Canadian laws require that cargo shipped between Canadian ports must be carried by Canadian flagged ships. In the event that no suitable Canadian ship is available, the Minister of Public Safety may issue a coasting license to a foreign flag ship.
A vital bit of cargo is required to keep a mine operating all winter in the Canadian far north and Fednav Limited has applied to use some of its foreign flag ships to deliver the cargo. Its only Canadian flag icebreaking ship, the Arctic, is overbooked for cargo and thus not available.
The cargo, a type of wire mesh used to reinforce the mine, was delivered defective and has now been replaced, but there are no other Canadian ships that can navigate into the north this late in the year to deliver it directly from Quebec City.
The Arctic would normally carry the cargo from Quebec City to Deception Bay as part of its regular supply trips. However the additional 150 tons of material cannot be accommodated. Therefore Fednav wants to ship the cargo from Quebec to either Antwerp, Belgium or Pori, Finland using Federal Baltic, Federal Champlain or Federal Rhine or Wagenborg's Aragonborg.
Federal Baltic is one of Fednav's foreign flag carriers operating between Canada and Europe.
There the cargo would be transferred to Nunavik, Fednav's Marshal Islands flag icebreaking bulk cargo ship, and sent back to Canada, to Deception Bay.
For more details on the application and the ships see: