Seaway Officials Meet With Niagara Politicians About Canal Security

March 21, 2005

St. Catharines ON, March 21, 2005 — Michel Drolet, Vice President of The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation’s (SLSMC) Niagara Region met today with Niagara elected officials to discuss security requirements for the Welland Canal.

“There has been a lot of misunderstanding about the impact the new security measures will have on the Welland Canal,” said Mr. Drolet. “We felt it was important to brief elected officials so they understand how and why these new requirements are being implemented.”

During the briefing, Mr. Drolet explained that these security measures are being implemented to detect and prevent unauthorized movement and activity in secure areas where vessels and infrastructure are vulnerable, for instance when a vessel is tied-up in a lock chamber. They are not in response to any particular threat to the canal.

SLSMC is complying with the new Maritime Transportation Security Regulations (MTSR), which came into force on July 1, 2004. Transport Canada enacted these regulations to be in compliance with the International Marine Organization’s International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. As a signatory to the 1974 Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention, Canada was obliged to implement the ISPS Code by July 1 last year.

“There seems to be some concern in the community that the entire Canal is going to be fenced,” Mr. Drolet said. “In fact, very little new fencing will be installed, however some existing fencing must be replaced or upgraded to meet Transport Canada standards.”

Some additional fencing will be required to close gaps in order to meet national and international obligations. In addressing the specific issue of the Lock 3 Museum and Viewing Deck, Mr. Drolet made a commitment to work with City of St. Catharines officials to implement the security measures in a way that is as unobtrusive as possible for visitors yet still meets the MTSR. Mr. Drolet also made a commitment to continue working with Niagara’s other elected officials on this and other matters.