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Harper Government Announces First Steps Towards World-Class Tanker Safety System

In particular, the review will focus on the following elements:

  • Current capacity: Is the current regulated response capacity of 10,000 tonnes a world-class standard and what would be the costs and benefits of changing this requirement?
  • Model: How effective is the system's structure, including its private-public model, funding and fee arrangements, and placement of response assets?
  • Coverage: Is there a need to extend the current system to other substances and create a new cost-effective preparedness and response system in the North?

Panel members

John Gordon Houston, Chair

Captain Gordon Houston is the former President and CEO of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. He attended Edinburgh University's Nautical Campus receiving the designation of Master Mariner in 1975. He also holds a nautical science diploma from Aigburth Nautical College. After a seagoing career spanning two decades, Captain Houston joined the Prince Rupert Port Corporation as Harbour Master in 1988. Later, he joined the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, as Deputy Harbour Master, and then as Harbour Master where, among his other duties, he represented the Port during the creation of Canada's current Marine Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Regime.

In 1996, he moved into the Port's executive ranks, as Vice President, Operations. After five years in this role, Captain Houston was appointed President and CEO of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority where he oversaw the amalgamation of the three ports in the Lower Mainland.

Richard Gaudreau

Mr. Gaudreau has been practicing law since 1969. His experience includes all activities related to maritime and admiralty law, particularly ship purchasing/selling/financing/chartering, carrier liability, environment law, collisions, salvage and all aspects of marine and protection and indemnity insurance. He also practices in all activities related to international trade. He has vast experience before Canadian and Québec courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

He was the chairperson of several Québec and Canadian marine-related organizations. Mr. Gaudreau has been involved in numerous arbitrations, both as a lawyer and an arbitrator. He has chaired a number of public inquiries and studied and drafted maritime and port legislation and regulations in Canada and abroad.

In 2002, Mr. Gaudreau was involved in the private practice of law, and taught post graduate courses in marine transportation management at the Université du Québec à Rimouski. He served as a Lieutenant in the Canadian Naval Reserve, and held the positions of Director of the St. Lawrence Economic Development Council, and Chairman of the Board of the St. Lawrence Economic Development Council. Mr. Gaudreau is an active member of the National Coalition on the Coast Guard Recovery Program, the Canadian Bar Association, and the Quebec Provincial Bar Association.

Michael Mackay Sinclair

Dr. Michael Sinclair is the former Director of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.  He holds a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of California's Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He also attended Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and Southampton University in the U.K., where he earned his B.Sc. and M.Sc., respectively.

After positions at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Université du Québec à Rimouski, Dr. Sinclair joined the Bedford Institute in 1978. By 1988, he was appointed to the position of Director, Biological Sciences Branch for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans at the Bedford Institute. He later managed the Marine Fish Division before being appointed, in 2000, Director of the Bedford Institute and Regional Director of Science, Maritimes Region, for the Department of Fisheries and Ocean. During his directorship at the Bedford Institute, Dr. Sinclair led the initiative to establish the Centre for Offshore Oil and Gas Environmental Research (COOGER), the Department of Fisheries and Oceans' first national centre of excellence. He also contributed to the establishment of a comprehensive monitoring program for the shelf-seas off Atlantic Canada, in support of integrated management of ocean uses, including the oil and gas offshore activities. From 2010 to 2012, he was the President of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), the international organization which coordinates research, and provides scientific advice on marine issues, for countries bordering the North Atlantic. Dr. Sinclair has numerous publications relating to marine ecosystems.

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