... lsive.html .

Re: Hiring all ranks of Marine Engineers for Cruise Ferry in BC

Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:43 pm
by The Dieselduck
Kathy Tomlinson of the CBC’s GoPublic TV news-magazine is doing a story on the Silja Festival, the foreign crew and such, and I was wondering if anyone would be interested in offering input and perspective.

In particular we would like to hear from any deck or engine room officers and ratings, who would be willing to work on this ship in Kitimat, regardless of the current terms being offered. Please send me your comment by email to as soon as possible.

Please spread the word widely.

Re: Hiring all ranks of Marine Engineers for Cruise Ferry in BC

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:57 pm
by Steamboat Al
As I read this I have to wonder why on earth would I apply for one of these positions when I can get a job with a friend of mine as a labourer for $35.00/hour plus bonuses for working night shift no CoC required either. No doubt the TFW's will get the preferential treatment here from our government since they have never really cared in the first place.

Cheers Al

Re: Hiring all ranks of Marine Engineers for Cruise Ferry in BC

Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:15 pm
by capt_ahmed
It is ridiculous!
I applied for this job back in April and nothing heard till now and I don't expect to hear anything.
They just want to show copy of the adv. to CIC to issue work permits for foreigners. The question now, how does CIC verify that no qualified seafarers have applied?
The adv. is just designed so no one is qualified. How come a law firm (probably the firm applying for the coastal trading licence) will assess the marine qualification of applicants? I doubt if that law firm has contacted any applicant.

Re: Hiring all ranks of Marine Engineers for Cruise Ferry in BC

Posted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:32 am
by The Dieselduck
Yeah you are not the only one to be invited to send in resume, then strung along, without any feedback or information. I sent in my resume two weeks ago and no reply at all. We must all send our resume in, obviously this is the opposite of what they want.

Re: Hiring all ranks of Marine Engineers for Cruise Ferry in BC

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:51 pm
by The Dieselduck
I’ve just been informed by the CBC that they will not be doing the story on the Silja Festival, the foreign cruise ferry operating in Kitimat for at least one year, probably two, or longer.
I am sorry to say we've decided we can't pursue this as a story after all (at this stage), because most of the people employed on the ship are and apparently will be Canadian and/or First Nations.

I apologize if you feel your time was wasted. We had to prioritize stories for the fall and the consensus was not to pursue this one.


Kathy Tomlinson
National Reporter
CBC Go Public

Maybe the exposure help some what to put pressure on Rio Tinto to hire more Canadians onboard. Of course the positions going to Canadian are low skilled service jobs, the issue, I believe we can all identify that this sets a dangerous precedent on so called Canadian flagged vessel, and their ability to replace Canadian licensed personnel with foreign licensed ones for much cheaper.

I have no problem competing on a level playing field; I want the same tax and regulatory regimes as the foreign workers, or they should be subjected to our tax and regulatory regimes. Right now, this is not the case.

Re: Hiring all ranks of Marine Engineers for Cruise Ferry in BC

Posted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:32 am
by JollyJack
The vessel is not registered as a ship, but an hotel, which makes the juristiction Provincial. They want marine crew to run marine systems (much as Dome did on Mackinley Island and on the floating drydock and warehouse in Mackinley Bay back in the day), but there is no need for marine crew in an hotel. There is no Federal marine issue here, it's Provincial, all explained in the 1867 BNA Act, section 91 and 92, division of Federal and Provincial powers.

Re: Hiring all ranks of Marine Engineers for Cruise Ferry in BC

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:08 pm
by Wyatt
As usual, the Government's, either federal or Provincial, have the ability to circumvent the rules that they apply to us as seafarers whenever they feel the need. This is still a vessel, it floats and has a propulsion system. If it was a simple barge, this would be different, only in a small part. In an emergency though, things will be exactly the same as if it were an active vessel, and this is where things will show its ugly head. If a fire, or a sea water cooling/supply valve misstep (HMS Endurance), or any one of many serious emergency's were to occur, I will bet there will be a complete break down of command. I am sure that ISM protocols are fully in place in all Russian orbit vessels :roll: . This will manifest itself in many different ways, language being the biggest problem. Command is through who? I will bet that lives will be lost, and as usual, as I have read many, many, times in the past, it always takes lost lives before the proper decisions will be made to ensure safety of personnel. This project has been thought out very well before hand by a group of lawyers and shore based strategist's to ensure maximum profit for the Multi-million dollar corp. It saddens me that this is still occurring, especially right here on our doorstep! I hope nothing bad happens for these foreign underpaid seafarers working here in Canada.

Re: Hiring all ranks of Marine Engineers for Cruise Ferry in BC

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:28 pm
by The Dieselduck
To register a complaint with the government of Canada about the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and abuses, visit this page... ... ting.shtml

If you have submitted you application as qualified Marine Officers for the Silja Festival's advertised positions and have not received any feedback / response then you might consider lodging a complaint.

Re: Hiring all ranks of Marine Engineers for Cruise Ferry in BC

Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:30 pm
by The Dieselduck
My letter to the Canadian federal minister of immigration,

Dear Honourable Chris Alexander, P.C., M.P.,

I am writing to complain about what appears to be an abuse of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program, on the Latvian flagged ship, Motor Vessel (MV) Silja Festival, currently operating in Kitimat, British Columbia. The ship is a non-Canadian vessel, but has been granted a waiver from the Canada Coasting Trade Act, issued by the Canada Transportation Agency ( This large foreign ship and its non-Canadian maritime officers have been operating in Canada Since early 2014, and is expected to continue operating for an estimated 2 years, supporting the est. $4.8 billion upgrades to the Rio Tinto aluminum smelter in Kitimat, BC.

