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Chamber of Marine Commerce Underpins Importance of Ballast Regulation Harmonization for Great Lakes

By Katherine Balpataky 11:21AM January 18, 2018

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Chamber of Marine Commerce president Bruce Burrows posted the Chambers’ “2018 wish list for legislative and policymakers to build on the economic momentum of Great Lakes-St. Lawrence and coastal shipping in Canada and the U.S” this week.

In the document, he stated, “2017 was a year of significant cargo increases fueled by global economic recovery and new business wins by our members. But the difficult season closing as ships struggled to move through ice after an Arctic-like cold snap reminded us that challenges can arise even in the good years.” He added,  “It underscored the importance of having a competitive, well-resourced and resilient marine transportation system that advances our ambitions to deliver both economic and environmental progress.”

The CMC’s priority list of areas to address in 2018 include:

  • A harmonized and efficient regulatory climate on both sides of the Canada/U.S. border, with one of the top priorities to have one ballast water solution for the region that is environmentally protective and operationally and economically achievable.
  • The harsh ice conditions these past few weeks underscores the urgency of upgrading and expanding Coast Guard icebreaking resources. Governments on both sides of the border have made public infrastructure investments a prominent part of their political platforms during the past two years. Now is the time for marine to secure its fair share.
  • The Pilotage Act in Canada is currently under review and it is critical that key areas are reformed, including governance and the need for modernization to account for the impact of new technologies on pilotage services and costs. The CMC is looking for a positive report from review chair Marc Gregoire and that the Government of Canada moves quickly to make significant changes.
  • Reducing carbon emissions remains high on the public and political wish list. The CMC wants governments to recognize that ships are the most fuel-efficient and carbon-friendly way to move goods and an important part of the solution. As the shipping industry works hard to reduce its carbon footprint even further, the CMC emphasizes that, similar to the airline industry, marine shipping is an international business and it is vital that we make progress towards one global solution to the challenge of climate change.

Burrows said,“My overall wish for 2018 is that we roll up our sleeves and work closely with MPs, MPPs and other officials on both sides of the border to develop complementary policies and programs that facilitate growth and recognize the marine industry’s significant environmental and social benefits.”

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