About Marine Safety

Our Mission

Our mission describes how we plan to achieve our vision and the contributions we will make along the way.

To achieve our vision by continuously enhancing safety and the protection of life, health, property and the marine environment through:

  • Development, maintenance and implementation of an effective and efficient regulatory regime;
  • Education and awareness; and
  • Monitoring and enforcement.

Our Vision

Our vision describes the marine safety environment we want to achieve by implementing this plan: A safe, sustainable and environmentally responsible marine community recognized worldwide as a leader.

Marine Safety Mandate and Responsibilities

The Marine Safety program protects life, health, property and the marine environment in the context of an efficient and sustainable marine transportation system worthy of public confidence.

The Marine Safety program develops and administers a national program supported by approximately 620 employees and a budget of approximately $65 million - to serve Canadians. Our mandate includes the full spectrum of responsibilities related to the safety of vessels, pleasure craft and environmental protection. We:

  • Develop, administrate and enforce national and international laws and policies governing marine safety, and the protection of the marine environment;
  • Promote safe practices and procedures;
  • Develop and maintain regulations, examinations, and training standards for the certification of seafarers - including issuing Certificates of Competency;
  • Respond to marine occupational safety and health issues;
  • Maintain a Canadian vessel registry;
  • Deliver an internal technical training program to our program's inspector community;
  • Deliver prevention-based programs to promote small vessel/recreational boating safety;
  • Conduct research in the marine transportation sector ( e.g. safety equipment);
  • Administer the navigable waters protection program; and
  • Oversee pilotage matters.

The Marine Safety program's Logic Model, lists the programs' high-level activities and expected outcomes.

The Marine Safety program derives its authority from numerous Acts which include the Canada Shipping Act 2001, Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act, Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, Safe Containers Act, Pilotage Act, Canada Labour Code Part II, and Coasting Trade Act. In addition, Marine Safety is required to enforce a variety of international conventions (agreements), to which Canada is a signatory. These conventions apply to foreign vessels in Canadian waters and to Canadian vessels trading internationally.

What we do is guided by the Marine Safety program's key results - which are outlined further in this plan. These key results support Transport Canada's strategic direction, which in turn support the federal government's overall agenda of providing for:

  • A safe and secure transportation system that contributes to Canada's social development and security objectives;
  • An efficient transportation system that contributes to Canada's economic growth and trade objectives; and
  • An environmentally responsible transportation system that contributes to Canada's sustainable development objectives.

This alignment ensures that transportation decisions continue to contribute to the success of the broader Government of Canada agenda. The programs and services offered by Transport Canada to Canadians aim to achieve results in partnership with the other departments, organizations and industry toward a strong economy, the protection of the environment, and the safety and security of Canadians.

Clients, Partners and Stakeholders

The Marine Safety program provides direct services to all segments of both the domestic and foreign marine communities. We also collaborate with many partner organizations to provide services. They include industry associations, labour unions, special interest groups, federal and provincial governments, and other areas of Transport Canada.

Although the general public is not always the Marine Safety program's direct client, all Canadians benefit from our services. How? By fulfilling our mandate to protect the public interest and ensure safety for the travelling public by supporting, promoting and regulating marine practices, which protect human life and the environment.