Navigation Madeleine Inc. v. Canada

In Miscellaneous Maritime Law Topics on (Updated )

The issue in this case was whether the ship “C.T.M.A. Vacancier” which operated on a route from the Iles-de-la-Madeleine to Montreal was a “ferry” within the meaning of the Pilotage Act and the Laurentian Pilotage Authority Regulations and therefore exempt from compulsory pilotage. The Federal Court of Appeal reviewed the relevant statutory provisions and dictionary definitions of “ferry” and concluded that the exemption was for traditional “ferry” vessels whose routes cut across the navigation channels in the St. Lawrence River. The “C.T.M.A. Vacancier”, in contrast, travelled over 340 miles following the channel throughout its length and was, therefore, not exempt from compulsory pilotage.