Canada to require background checks for maritime workers

Published 20 November 2006

Marine pilots, seafarers, and security personnel covered by new regulations; Canada to spend C$42 million on new port security endeavors, including surveillance, communications, and perimeter security

While the United States continues to struggle with its Transportation Workers Identitification Credential (TWIC, or “TWIT” as we like to call it), the Canadian government has announced plans for a similar program. According to Transportation Minister Lawrence Cannon, the government would soon require background checks for port workers at a number of critical maritime facilities, including the ports of Halifax, Montreal, Fraser River, North Fraser River, Vancouver, as well as St. Lawrence Seaway traffic centers in St. Lambert and St. Catharines. The requirements will apply to marine pilots, security personnel, and seafarers. Unlike the TWIC program, however, there is no indication the Canadian government is interested in a standardized identification card.

Cannon also announced C$42 million in funding for 386 security projects at 101 marine facilities across the country. The money will go toward surveillance equipment, perimeter security, communications equipment, training, and security related design studies. A total of C$115 million has been earmarked over five years to modernize security systems at Canada’s ports.

-read more in this Hamilton Spectator report