Government of Canada celebrates the tenth annual Day of the Seafarer

News release

June 25, 2019                Ottawa              Transport Canada

Maritime trade is important to the Canadian economy, and the role of seafarers has always been, and continues to be, central to its success. In honour of the annual Day of the Seafarer, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, is proud to recognize the significant contributions that seafarers make both at home and abroad.

The International Maritime Organization theme to mark this year’s Day of the Seafarer is gender equality in seafaring. Transport Canada applauds the Organization’s Women in Maritime programme, which is working to increase the number of women seafarers, who currently represent only two percent of the world’s 1.2 million seafarers.

Transport Canada is making a concerted effort to support women interested in a career in seafaring.  For example, under the Oceans Protection Plan, Transport Canada is responsible for the Marine Training Program. It aims to reduce the barriers to marine training for underrepresented groups in the marine labour force, such as women, Northerners, Inuit and Indigenous peoples. To date, $13.6 million of federal funding has been provided to the Nunavut Fisheries and Marine Training Consortium for training in Canada’s North, along with $6.2 million to the British Columbia Institute of Technology and $5.9 million to the Nova Scotia Community College, to increase  access to, and awareness of, marine training and employment for eligible underrepresented groups.

The Government of Canada supports women to be equal decision-makers and agents of change in economic, social and political processes.


“Today we honour seafarers – those individuals who contribute to our maritime trade on a daily basis. We will continue to work hard to reduce the barriers that underrepresented groups, including women, face when entering this exciting career.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

Quick facts

  • The International Maritime Organization is the global, standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted, and universally implemented.

  • As a founding member, Canada has a long history of working with the International Maritime Organization to advance standards that promote maritime safety and security, protect the environment and safeguard seafarers.

  • Canada has the longest coastline in the world at 243,000 km, with large navigable waterways and many ports of call.

  • In November 2016, the Government of Canada launched the Oceans Protection Plan, a national strategy to create a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines and clean water for generations to come. The $1.5-billion strategy is delivering the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways.

Associated links


Delphine Denis
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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