Decisions

TATC File No. MQ-0078-33
MoT File No. Q20100901-303-00178

TRANSPORTATION APPEAL TRIBUNAL OF CANADA

BETWEEN:

Paul-René Caron, Applicant

- and -

Minister of Transport, Respondent

LEGISLATION:
Canada Shipping Act, 2001, S.C. 2001, c. 26, section 87


Review Determination
Yves Villemaire


Decision: March 7, 2012

Citation: Paul-René Caron v. Canada (Minister of Transport), 2012 TATCE 8 (Review)

[Official English Translation]

Held: The Minister of Transport has established, on a balance of probabilities, that the applicant, Paul-René Caron, contravened section 87 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. As a result, the imposed penalty of $1 250 is confirmed.

The total amount of $1 250 is payable to the Receiver General for Canada and must be received by the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada within thirty-five (35) days of service of this decision.

TATC File No. MQ-0078-33 (Paul-René Caron) 

TATC File No. MQ-0079-33 (Pierre-Luc Caron)

1. BACKGROUND

A. Paul-René Caron

[1] On October 18, 2010, the Minister of Transport (Minister) issued a Notice of Violation to the Applicant, Paul-René Caron, for a contravention of section 87 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, S.C. 2001, c. 26 (Act).

[2] Schedule A to the Notice of Violation states the following:

[translation]

Violation

Penalty

On or about April 9, 2010, in the waters of the St. Lawrence Estuary in the province of Quebec, Mr. Paul-René Caron was employed in the position of master on board the Canadian fishing vessel "ST. MALO NO. 2", without holding the certificate of competency required to be employed in this position or comply with its terms and conditions under Part 3 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, contrary to section 87 of said Act.

$1,250.00

[3] On November 26, 2010, Paul-René Caron filed a request for review with the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada (Tribunal).

B. Pierre-Luc Caron

[4] On October 18, 2010, the Minister issued a Notice of Violation to the Applicant, Pierre‑Luc Caron, for a contravention of paragraph 23(d) of the Act.

[5] Schedule A of the Notice of Violation states the following:

[translation]

Violation

Penalty

On or about May 17, 2010, in Rimouski in the province of Quebec, Mr. Pierre-Luc Caron knowingly provided false or misleading information, namely, entries indicating that he had served as master on board the fishing vessel "ST. MALO NO. 2" on dates on which he had not served in that capacity or even served on that vessel, the entries in question having been made in documents regarding an application to obtain a certificate of service as master, documents provided to a person exercising powers or performing duties under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, in this case a marine safety inspector, contrary to paragraph 23(d) of said Act.

$1,250.00

[6] On November 26, 2010, Pierre-Luc Caron filed a request for review with the Tribunal.

II. ACTS, REGULATIONS AND POLICIES

[7] Section 2, subsections 14(1) and (2), subsection 16(1), paragraphs 16(2)(a) and (4)(b), paragraph 23(d), section 87 and paragraph 102(1)(a) of the Act provide for the following:

2. The definitions in this section apply in this Act.

"master" means the person in command and charge of a vessel. It does not include a licensed pilot, within the meaning of section 1.1 of the Pilotage Act, while the pilot is performing pilotage duties under that Act.

"authorized representative" means

(a) in respect of a Canadian vessel, the person referred to in subsection 14(1);

(b) in respect of a fleet registered under Part 2, the person referred to in subsection

75.03(5); and

(c) in respect of a foreign vessel, the master.

14. (1) Every Canadian vessel must have a person — the authorized representative — who is responsible under this Act for acting with respect to all matters relating to the vessel that are not otherwise assigned by this Act to any other person.

(2) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), the authorized representative of a Canadian vessel is the owner of the vessel or, in the case of a vessel described in section 48 (a bare-boat chartered vessel), the bare-boat charterer.

. . .

16. (1) An application for a Canadian maritime document must be made in the form and manner, include the information and be accompanied by the documents specified by the Minister of Transport.

(2) In addition to the specified information or documents, the Minister of Transport may

(a) require that an applicant provide evidence, including declarations, that the Minister considers necessary to establish that the requirements for the issuance of the document have been met;

. . .

