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Imagine Marine! New Canadian Foundation launched to promote marine sector careers


January 28, 2020 (Ottawa, Ontario) — The marine shipping industry has joined forces with the federal government to launch the Canadian Marine Industry Foundation (CMIF), to promote careers in the marine sector and help alleviate labour shortages.

Maritime workforce recruitment and retention has become an increasing challenge with positions going unfilled both on ships and ashore. The marine sector has been hit by a combination of factors including more outgoing retirees than new recruits joining, skills shortages and a lack of awareness by the public of the rewarding careers available.

The CMIF is an initiative conceived and developed by Canada’s private and public sector marine stakeholders, including the Ottawa-based industry association Chamber of Marine Commerce, and the federal government under the direction of Transport Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

The foundation aims to expand its membership to include private and public entities from all coasts in Canada. It will present opportunities for engagement, resource sharing and also direct financial contribution.

One of the CMIF’s first initiatives in 2020 will be to launch a digital campaign to raise awareness of the industry so it can continue to attract the skilled labour, trades and accredited professionals needed to steer the industry forward.  The campaign will ask Canadians to Imagine Marine and start a conversation to spark the imagination of youth to consider careers in an industry with a tradition and future like no other.  A new web-based career resource will be designed to inform, direct and support workforce candidates with academic and career information.

The CMIF will not replace or duplicate individual company or departmental recruitment efforts but rather act as a clearing house or one-stop resource that provides the broader picture of everything the marine sector has to offer.

More Information:



“The marine sector is a key part of our transportation system; therefore, it is important that we do everything to ensure key jobs are filled. Transport Canada is a proud member of the Canadian Marine Industry Foundation, a unique forum to address recruitment challenges faced by both the industry and the Government of Canada, which promote the marine sector as a career of choice.

The Honourable Marc Garneau          

Minister of Transport

 “The Canadian Coast Guard is honoured to be a founding member of the Canadian Marine Industry Foundation. It’s integral that the marine sector has a thriving workforce – from entry level straight through to experienced professionals.  This initiative will help showcase the exciting and varied positions that exist ashore and afloat that satisfy a wide range of interests and goals.”

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan   

Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“At the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, we are always looking to make a safe system even safer. The work we do in the marine mode to advance safety—investigating accidents, identifying safety deficiencies, reporting publicly— requires that our marine professionals be proficient and well versed in their field. The creation of the CMIF will help identify the many opportunities in the marine industry, and will help us continue recruiting and developing the people with the talent and drive to succeed in a challenging but rewarding career.”

Kathy Fox

Chair, Transportation Safety Board of Canada  

“Many of our members have identified workforce development as their number one challenge. This is an opportunity for our industry to take a more strategic, national approach to let Canadians know that marine is a dynamic, modern sector committed to innovation, sustainable best practices and ongoing skills development.  The new generation of marine professionals will be delivering everything from artificial intelligence, blockchain technology and cleaner energy to commercial trade, community transportation and coastal protection and surveillance.”

Bruce Burrows
President of the Chamber of Marine Commerce

Media Contact: 

Julia Fields

Director of Communications

Chamber of Marine Commerce


About the Chamber of Marine Commerce

The Chamber of Marine Commerce (CMC) is a bi-national association that represents diverse marine industry stakeholders including major Canadian and American shippers, ports, terminals and marine service providers, as well as Canadian domestic and international ship owners. The Chamber advocates for safe, sustainable, harmonized and competitive policy and regulation that recognizes the marine transportation system's significant advantages in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence, Coastal and Arctic regions.

Media Contact:
Jason Card
Chamber of Marine Commerce
(613) 447 5401