Master Mariners of Canada Celebrates its 50th Anniversary

Master Mariners of Canada is celebrating 50 years of encouraging a high and honorable standard of ability and professional conduct among senior officers of the Canadian Merchant Service.

To mark the occasion, a special conference is being held in conjunction with the Master Mariners of Canada Annual General Meeting in Vancouver – the location of the organization’s founding in 1967. The theme of the conference is: Mitigating Risk in Marine Transportation: are moratoriums necessary in the 21st century?

“We exist in part to promote and maintain efficient and friendly cooperation between the commercial, government, and military fleets of Canada through high levels of expertise and experience,” says Captain Patrick Gates, National President.

“It is also our mission to encourage and help develop education, training and qualifications for the next generation of seafarers. As we gather in Vancouver to celebrate our anniversary, we’ll be thinking about the future of the Canadian maritime industry, and making plans to attract new mariners with the energy and vision to continue our work for the next 50 years.”

Master Mariners of Canada has approximately 340 members in seven Divisions from coast to coast.

“The Company of Master Mariners of Canada is widely respected for its international contributions and has been a considerable help to my Secretariat over the years,” says Commodore Jim Scorer, Secretary General of the International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations (IFSMA).

“This is exemplified by the Company’s significant participation in the IALA eNav Underway series of conferences, the selection of Captain John McCann as an IMO Ambassador (demonstrating the high esteem with which Canadian Master Mariners are held on the international stage), as well as its contribution to the International Polar Code.”

As an organization from which guidance and counsel is regularly sought, Master Mariners of Canada plays a pivotal role in national and international matters concerning the safety, operations and regulations of ships and their crews. The following is a condensed list of meaningful contributions and accomplishments in the marine industry achieved by the organization over the past 50 years:

  • helped to develop new model training courses for ice navigation certification approved by the International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s Maritime Safety Committee. The courses are mandatory components of the international Polar Code.
  • member Captain John McCann was selected to be an IMO Maritime Ambassador. Captain McCann is the only Canadian representative in the IMO Ambassador Scheme, and joins approximately 40 other Ambassadors worldwide.
  • provided representation to the Canada Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board regarding Canadian crewing content on foreign vessels on the Grand Banks.
    appeared before and submitted a paper to the Public Review Panel on Tanker Safety and Marine Spills Response Capability (also known as the Brander-Smith Panel) following the Exxon Valdez spill.
  • intervened in the United States Coast Guard rule development on shore leave in U.S. ports.
  • appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Marine Transportation with professional experience and perspectives on Ports, Pilotage, Coast Guard Services, the St. Lawrence Seaway, and charges for services.
  • played a major role advocating on behalf of Merchant Navy veterans for equal access to veterans’ benefits, compensation for lost opportunities, and recognition of the Merchant Navy as a war service.
  • provided a strong presence at historical Canadian marine events; in particular, at the annual commemoration of the Battle of the Atlantic.

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