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Hayes shares concerns over proposed Great Lakes freighter regulations

Monday, April 08, 2013   by: Darren Taylor

Sault Ste. Marie MP Bryan Hayes shares City Council’s concern over proposed new regulations for Canadian Great Lakes freighters.

As reported earlier by SooToday.com, Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Debbie Amaroso and City Council recently approved a resolution aimed at making federal Transport Minister Denis Lebel aware of the City’s concern over new regulations, which could, if passed, have a heavy financial impact on Great Lakes shipping and on the Sault’s economy.

The proposed federal regulations, which are considered far more restrictive than existing regulations in place by the U.S. Coast Guard for competing American vessels, call for each Canadian Great Lakes vessel to be fitted with new, expensive systems to manage ballast water.

Ballast water is contained within a ship, when it is not carrying cargo, to ensure a ship is deep enough in the water for effective propeller and rudder operation, especially in rough seas.

Installation of new ballast water management equipment is estimated to be between $1 million and $2.5 million for each Great Lakes vessel.

Because of that enormous cost for shipping companies, it is felt by Council that Great Lakes shipping would decrease as a result, affecting Sault Ste. Marie’s plans for a much-needed deep-water port for local industry.

The new equipment is considered necessary by Transport Canada to prevent ballast water, once it is discharged from vessels, from filling the Great Lakes with invasive species, or non-indigenous species (NIS).

Opponents of the proposed changes say such machinery is necessary only for ocean-going vessels, but costly and unnecessary for Great Lakes freighters.

Speaking to SooToday.com, Hayes said: “I share Council’s concern. I would not support regulations of that caliber for Great Lakes freighters. I’ve already spoken with Minister Lebel’s department to get an update where things are at. It’s still very, very early in the process of determining what the ultimate recommendations are going to be.”

The proposed new regulations have been driven by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency within the United Nations with 170 member states.

Transport Canada’s national consultative body, the Canadian Marine Advisory Council, was given the task of seeking input from industry stakeholders on the implications of the regulations if they came into effect. 

That process ended at the end of March.

“Industry Canada is now going to look at the results of this and once they’ve gone through everything we’ll have a better sense of things... they are going to take into effect everything the stakeholders have had to say,” Hayes stated. “I think it’s premature to determine the end result will be the forcing of these regulations upon Great Lakes freighters. I feel confident that all these types of things will be considered before the government would ultimately pass legislation like that, and I will be speaking with Minister Lebel.”

Hayes noted similar legislation was proposed by the state of New York in 2012, but concerns raised by many, including City Council and himself, forced New York to reconsider.

On another matter of great local interest, Hayes said the $44 million set aside by the Harper government in September 2009 for Sault Ste. Marie’s new Bridge Plaza project is still safely put aside.

With inflation since the 2009 announcement factored in, it is estimated construction costs have gone over $50 million.

If extra funding is needed when shovels finally go into the ground for the Bridge Plaza, Hayes said he will go to bat for whatever extra funding is needed.

"I will say we need more funding, or a downgraded project, and I’ve always gone on record that we don’t want a downgraded Bridge Plaza for Sault Ste. Marie. We know there’s infrastructure money in the budget.”

Comments
7
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KFM 4/8/2013 7:45:09 AM Report

Why does he proclaim his concerns to the city but we haven't heard anything about his concerns being brought up in parlement? Just more talk from a party yes man! Say one thing to make the people think he is working for them, then bow and kiss Harpers butt when the work needs to be done!
pastoutla 4/8/2013 9:00:47 AM Report

Has Harper's parrot actually done anything for this city other than intermittant quips??
troubador 4/8/2013 10:22:10 AM Report

Should have been installed on ocean-going vessels before the lakes were contaminated, better late than never I guess...
geterdun 4/8/2013 12:16:09 PM Report

Who cares, they can and will afford it if they want to continue making millions of dollars in shipping........
Brian Hayes is a yes man, trying to get his name in the paper being concerned about this LMAO!!! if he was that concered why did he sign on to the ominus bill??????? Well Brian any comment???we can see right through your beedy little eyes buddy.your all about yourself just like the rest of them conservatives......you have done nothing for the citizens of this community and we will let you know that come election time.....adios loser.....
Big specks no wammies 4/8/2013 12:31:26 PM Report

CONSERVATION AUTHORITH MEETING IS APRIL 16. WILL BRYAN Watkins CONTINUE TO LIE AND DECIEVE THE BOARD REGARDING ROBERTS RULE AND 12 MONTH WAIT??, WILL KEN LAMMING CONTINUE TO PRETEND HE CAN ACTUALLY READ?? COME AND SEE THIS CIRCUS FOR YOURSELF AND WATCH IN AMAZEMENT BRYAN WATKINS CONTINUE TO UTTER FALSE STATEMENTS ABOUT ROBERTS RULE OF ORDER, COME SEE TWO GROWN MEN LIE AND MISLEAT THE OTHER THREE BOARD MEMBERS WHO BATTER WAKE UOP. LAW SUITS ARE GOING TO BE EXPENSIVE FOR BRUNI AND JOE. IT SEEMS THE MONEY AVERY IS SPENDING WITH THE SAULT STAR HAS PLACED A PUBLICATION BAND ON THE DEVELOPMENT CALLED POINT ESTATES. HEY BRYAN HAYES, YOU INNITIATED 176-06 AND YOUR FELLOW PC PRESIDENT HAS WHORED HIMSELF OUT TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER, OR SO IT APPEARS. DARREN TAYLOR IS THE ONLY JOURNALIST WORTH HIS KEEP IN EVERY SITUATION WHERE THE GOOD-OL-BOYS CLUB HAS DISENFRANCHISED THE TAX PAYERS OF THE SOO .
sportsfan17 4/8/2013 12:45:45 PM Report

All posturing and talk, no action. Get something done Hayes or we're booting you out along with Harper next election!
funkywalker 4/8/2013 2:32:09 PM Report

Big Specks, I would love to read your post but you have made it nearly impossible by using caps for every word, save Watkins. Please type normally so we can read you posts. Putting it in caps doesn't drive your point home any further.
Comments
7
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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