Maritime Transport Security

Maritime Transport Security

Issues, Challenges and National Policies

Comparative Perspectives on Transportation Security series

Edited by Khalid Bichou, Joseph S. Szyliowicz and Luca Zamparini

Maritime Transport Security offers a multidisciplinary framework and a comparative analysis of maritime transport security policies and practices in several key countries.

Chapter 9: Maritime security in Canada

Mary R. Brooks

Subjects: environment, transport, politics and public policy, terrorism and security


In the early years of Canadian policy-making, the country's shipping policy was a product of the British Empire in that it reflected Britain's proshipping stance as opposed to Canada's pro-trade stance (McDorman, 1984). Canada adopted the legislation, rules and regulations of British maritime tradition through the British Commonwealth Merchant Shipping Agreement, 1931, which called upon Canada to reserve its domestic shipping to 'British' (Commonwealth) ships. This Agreement, signed the day before the Statute of Westminster, 1931, remained the critical shipping policy until the 1970s when Canada developed a Maritime Code that never received Royal Assent, and therefore did not become law. It was not until the Coasting Trade Act, 1992 that Canada removed the term 'British ship' from Canadian shipping legislation, and access to domestic shipping via flag of registration or waiver issued by the Canadian Transportation Agency was implemented. Until the Coasting Trade Act, 1992 and the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 established shipping-specific policies, Canada's attitude towards maritime security can be discerned from its policy statements on security in the broader transportation context. Since 1967, Canada's policies on transportation have generally focused on consistent and persistent themes of balancing economic performance with social needs like access for the disabled (Waters, 2006). The Royal Commission on Transportation of 1959-62 effectively defined transportation policy in Canada; its recommendations were implemented in the National Transportation Act, 1967.

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