(4) The Minister of Transport may refuse to issue a Canadian maritime document if

. . .

(b) the applicant has acted fraudulently or improperly or has misrepresented a material fact;

. . .

23. No person shall

. . .

(d) knowingly provide false or misleading information or make a false or misleading statement, either orally or in writing, to a person, classification society or other organization that is exercising powers or performing duties under this Act;

. . .

87. Every person who is employed on board a Canadian vessel in a position in respect of which a certificate is required under this Part shall hold the certificate and comply with its terms and conditions.

. . .

102. (1) Every person commits an offence who contravenes

(a) section 87 (hold certificate or document and comply with its terms and conditions);

. . .

[8] Paragraph 110(1)(b), subsection 143(1) including the related table, paragraph 212(1)(a), subsections 212(6) and (8), and section 302 of the Marine Personnel Regulations, SOR/2007‑115 ("MPR") provide the following:

110. (1) Unless otherwise indicated in these Regulations, an applicant for a certificate of competency or an endorsement issued under these Regulations shall

. . .

(b) have started to acquire the sea service required to obtain the certificate or endorsement after having reached 16 years of age or, in the case of service acquired on a fishing vessel in respect of an application for a fishing certificate, 15 years of age.

. . .

143. (1) An applicant for a Certificate of Service as Master of a Fishing Vessel of Less Than 60 Gross Tonnage shall meet the requirements set out in column 1 of the table to this subsection and the corresponding specifications set out in column 2.

TABLE

Item

Requirements

Specifications

1.

Experience

At least 12 months of sea service acquired before the coming into force of this section as master of one or more fishing vessels of at least 15 gross tonnage or at least 12 m in overall length while engaged on voyages that the certificate sought would permit.

2.

Certificates to be provided to the examiner

(a) MED with respect to basic safety;

   

(b) if the vessel is equipped with a VHF radiotelephone installation, an appropriate radio operator certificate issued under the Radiocommunication Act; and

     
     

(c) if the applicant has not acquired at least seven fishing seasons of experience as master of one or more fishing vessels, with no two of those seasons having occurred in the same year,

       

(i) SEN limited,

       

(ii) marine basic first aid, and

       

(iii) small vessel operator proficiency.

. . .

212. (1) This section applies to a fishing vessel beginning on

(a) November 7, 2008 if the vessel is of 60 gross tonnage or less and more than 15 m in overall length;

. . .

(6) Every person who holds a certificate set out in column 1 of table 2 to this section may perform the duties of a position referred to in any of columns 2 to 5 on board a vessel engaged on a limited, contiguous waters voyage whose only activity is in respect of the catch or harvest of another vessel or aquaculture facility or a fishing vessel that is engaged on a class of voyage set out in the heading to that column, subject to any limitations indicated.

. . .

(8) The master of a fishing vessel of up to 15 gross tonnage or not more than 12 m in overall length who has acquired at least 7 fishing seasons, with no two of those seasons occurring in the same year, as master of a fishing vessel before the coming into force of this section is not required to hold the training certificate referred to in column 1 of item 6 of table 2 to this section in order to perform the duties set out in columns 4 or 5 of that item.

. . .

302. The master of a Canadian vessel shall ensure that no person under 16 years of age is employed, engaged or works on the vessel.

[9] Chapter 25.2 of the Transport Canada publication The Examination and Certification of Seafarers, TP 2293 (Examination of Seafarers), provides the following:

25.2 Validity of certificates

The holder of this certificate may act as Master on board a fishing vessel of not more than 60 gross tonnage engaged on an unlimited, a near coastal, class 1 or 2 or a sheltered waters voyage, according to the voyages on which the qualifying service for the certificate has been acquired. The validity will be specified on the certificate.

III. ELEMENTS TO BE PROVEN

A. Paul-René Caron

[10] On the basis of the Notice of Violation, I determined that the Minister had the onus of establishing the following elements in order to make his case:

1. the St. Malo No. 2 was a Canadian fishing vessel on or about April 9, 2010;

2. Paul-René Caron was the master of the St. Malo No. 2 during a voyage on or about April 9, 2010;

3. Paul-René Caron did not hold the competency certificate required to be employed in the position of master of the St. Malo No. 2 during this voyage.

