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Welcome to the website of the Canadian Maritime Law Association. Members of the public are invited to browse the public parts of our website to learn about us. If you have an interest in Canadian maritime law and are not already a member of CMLA, please apply for membership.

If you are a member of CMLA, it is recommended that you proceed directly to the Members Only section which contains additional News and Events relevant to members as well as the full database of CMLA reports and AGM documents. CMLA members may retrieve their passwords here.



 Chris Hall Appointed President of Shipping of Shipping Federation of Canada

The Board of Directors of the Shipping Federation of Canada has announced the appointment of Christopher Hall as President, effective February 14, 2022. Chris is an experienced transportation professional, formerly Vice President of Operations and Harbour Master at the Saint John Port Authority, Prior to joining the Port of Saint John, Chris spent ten years with Atlantic Towing.. He is a Master Mariner and a graduate of the Canadian Coast Guard College, The Shipping Federation of Canada is the national association that represents the owners, operators and agents of ocean ships that carry Canada's exports and imports to and from world markets. Source: Shipping Federation of Canada

 Gillian Grant elected Chair of IMO's Legal Committee

Transport Canada has announced that Gillian Grant has been elected the Chair of the Legal Committee of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for 2022 (a first for Canada and for women). Gillian was for years with Transport Canada's Legal Services in Ottawa and served as a CMLA director and Chair of its IMO Liaison Committee, before being named the Alternate Permanent Representative of Canada to IMO in London, England. More recently, she was elected Vice-Chair of the IMO Legal Committee and now she will be the first female Chair of that Committee, as of 2022

 Appointment of Vanessa Rochester to Federal Court of Canada

This is to advise that Vanessa Rochester of the Montreal office of Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, the CMLA’s Regional Vice-President for Québec and Chair of its Carriage of Goods Committee, has been appointed a judge of the Federal Court of Canada. See the announcement from the Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice of Canada, dated August 6, 2021 at: As the Minister’s message indicates, Madam Justice Rochester holds B.A., B.C.L. and LL.B. degrees from McGill University, where she worked during her legal studies with the late Professor William Tetley, as well as an LL.M. and a Ph.D. (with distinction) in maritime law from the University of Cape Town. A member of the Barreau du Québec, she is also qualified to practice law in England and Wales, and did so for a time in London, as well as in Singapore, before assuming her present position at Norton Rose Fulbright in Montreal. She has been recognized in various publications for her expertise in maritime and transportation law and is dedicated to promoting gender diversity and equality in the shipping industry, particularly as Canadian President of the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA-Canada). Justice Rochester also sits on the Maritime Law Executive and the Federal Court Bench and Bar Liaison Committee of the Canadian Bar Association. All members of the CMLA are delighted to learn of Justice Rochester’s appointment to the Federal Court, replacing Mr. Justice G. Locke, who was appointed to the Federal Court of Appeal in 2019. We congratulate and wish Vanessa every success as she assumes her new role. Her judicial appointment, following those of other distinguished CMLA members in recent years, brings yet further honour to our Association, which she has served so faithfully and effectively as member, director, committee chair and regional vice-president. For a brief period to come, messages may continue to be sent to her email address at Norton Rose Fulbright in Montreal (, from which they will be forwarded to her.

 Death of Peter Davidson

With sadness we announce the passing of Peter Wayne Davidson in Montreal on April 25th, 2021. He is mourned by his son, Thomas, his daughter, Katja, his partner, Sylvia, extended family Katie, Pamela, and Wayne, and chosen family. He is remembered by many friends, especially his colleagues in the marine community and at Brisset Bishop where he practiced law for some 50 years, at the Royal Montreal Golf Club as an honoured member, and among alumni of McGill University. Due to the pandemic, a private graveside burial service will be held. A celebration of life will take place at a later date when friends and family can safely gather. In lieu of flowers, Peter would have wished ample donations to be made to Mariners' House of Montreal at

 Master Mariners of Canada Newsclips - Crew Change Repatriation Crisis

The following position on the issue of the Crew Change Repatriation Crisis was adopted by the Company of Master Mariners of Canada at the Board Meeting of January 21, 2021: The International Maritime Organization estimates 400,000 seafarers are stuck at sea with no plans for repatriation. Many have exceeded the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) maximum continuous period onboard of eleven months - many serving 17 months and longer. The marine industry and the seafarers crewing the vessels are critical to the economy, safety and security of Canada and the global marine transportation infrastructure. The Master Mariners of Canada recognize the efforts of the Government of Canada and Transport Canada Marine Safety to establish effective measures to facilitate crew changes of seafarers currently stuck in ships all over the world due to the COVID19 Pandemic. We support fully the requirements of Transport Canada’s Ship Safety Bulletin 01/2021 — Maximum Period of Service Onboard and Repatriation of Seafarers During COVID-19. The Master Mariners of Canada applaud the decision taken by the Government of Australia and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) to return to pre-COVID19 international requirements after 28 February 2021 limiting employment contracts to eleven months continuous service onboard. AMSA has indicated they may detain ships arriving with crews onboard in non-compliance with the MLC. Master Mariners of Canada urge the Government of Canada to continue lobbying other IMO Member States to adopt similar positions and detain vessels that arrive with seafarers onboard beyond the MLC maximum continuous service period of eleven months. Furthermore, we urge the Government of Canada to press for a concentrated inspection campaign for non-compliance with maximum periods of service on an urgent basis through the Paris and Tokyo Port State Control Inspection regimes.

 Master Mariners of Canada Newsclips - Labour Shortages of Qualified and Experienced Canadian Seafarers

The following position on the issue of Current and Anticipated Labour Shortages of Qualified and Experienced Canadian Seafarers was adopted by the Company of Master Mariners of Canada at the Board Meeting of January 21, 2021: Financial, economic and national security issues notwithstanding, the current and anticipated labour shortages of qualified and experienced seafarers is a national safety issue affecting all navigable waters under Canadian jurisdiction. To address the risk posed by current and anticipated crew shortages in Canada, a collective and collaborative approach is required to formulate short and long-term strategies aimed at the recruitment, training, certification and retention of Canadians to work aboard Canadian flag ships and in all categories and areas of marine industry. This initiative should be led by the Federal Government to bring employers, unions, educators, regulators and other related industry stakeholders to a round table with a mandate to develop short and long-term strategies to address the current and looming shortages. • Employers and unions should bring to the table their immediate and long-term human resource requirements along with budgets for recruitment and training. • Educators should bring strategies to augment their capacity to train and certify mariners along with budget requirements to provide education and projections for student costs for training and certification. • Government should bring their existing requirements for certifying mariners and new strategies for certifying mariners in the future to streamline the process to make it comprehensive and attractive. • Related Industry Stakeholders (pilotage authorities, classification societies, etc) should bring their current and future requirements for qualified seafarers. All stakeholders must be prepared to fund the strategic plan and provide human resources necessary to implement the strategies in a timely manner.

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