Policy Positions


Canada enjoys one of the largest, safest and most secure marine transportation systems in the world, and CFA members are committed to putting the safety of the public and crews first and foremost.
In 2018, the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) reported zero ferry accidents involving injuries or fatalities in Canada.
The Transportation Safety Board reported only 10 accidents involving ferries in 2018, down from 12 in 2017 and 19 in 2016.
Efforts directed by the industry have led to year over year decreases in total accidents.

Passenger Safety as a Top Priority

Since 2010, industry and Transport Canada have discussed ways to increase the safety of vessels.
Ship owners have voluntarily developed a Safety Management System for their vessels based off international standards.
Since 2004, the Transportation Safety Board recommended that the Department of Transport take steps to ensure that small passenger enterprises have a Safety Management System.
The Canadian Ferry Association (CFA) believes strongly that the Safety Management Regulations should be adopted prior to any other change, especially one that would see external parties asked to review vessels.

To find out more about regulations and safety in the passenger ferry sector, visit Transport Canada and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

For a list of other industry and marine safety links, click here.


CFA members are responsible for employing over 22,000 people both directly and indirectly while providing significant economic support and opportunities in the communities they operate in. Careers in the ferry industry are wide ranging and require a diverse field of talent and include positions such as:
Navigational Officer
Fleet Operations Officer
Deck Hands
And More
The Ferry industry operates across Canada, on both costs, in every province, and in urban, rural and remote locations. Keep an eye on our Job Board for openings across Canada with various CFA members.
Ferry Mountain Mist


Innovation is a driving factor in every aspect of our lives, and ferries are no exception. CFA members have been diligently striving to incorporate new technologies throughout their operations to improve safety, passenger experience, efficiencies, and their impact on the environment. A few notable examples include:
Over the last few years, three large ferry operators have incorporated LNG powered vessels to their fleet including Société des Traversiers du Québec (STQ), Seaspan and BC Ferries.
STQ accepted into service the first electric hybrid ferry, the MV Peter Fraser in 2013.
In January 2020 BC ferries, the largest ferry operator in North America, expanded its fleet of hybrid electric ferries with future plans to operate fully electric ferries.
Canadian ferry operators plan to spend more than $1.5 billion to improve their fleets over the next five years.

These are just a few examples of some of the innovations being implemented throughout the ferry industry by CFA members, all of which look to contribute to the success of the industry, the communities they operate in and the industry as a whole.

The CFA will continue to advocate and support its members in the continual pursuit to explore and implement new innovations in the sector which help increase safety for crew and passengers, reduce environmental impacts, and add additional value to their operations.


Ferries are a key component of Canada’s infrastructure, connecting provinces to each other in the Atlantic, connecting popular international ports in the pacific, and connecting remote locations and islands to the only link to major centres and access to emergency services. Ferries also play a vital role in supporting Canada’s Indigenous communities such as the Beausoleil First Nation and the Chippewa First nation among others.
Many municipalities, including Toronto, have ferries as a component of their public transit system and are vital components of the underlying infrastructure to service the community and industry of the region. However, ferries have been mostly shut out of major infrastructure programs (including the Investing in Canada Plan, which excluded the great majority of ferry routes in Canada).
Past infrastructure programs have limited eligible projects to:
Passenger-only service (no vehicles).
Transportation of goods only.
Canadians recognize the need for ferries in Canada; they link communities, families and people. And those links don’t end at a city’s limits.

Recognizing the diverse nature of Canada’s transportation system, CFA will continue to ask the government to amend the criteria of existing funding programs (and ensure that any new funding programs) allow projects that combine the transportation of goods and passengers to be eligible for funding.