B. Pierre-Luc Caron

[11] On the basis of the Notice of Violation, I determined that the Minister had the onus of establishing the following elements in order to make his case:

1. Pierre-Luc Caron provided a Testimonial of Sea Service on board the St. Malo No. 2 to satisfy the requirements of a Certificate of Service as Master of a Fishing Vessel of Less Than 60 Gross Tonnage (Master Certificate);

2. the information provided was false or misleading;

3. the information was knowingly provided.

IV. EVIDENCE

A. Minister

(1) Simon Pelletier

[12] Simon Pelletier is a Senior Marine Inspector with Transport Canada. He reported that he had come aboard the St. Malo No. 2 at Rivière-au-Renard on April 9, 2010, to test the vessel's stability at sea. He testified that Paul-René Caron had been employed in the position of master at the time of these tests.

[13] Inspector Pelletier testified that he had asked Paul-René Caron to produce his competency certificate but that Mr. Caron had explained that the certificate was [translation] "in the process of being approved".

[14] On cross-examination of the inspector, Paul-René Caron contested that even though he had been generally in charge of the vessel, he had not been at the helm at the time of the tests and that one of the other four people on board could have acted as master.

(2) Denis Bélanger

[15] Denis Bélanger is a Senior Marine Inspector with Transport Canada. He explained that in his capacity as Inspector, checking the competency of marine personnel is part of his duties. He testified that a letter had been sent to Paul-René Caron in October 2008, informing him of a new requirement for the master certificate for his fishing vessel, the St. Malo No. 2, to come into effect on November 7, 2008 (Exhibit M-2).

[16] Inspector Bélanger testified that a Minimum Safe Manning Document (MSMD) had also been sent to Paul-René Caron explaining which competency certificate was required for a fishing master (Exhibits M-3, M-4 and M-5). He explained that this certificate was the Fishing Master, Fourth-Class certificate, but that alternatively, a Master Certificate could replace the other certificate.

[17] Inspector Bélanger testified that he had received an Application to be Examined for a Certificate or Endorsement ("Application to be Examined") (Exhibit M-6), a Testimonial of Sea Service (Exhibit M-7) and a Statement of Sea Service for a Certificate ("Statement of Sea Service") (Exhibit M-12) from Paul-René Caron, who wanted to obtain a Master Certificate. He testified that the application claimed the recognition of Mr. Caron's service as master in command of the vessel.

[18] Inspector Bélanger testified that he had also received an Application to be Examined (Exhibit M-8), a Testimonial of Sea Service (Exhibit M-11) and a Statement of Sea Service (Exhibit M-10) from Pierre-Luc Caron, who wanted to obtain a Master Certificate. He noted that the Testimonial of Sea Service could exempt applicants from certain types of training since the period of service spanned seven fishing seasons.

[19] Inspector Bélanger explained that after he had received the applications for recognition of the same service at sea on the same vessel from Paul-René Caron and Pierre-Luc Caron, he attempted to clarify who had really been the master of the St. Malo No. 2 during the period of service claimed.

[20] Inspector Bélanger testified that he had contacted Paul-René Caron and Pierre-Luc Caron in August 2010 to seek clarifications on the holder of the master position aboard the St. Malo No. 2. He stated that he had been reassured that Pierre-Luc Caron had not been master during the period claimed, except during two brief periods in 2009. Moreover, Paul-René Caron had told the inspector that, during those two periods, Pierre-Luc Caron had been master of the vessel.

[21] Inspector Bélanger stated that Pierre-Luc Caron had claimed the same sea service (Exhibits M-9 and M-10) as Paul-René Caron (Exhibits M-11 and M-12). Moreover, he alleged that Pierre-Luc Caron had applied for a Master Certificate even though he had not yet reached the age required to hold such a certificate (15 years of age for a fishing vessel) since he was born in 1986 (Exhibit M-13); his Testimonial of Sea Service (Exhibit M-10) indicates that he had started in April 2000.

