OTTAWA: The maritime sector plays a crucial role in the daily lives of Canadians. A significant volume of Canada's commodities and processed goods are exported via marine transportation. Canada's economy depends on the safe and efficient movement of goods by sea.
As an active member of the International Maritime Organization, Canada joins 171 other Member States and three Associate Members in marking World Maritime Day. This year's theme of connecting ships, ports and people highlights the importance of working together to develop a strong, stable and sustainable maritime sector. The theme also focuses on the importance of facilitating marine transportation, promoting navigational safety and protecting the marine environment.

In May 2017, Canada demonstrated its commitment to marine safety by hosting the Third Joint Ministerial Conference of the Paris and Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding on Port State Control in Vancouver. At the close of the conference, representatives signed a ministerial declaration that reinforces international efforts to comply with standards for vessel safety, environmental protection and working conditions on board vessels.

Trade by sea contributes significantly to our economic well-being and all Canadians benefit from maritime activities that are safe and efficient, and that respect the people on ships and at ports. International harmonization of standards ensures the safe operation of vessels, adequate working conditions for crew members, proper handling of cargoes and the protection of the environment.

The Government of Canada is also taking action to achieve a world-leading marine safety system that protects and preserves our coasts. Through the Oceans Protection Plan, a $1.5-billion strategy launched in November 2016, the Government is building a state-of-the art marine transportation system that supports our trade and economic goals, moving goods and natural resource products to new markets.

(Posted on 04 October 2017, 1680164504 34O239O173O144)