The impact on pilotage of public policy and the global economy was the main focus of the Third CMPA Congress held in Halifax from July 5 to 8, 2011. Organized around the theme Beyond the Bridge: Pilots in the Larger World, over 225 people attended the Congress, with delegates participating in sessions on subjects ranging from world trade to trends in regulation.
The event had all the hallmarks of a successful conference: a well-organized agenda with a good balance between working sessions and social activities; excellent discussions on important topics; eminent guests including the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization, the Canadian Minister of State for Transport, the Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia and the President of the International Maritime Pilots' Association; and a great spirit of fellowship.
Two characteristics of the Congress were singled out by many who attended as having contributed significantly to its success. The first was the impressive line-up of speakers who provided valuable expertise and insight into the subjects being explored during the panel sessions. The speakers included individuals who have served in such important positions as Clerk of Canada's Privy Council, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senior Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada, and Chief Economist of the Toronto-Dominion Bank. They also included the Presidents of the Brazilian, French and German Pilot Associations, the Chief Executive of the Ottawa-based Institute on Governance, leading legal experts on matters related to maritime law, and a well-known national columnist with the Globe and Mail.
The other particularly noteworthy characteristic of the Congress was the diversity of participants, with virtually every stakeholder group in the maritime sector in attendance. Government regulators, policy-makers and elected officials attended, as did board members and executives from port and pilotage authorities. The shipping and marine supply industries were also well represented. Together with pilots from across Canada and abroad, the group constituted a striking cross-section of the entire maritime sector, making for a rich exchange of information and great networking opportunities.
The CMPA Congress has become a much-anticipated event for members of Canada's marine transportation community and its third manifestation in Halifax did not disappoint. The agenda allowed participants to consider pilotage in a larger political, economic and commercial context than it is normally seen. In doing so, fresh understandings were gained of the challenges facing the profession and of the approaches to best address them.
Capt. Michael Watson, President of the International Maritime Pilots' Association; Admiral Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization; and Capt. Simon Pelletier, President of the Canadian Marine Pilots' Association before the Opening Ceremony.
The Honorable Steven Fletcher, P.C., M.P. Minister of State (Transport), Government of Canada, during the Opening Ceremony.
The Honorable Percy Paris, Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, Government of Nova Scotia; Capt. Michael Watson, President of the International Maritime Pilots' Association; Her Honour the Honourable Mayann E. Francis, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, Her Honour's Aide de Camp; Capt. Andrew Rae, Vice-president, Atlantic Region, Canadian Marine Pilots' Association.
Click here to download the official program of the Congress
Justice Yves Bernier Receives CMPA Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Marine Safety
It is unlikely that a more deserving individual than Justice Yves Bernier could have been identified to receive the CMPA's Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Marine Safety, presented in conjunction with the CMPA Congress. The government's choice of Justice Bernier to Chair the Royal Commission on pilotage from 1962 to 1971 turned out to be an inspired one for a protracted inquiry into a complicated subject. The Bernier Report was comprehensive and enjoyed wide support from all stakeholders and the government was able to turn the main recommendations into legislation, the Pilotage Act, that has served the country well and endured for decades.
The video presentation shown at the Congress regarding Justice Bernier's achievements can be viewed here