Pilotage Act

Given trade growth and community concerns, Canada’s amended Pilotage Act should support a system that is flexible, competitive, transparent, accountable, and appropriately balances human pilots and technology.

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Pilotage Act

Given trade growth and community concerns, Canada’s amended Pilotage Act should support a system that is flexible, competitive, transparent, accountable, and appropriately balances human pilots and technology.

The 2019 amendments to the Pilotage Act are an opportunity to optimize pilotage provision, the application of technology and the efficiency and safety of transits in Canadian waters.

Navigation safety is essential to the operation of marine transportation. Pilots contribute to this safety by applying local knowledge and expertise to transit vessels through local waters. CPAs work with Canada’s four regional pilotage authorities, pilots, vessel crews, and operators to collectively ensure safe navigation.

In 2017, Transport Canada undertook a review of the Pilotage Act to modernize and promote efficiencies in the provision of pilotage and marine transportation in Canada. In its submission to the Pilotage Act Review, ACPA made the following recommendations:

  1. Transparency, accountability and flexibility in the governance and delivery of pilotage;
  2. The use of unique local knowledge in the final program design and delivery of pilotage;
  3. The elimination of compulsory pilotage on the open waters of the Great Lakes;
  4. The extension of certification and use of waivers for all qualified mariners; and
  5. Modernization of pilotage through an appropriate mix of technology and human intervention.
Download ACPA’s Full Pilotage Submission

The final Pilotage Act amendments, which were passed in 2019, will help to integrate new navigational technologies and methods while also clarifying the regulatory roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders, pilotage authorities and Transport Canada.

These amendments are a timely opportunity to optimize pilotage provision, the application of technology, and the efficiency and safety of domestic and international transits in Canadian waters. Currently, the government is implementing the amendments through a series of Orders in Council, in consultation with the Canadian Marine Advisory Council. Implementation of all elements is expected to be completed by 2022.