The Estonian managers of the MV Silja Festival, HT Laevateenindus, through a Vancouver law firm, Bernard LLP, have posted numerous “Help Wanted” advertising on differing medium, principally the WorkBC website this past summer, and again in the fall, on (and others), in search of qualified marine personnel, principally Deck and Engineering Officers. The terms for the positions advertised are considerably lower than the Canadian market currently offers. In my particular case, I estimate that it represents a 55%-60% cut in wages.

A ship is a big, complex machine and needs many skilled people to operate. On the MV Silja Festival, the people working on deck, in the engine room, and in the “hotel” are called ratings or catering staff – typically “lower skilled” labour. The Officers are in charge of the ship’s operations in the Engine Room (Engineering Officer) and on Deck (Navigation Officer), and the ratings in these departments; the most senior Deck Officer is the Captain or Master. Maritime Officers are highly trained and vetted individuals who typically spend about 10+ years in professional training to become officers. It is my understanding that catering staff, and some rating positions are supposedly filled by Canadians on the MV Silja Festival.

I am one of those Engineers; a Transport Canada Certified Marine Engineering Officer with 18 years of shipboard experience, including 4 years on large passenger ships. I hold the correct certification, and have relevant experience to be able to work on this vessel, in particular as Engineering Officer of the Watch, such as what they advertised they were looking for. I am also qualified to perform additional roles advertised. I submitted my application to Ms. Catherine Hoffman, at Bernard LLP, on June July 26th, 2014, as directed in the advertisement found on the WorkBC website, which ran from June – September 2014. I have not received any reply, or acknowledgements since.

From discussions with peers, I have positively identified four other qualified Maritime Officers that have applied for the various Deck and Engine Room positions (despites the significant disparity between terms offered and the Canadian norms), and they also have not received any replies from their applications. I, and my peers, are of the opinion that this is false advertisement with no intentions of hiring qualified Canadian maritime officers, in an effort to satisfy various governmental “due process” requirements. We believe the true motive is to maintain the lower paid foreign Engineers and Navigation Officers onboard, presumably, to increase profits for the non-Canadian ship owner.

I am of course very upset about this situation. It is not acceptable to our family, because it is work I could be doing in my home province – I currently have to fly out of province to support my family – my spouse and our three young children, ages 9, 7 and 5. The wages offered undercut my ability to compete in my chosen profession – an already demanding and difficult profession - despite an extensive and burdensome investment in training and certification on our part.

I am not afraid to compete internationally, and I have in the past. However, these foreign officers received tax break in their home countries (not to mention, lower cost of living), which tax breaks are not applicable to professional Canadian seafarers working internationally. I suspect they do not pay Canadian income taxes either, despite benefiting from Canadian taxpayer funded infrastructure while working in Kitimat – such as hospitals, roads, WorkBC website. Without a similar tax burden, these foreign officers are therefore able to dramatically undercut my wages and conditions, not to mention, this ship directly removes work from Canadian companies and their employees. There are very few words I can use that can adequately describe my feelings of this unacceptable situation.

I request and expect that you will look into this matter with utmost expediency, and provide an explanation as to why this situation is allowed to continue. Attached, is my resume for your information, similar to the one I submitted to Bernard LLP. I am quite willing to back all of my claims with names and relevant documentation.

Yours sincerely

Re: Hiring all ranks of Marine Engineers for Cruise Ferry in BC

Posted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:41 am
by Steamboat Al
Hi Martin

It will be interesting to see if he even answers you. I'll bet though the government won't do damn thing about it after all they have been trying to kill the marine industry for over 60 years.

Cheers Al

Silja Festival in Kitimat "hiring" again

Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 1:10 pm
by The Dieselduck
Same positions, slightly (very slightly) better terms - Chief, EOOW, Refrigeration and Electrical. This time, if you want to apply, you'll need to talk to C-Mar Canada out of NF.

HT Laevateenindus/ HT Shipmanagement is the ship management company for the vessel Silja Festival. This vessel is in Canada, acting as a floating hotel for workers on the Kitimat Modernization Project and the Kitimat LNG Terminal Project in Kitimat, British Columbia until October 2015.

We are currently recruiting qualified and experienced personnel for marine crew position on a rotational basis of 8 weeks on and 8 weeks off and we encourage applications from suitably qualified, with proper work experience and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion or belief or marital status.

Chief engineer officer (NOC 2274):

Job functions: at management level marine engineering, electrical-, electronic- and control engineering, maintenance and repair, controlling the operation of the ship and care for persons on board;

Terms of employment: project based, until october 2015;

Number of positions available: 1 (2 persons);

Wage: 31,82 CAD/hour;

Location of work: MV Silja Festival (IMO No 8306498, Flag: Republic of Latvia) Kitimat, BC

Qualification: STCW 2010 certificate of competency as chief engineer officer on a ship powered by diesel engines with main propulsion machinery of 3000 kW propulsion power or more; passenger/ ro-ro passenger ship type specific trainings documentary evidence according to STCW convention; valid at least for three months seafarer’s health certificate; other valid certificates/ documentary evidences according to Flag state (Latvia) requirements for this position.

Work experience: At least three years’ experience as chief engineer officer on ro-ro passenger vessels of gross tonnage 10 000 or more.

Language: English