Photo credit : Louis Rhéaume
Photo credit : Louis Rhéaume

SODES coordinates the Marine Advisory Board for the Québec region. This group is composed of representatives from the marine industry and the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG). It ensures information exchange between the Québec marine industry and the Canadian Coast Guard regarding the marine services the latter provides. This allows the CCG and industry representatives to better know each other’s respective realities and positions on files of common interest. Since its creation, the GCM has enjoyed SODES’ support in the form of secretarial and work coordination services.

The main three files monitored by the GCM are :

Icebreaking

The GCM supported the CCG’s request for funding for a plan to renew the fleet of icebreakers serving the St. Lawrence. This aging fleet is a major concern, given possible safety risks and threats to the system’s effectiveness in winter. SODES believes that funding a fleet renewal plan is essential to allow some of the Coast Guard’s aging vessels to be replaced. Renewal should follow a pre-defined timetable rather than a piecemeal approach (with all of the attendant uncertainty regarding future reliability of the icebreaker fleet serving the St. Lawrence).

E-navigation

SODES is participating in the implementation of Phase 2 of the St. Lawrence e-navigation project, whose goal is to analyze and plan trips, and optimize vessel loads and travel times based on water levels. SODES has been mandated to manage the project.

Dredging

SODES also coordinates the GCM subcommittee responsible for maintenance dredging of the St. Lawrence’s navigation channel. This committee allows CCG representatives to inform industry representatives of navigation channel dredging activities. Note that the marine industry pays virtually all St. Lawrence maintenance dredging costs.

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