Minister of Transport highlights the important contribution of seafarers

News release

June 25, 2021                Ottawa              Transport Canada

Every day, seafarers play a vital role in the safe and efficient transportation of goods and people that is critical to the success of the Canadian economy. As a maritime country dependent on trade by sea, Canada acknowledges the importance of their contributions, which has become even more evident during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

In honour of the International Maritime Organization’s annual Day of the Seafarer, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, applauds the essential role seafarers play.

Since the onset of COVID-19, Transport Canada has supported the well-being of seafarers by facilitating safe access to shore leave, which is leave granted to mariners to go on land from their vessel, assisting international seafarers with safe and timely travel home, and promoting safety precautions onboard vessels to limit the spread of COVID-19.

In collaboration with the Canadian marine community, Canada supported the creation of the Seafarers’ Welfare Board in 2020. As part of Canada’s commitment under the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, this Board serves as an important forum for advancing the welfare of seafarers in Canadian waters and addressing COVID-19 pandemic concerns.

Canada will continue to work with international organizations and partners to advance standards that promote maritime safety and security, protect the environment, and safeguard seafarers.

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“Today, we pay tribute to all seafarers and the important work they do. Their dedication to keep maritime trade in motion is commendable, especially during the pandemic. Seafarers’ continued contributions affect our daily lives and we thank them for their ongoing commitment.”

Minister of Transport
The Honourable Omar Alghabra

Quick facts

  • Since its inception, the Seafarers’ Welfare Board developed the Guidelines for Ensuring Safe Shore Leave for Mariners, which has been adopted by marine stakeholders across Canada.

  • In 2010, the International Maritime Organization designated June 25 as the International Day of the Seafarer as a way to recognize that almost everything we use in our daily lives has been directly or indirectly affected by marine shipping. This year’s Day of the Seafarer celebrates its 11th anniversary with the theme “Fair Future for Seafarers.”

  • 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.

Associated links


Allison St-Jean
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary   
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra          
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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