[22] Paul-René Caron contested the statement in the Notice of Violation, according to which the violation took place in the waters of the St. Lawrence Estuary. He submitted that the St. Malo No. 2, which had been off Rivière-au-Renard, had been in the waters of the St. Lawrence River itself rather than in the area known as the Estuary.

B. Applicant

(1) Paul-René Caron

[23] Paul-René Caron acknowledged that he had received the documents regarding the competency certificates from Inspector Bélanger. He explained that he had neglected this [translation] "red tape" but that he now realizes the importance of complying with the regulations in effect.

[24] Paul-René Caron stated that, when the stability tests were carried out on board the St. Malo No. 2 on April 9, 2010, his son, Pierre-Luc Caron, had been at the helm of the vessel and not himself. He explained that he had not been master on that day but that he had nonetheless remained in charge of the vessel as its owner.

[25] Paul-René Caron confirmed what was discussed in his telephone conversation with Inspector Bélanger, namely that he had been employed in the position of master of the St. Malo No. 2 during the period claimed, except on two occasions. During these two brief absences due to illness, he stated that Pierre-Luc Caron had been employed as master. He explained, however, that during that conversation, he had interpreted the word "master" as referring to the person in charge of the vessel, as its owner.

[26] Paul-René Caron filed temporary authorization documents from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Exhibit R-1) showing Pierre-Luc Caron as the temporary operator and Paul-René Caron as the licence holder. The documents were valid from June 6 to 13, 2008, and June 11 to 22, 2009, respectively. He explained that despite these documents not being a true authorization to serve as master, they had nonetheless been provided by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, a federal department that was just as important as Transport Canada.

[27] Paul-René Caron explained that the application to have his sea service recognized for the purpose of obtaining a certificate (Exhibits M-6, M-7 and M-10) had been completed by Éric D'Amours, Marine Inspector. He explained that Inspector D'Amours had questioned him at Transport Canada's Gaspé office to obtain the information required to help him complete the forms.

[28] Paul-René Caron testified that he had answered the Inspector's questions honestly regarding both his Testimonial of Sea Service on board the St. Malo No. 2 and about his son, Pierre-Luc Caron (Exhibits M-12 and M-10 respectively).

[29] Paul-René Caron stated that Rivière-au-Renard was not in the area of the Estuary since that area ended at Matane (Exhibit R-2). The Minister's Representative asked whether that definition applied solely to the Shrimp Fishing Zone, as used by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Paul-René Caron agreed.

(2) Pierre-Luc Caron

[30] Pierre-Luc Caron acknowledged that Inspector Bélanger's testimony that he had not been master of the St. Malo No. 2 during the period claimed, except on two occasions in 2009, was accurate.

[31] Pierre-Luc Caron explained that the steps to have his sea service recognized for the purpose of obtaining a certificate had been taken by Paul-René Caron. Pierre-Luc Caron admitted that he had not read the documents before signing them, even though it had been his responsibility to do so.

V. SUBMISSIONS

A. Minister

[32] The Minister's Representative submitted that all applicants have to comply with subsection 112(1) of the MPR and pleading ignorance of the law is not an acceptable defence.

[33] The Minister's Representative submits that the sending of the letter dated November 7, 2008 (Exhibit M-2), demonstrates that the Department took all reasonable steps to help Paul-René Caron comply with the MPR.

[34] The Minister's Representative argues that even if Paul-René Caron could not remember whether he had received the letter dated November 7, 2008, he had acknowledged the MSMD (Exhibit M-4). He explained that this document indicated that the person in charge of the vessel had to be certified. Moreover, he submitted that Paul-René Caron was aware of the need to hold such a certificate, as he had admitted that the application process was under way.

[35] The Minister's Representative argues that Inspector Bélanger's testimony established that Paul-René Caron had been the master on board the St. Malo No. 2 during the period claimed, except on two occasions when he was ill. He maintained that Mr. Caron contravened section 87 of the Act.

