Massive mudslides and severe flooding as a result of torrential rainfall have crippled the Province of British Columbia as major road and rail networks have been heavily impacted. Rescue efforts of people, the movement of machinery and equipment, and the re-supply of essential goods continue to be a priority in the emergency response. The assessment of damages and repairs to critical infrastructure are ongoing and there is no timeline for resumption of rail services at this time. The BC government declared a provincial state of emergency on Nov. 17th to mitigate impacts on transportation networks and movement of essential goods and supplies, and to support the provincewide response and recovery from the widespread damage caused by severe flooding and landslides in British Columbia. The state of emergency is initially in effect for 14 days and may be extended or rescinded as necessary.
Another attempt will be made this Sunday to dislodge a barge that washed up on rocks at Sunset Beach as a result of a severe windstorm on Nov. 15. According to the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) the empty barge owned by Sentry Marine Towing based out of Richmond broke loose from its mooring and drifted across English Bay. The first attempts to remove the barge were unsuccessful and higher tides and hopefully, more horsepower can be expected on Sunday morning. The CCG is monitoring 22 boats that have either sunk, run aground, damaged, or just drifting after the storm. Under Canadian law, boat owners are responsible for their vessels at all times and the CCG is working with local authorities to contact those affected to advise them of their responsibilities in regards to towing, salvage, and cleanup.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have moved in to remove indigenous protesters at the site of TC Energy Corp’s Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia. The Gidimt’en clan of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation provided notice Sunday morning that it would be blockading the main road into the Lhudis Bin territory that afternoon. Hereditary chiefs from the Gidimt’en and the four other clans that make up the Wet’suwet’en people have been trying for more than a year to halt construction of the pipeline that is now more than half-finished. All of the 20 elected indigenous band councils along Coastal GasLink’s 670 km route support the project. But Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs insist they have the final say. A memorandum of understanding signed since then between the federal and provincial governments and Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs was believed to have eased tensions.
The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers Canada Branch held their annual Dry Bulk and Commodities Conference and pub night on Nov. 18th. It was their first in-person event since November 2019, and the near sell-out crowd, following all the requirements for vaccinations and masks, clearly enjoyed the irreplaceable in-person interactions throughout the day. The breadth of topics and experienced local and international speakers covered market outlooks, supply chain challenges, and industry perspectives and pressures on decarbonization. Definitely, an event to put in your calendar for next November.
The Mission to Seafarers has presented the Pacific Pilotage Authority with the Top Fundraising Team trophy for this year's Cycling for Seafarers event. Receiving the trophy from Rev. Peter Smythe and Don MacInnes is Capt. Kevin Obermeyer, President & CEO of the Pacific Pilotage Authority. The team that also included Brian Young and Paulo Ekkebus raised $4,525 through individual pledges supporting their rides throughout the summer months.
The Government of Canada has announced changes to its border measures effective from November 30, 2021. Fully vaccinated individuals with right of entry to Canada who depart and re-enter the country within 72 hours of leaving Canada will no longer be required to present a pre-entry molecular test. Also the list of COVID-19 vaccines that travellers can receive to be considered fully vaccinated for the purpose of travel to Canada has been expanded to include Sinopharm, Sinovac and COVAXIN, matching the World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing. A valid COVID-19 molecular test will no longer be accepted as an alternative to vaccination unless travellers are eligible for one of the limited exemptions, such as a medical inability to be vaccinated.
After January 15, 2022, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign nationals will only be allowed to enter Canada if they meet the criteria for limited exceptions, which apply to certain groups such as marine crew members. Exempt unvaccinated travellers will continue to be subject to testing, quarantine, and other entry requirements. Non-exempt unvaccinated or partially vaccinated foreign nationals will be prohibited entry into Canada.
A fire broke out in the engine room on HMCS Fredericton early Thursday morning as the Canadian frigate was leading several other NATO warships in a training exercise off the coast of Norway. The fire was quickly extinguished by the crew and there were no injuries. The Fredericton was leading three other NATO warships from Norway, Portugal and Denmark north as part of a Norwegian training exercise. The ship is docked in the Norwegian city of Trondheim for repairs.
The Biden administration has endorsed proposed legislation that would dramatically change how container shipping is regulated and urged maritime regulators to challenge ocean carrier alliance agreements if they violate the Shipping Act. Congressman John Garamendi's House Resolution 4996, also known as the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, aims to require ocean carriers to adhere to minimum service standards, certify detention and demurrage charges, and protect US containerized exports. The Federal Maritime Commission would need more than its current $30 million budget to administer the proposed Act and new reporting requirements that could be imposed on carriers and marine terminals. The US Department of Justice has long criticized the antitrust immunity enjoyed by carriers and has publicly raised concerns each time the FMC has allowed an alliance to take effect.
A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S has issued its first-ever green bond raising 500 million euros ($566 million). It’s the first time since 2018 that the company has turned to the euro market for debt financing. Maersk has made clear it wants to move faster than competitors in decarbonizing its business, as investors start to shift capital away from climate laggards. The company plans to spend the proceeds of Friday’s bond sale on a small feeder vessel and eight large methanol-fueled ships ordered earlier this year. Niclas Erlandson, Maersk’s head of Treasury and Risk, states "There’s not a need to raise new debt and that the timing of the issuance is related to the investments we are doing in our decarbonization journey, which is a reflection of the company’s strategy for the future, rather than current market conditions.
The Government of Canada has purchased a commercial light icebreaker from New Brunswick-based Atlantic Towing for $45 million. The Mangystau-2, docked in the port of Hazar in Turkmenistan on the Caspian Sea, will eventually join the CCGS Griffon and CCGS Samuel Risley in icebreaking duties, and it will tend to navigational buoys in Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River and Atlantic regions. The Mangystau-2 is the fourth interim icebreaker purchased, following the purchase of three medium interim icebreakers, the CCGS Jean Goodwill, CCGS Vincent Massey and CCGS Captain Molly Kool.
The 66-metre-long Mangystau-2 was built in 2010 by Vard Braila Shipyard in Braila, Romania, for Caspian Offshore Construction Group based in Aktau, Kazakhstan.