CFOA in the News: Ferry Association Critical of Ottawa Despite Marine Money

June 24, 2015

Some critical words for the federal government despite the announcement that Ottawa, along with the province, is kicking in 4 million dollars for a Marine Emergency Duties Training Centre at Georgian College in Owen Sound.

The Canadian Ferry Association says they’ve been hounding the feds for years to do something about a looming massive shortage of marine industry workers with more than 70 percent set to retire in the next decade.

Association CEO Serge Buy says they’re hoping this is just the start.

Buy says they’re hoping the funding announcement didn’t just come because its an election year and it looks good for M-P Larry Miller to get some funding for his riding.

He adds however that Miller has been a good advocate for getting the support of his government and has done a good job in securing the funds but he also knows about the level of concern over the marine industry and its looming workers shortage.

Buy says this is obviously good news for the college but his association feels more needs to be done on a sustained level and not just because its an election year.

Buy says the shortage is a problem that’s been ignored for years

Buy admits they’ve been critical of Ottawa’s slow reaction to the looming shortage so the funding for the Marine Emergency Duties facility comes as good news.

He adds they are disappointed in Ottawa and their overall lack of support for the marine industry.

The association says there’s not just a shortage of mariners in the commercial shipping and cruise ship sectors; in the private sector they can raise salaries as needed but in the public sector, that’s not quite the case.

He says cruise ships, for example, can offer 150 to 200 thousand dollars a year but that’s not the case on ferries.

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