[36] The Minister's Representative argues that the term "estuary" must be understood as it is employed in everyday usage and that the description of the place of the violation represents only an approximate area for the purposes of this proceeding.

[37] The Minister's Representative submits that the evidence clearly demonstrates that the same dates were used for the Testimonials of Sea Service (Exhibits M-10 and M-12) of Paul‑René Caron and Pierre-Luc Caron for the purpose of obtaining Master Certificates.

[38] The Minister's Representative argues that, since the testimonies demonstrated that Pierre‑Luc Caron was not the master of the St. Malo No. 2 during the period claimed, except on two occasions, he provided false information, contrary to paragraph 23(d) of the Act.

VI. ANALYSIS

A. Paul‑René Caron

[39] The evidence drawn from the Vessel Registration Query System regarding the data on the St. Malo No. 2 (Exhibit M-2) was not disputed and indicates that the St. Malo No. 2 is a Canadian vessel. Consequently, I conclude that the Minister has established, on a balance of probabilities, the first element of the violation alleged against Paul-René Caron.

[40] Inspector Pelletier's testimony that Paul-René Caron was employed in the position of master of the St. Malo No. 2 on April 9, 2010, was disputed by Mr. Caron. Paul-René Caron claimed that even though he was generally in charge of the vessel, one of the other four people on board during the tests could have acted as master.

[41] According to section 2 of the Act, the master is the person in command and charge of a vessel. In addition, subsection 14(1) of the Act stipulates that every Canadian vessel must have an authorized representative, who is responsible for acting with respect to all matters relating to the vessel.

[42] Paul-René Caron testified that he was not master of the St. Malo No. 2 on April 9, 2010, but that he had nonetheless remained in charge of the vessel as its owner. It is therefore plausible to imagine that Paul-René Caron, as the owner of the vessel, acted as the authorized representative and not the master of the St. Malo No. 2 on April 9, 2010.

[43] Paul-René Caron stated that during the stability tests performed on April 9, 2010, he was not at the helm; Pierre-Luc Caron was. However, he also confirmed that he was employed in the position of master on board the St. Malo No. 2 during the entire period subject to his Testimonial of Sea Service (Exhibit M‑11), except on two occasions when he was sick. He stated that Pierre‑Luc Caron was employed in this position during these absences.

[44] I accept the suggestion that Pierre-Luc Caron was at the helm during the sea tests on April 9, 2010, but I cannot conclude that he was master of the vessel. I note that the fishing licence issued to Pierre-Luc Caron by Fisheries and Oceans Canada as a temporary operator (Exhibit R-1)—which is not a Transport Canada certificate of competency—was not valid at the time of the stability tests in April 2009. No evidence or testimony at the hearing allowed me to conclude that anyone on board the vessel other than Pierre-Luc Caron was employed in the position of master that day.

[45] Paul-René Caron also claims that the St. Malo No. 2 was outside the Estuary area on April 9, 2010, since it was in the Rivière-au-Renard area. The Fisheries and Oceans Canada map of shrimp fishing areas (Exhibit 2) does in fact situate the Estuary area as being west of Matane. According to that map, the vessel was in the Sept-Îles fishing area.

[46] Schedule A to Paul-René Caron's Notice of Violation indicates that the violation took place [translation] ". . . in the waters of the St. Lawrence Estuary in the province of Quebec. . .". The Minister's Representative submits that the term "estuary" must be understood as it is employed in everyday usage and that, under the Act, the description of the place of the violation represents only an approximate area.

[47] According to Termium, the definition standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) describes an estuary as a "partially enclosed body of water in the lower reaches of a river, which is freely connected with the sea and which receives fresh water supplies from upland drainage areas."

[48] It is easy to understand why use of the term "estuary" can sow confusion for a user, such as Paul-René Caron, accustomed to Fisheries and Oceans Canada's fishing area maps. However, in the context of the present violation, the generic definition of the term "estuary", as defined above, seems more reasonable than the definition that could be adopted in the more restrictive context of the shrimp fishing areas designated by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

[49] Consequently, I conclude that the Minister has established, on a balance of probabilities, the second element of the violation alleged against Paul-René Caron.

[50] Section 87 of the Act stipulates that every person who is employed on board a Canadian vessel in a position in respect of which a certificate is required shall hold the certificate and comply with its terms and conditions. Moreover, paragraph 102(1)(a) of the Act provides that every person who contravenes section 87 commits an offence.

[51] Paragraph 212(1)(a) of the MPR provides the requirements applicable to a fishing vessel beginning on November 7, 2008, if the vessel is of 60 gross tonnage or less and more than 15 m in overall length. Subsection 212(6) of these regulations describes the duties of a position that can be performed by certificate holders. Subsection 212(8) describes the requirements applicable to a master of a fishing vessel of up to 15 gross tonnage or not more than 12 m in overall length who has acquired at least 7 fishing seasons, with no two of those seasons occurring in the same year.

[52] Chapter 25.2 of the Transport Canada publication Examination of Seafarers provides that the holder of the master certificate may act as Master on board such a vessel according to the voyages on which the qualifying service for the certificate has been acquired. The validity will be specified on the certificate.

[53] Subsection 112(1) of the MPR provides that the examiner shall ensure that an applicant follows the examination procedures established by the publication Examination of Seafarers to ensure that examinations are conducted properly and that standards of objective evaluation, fairness, merit and equity are upheld.

[54] Inspector Bélanger's testimony revealed that a letter had been sent to Paul-René Caron (Exhibit M-2) advising him of the coming into force of new requirements for fishing master certificates. This measure demonstrates the importance given by Transport Canada to the enforcement of the requirement of the MPR regarding the provisions described above.

[55] Moreover, an MSMD clarified which certificate of competency was required by the master of the St. Malo No. 2 (Exhibit M-4). The letter sent to Paul-René Caron on January 5, 2010 (Exhibit M-5), stipulates that this document had to be kept on board the vessel. Paul-René Caron stated that he could not remember the letter but acknowledged that he had undoubtedly received it and admitted that he was in possession of the MSMD.

[56] Inspector Pelletier's testimony that Paul-René Caron did not hold the required certificate of competency for the St. Malo No. 2's voyage on April 9, 2010, was not contested. Paul‑René Caron claimed that he had not realized the importance of this failure to comply. In the absence of reasonable grounds to the contrary and given that he is an experienced master, I have reason to believe that it was Paul-René Caron's duty to realize the importance of complying with the new MPR requirement.

[57] Consequently, I conclude that the Minister has established, on a balance of probabilities, the third element of the violation alleged against Paul-René Caron.

B. Pierre-Luc Caron

[58] Inspector Bélanger's testimony regarding Pierre-Luc Caron's application for a Testimonial of Sea Service on board the St. Malo No. 2 was not contested. As a result, I conclude that the Minister has established, on a balance of probabilities, the first element of the violation alleged against Pierre-Luc Caron.

[59] The general requirements for obtaining a Certificate of Service as Master are enumerated at section 143(1) of the MPR.

[60] The Minister's Representative submitted that Pierre-Luc Caron provided false information contrary to paragraph 23(d) of the Act. These requirements include the prohibition to knowingly provide false or misleading information or make a false or misleading statement, either orally or in writing.

[61] According to Inspector Bélanger, Pierre-Luc Caron (Exhibits M-9 and M-10) claimed the same sea service as Paul-René Caron (Exhibits M-11 and M-12). I note, however, that even though the total period is indeed the same in the two documents, the total number of days claimed by Pierre-Luc Caron and Paul-René Caron within these periods is not.

[62] Moreover, as shown in the table below, the total number of days claimed is below the total possible for each of the fishing periods (Exhibits M-10 and M-12):

Year

Month/Day

Month/Day

Pierre-Luc Caron

Paul-René

Caron

Total claimed

2000

04/15

10/15

57

105

162/184

2001

04/14

10/16

60

100

160/186

2002

04/16

10/14

98

60

158/182

2003

04/20

10/15

67

75

142/179

2004

04/15

10/15

106

60

166/184

2005

04/14

10/16

109

50

159/186

2006

04/15

10/17

100

60

160/186

[63] