President’s Update: December 2018

December 10, 2018

Over the last several months, President James Given has been very busy advocating for a strong Canadian maritime industry at home and abroad. As a central part of his role as SIU of Canada President, he has been actively involved in discussions with stakeholders of all levels to promote opportunities for Canadian seafarers.


Most recently, part of this work has included discussions with a tanker company that is looking to bring in vessels under the Canadian flag. Per Canadian law, these vessels would be crewed by Canadian seafarers first. While discussions are not final, this work is very important and will increase opportunities for our Canadian seafarers.


Earlier in the Fall, President Given attended the National Canadian Marine Advisory Council (CMAC) meeting in Ottawa.  The CMAC represents parties with an interest in shipping, navigation and marine pollution concerns, and advises the government on issues and opportunities related to marine safety and security. As part of the CMAC, President Given ensures the SIU of Canada’s voice is heard federally on all major decisions relating to maritime.


In September, President Given appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport to provide the SIU’s perspective on the Canadian transportation and logistics strategy. President Given used the opportunity to advocate for increased efficiency of Canada’s marine corridors. He underscored that the SIU’s main priority will always be maintaining regulations pertaining to Canadian cabotage through the Coasting Trade Act. Any development can and must be done with the goal of supporting and benefiting Canadian workers first and foremost.


In October, President Given and a delegation of SIU of Canada representatives attended the ITF’s 44th Congress in Singapore. Here, President Given was re-elected as Seafarers’ Chair for North America. The ITF Seafarers’ section works to improve conditions for seafarers of all nationalities and to ensure adequate regulation of the shipping industry to protect the interests and rights of the workers. The work done on the ITF allows President Given to take lessons learned from Canada’s experience with labour and cabotage, and assist the international community as cabotage is strengthened globally. The stronger this regime is globally, the better off Canadian seafarers will be at home.


Back at SIU of Canada headquarters this fall, President Given is very proud to have finalized enhancements to members pension plan and secured preferred banking for SIU members with CIBC. The process of securing this enhanced plan was long, but the end result provides SIU members with a retirement package that is among the best in the business. Under the new plan, members will be able to personalize their investment to best suit their needs, including their appetite for risk and how many years they have before retirement.


Over the coming weeks, President Given looks forward to enjoying the holidays with his family and continuing his hard work on behalf of SIU members in the New Year.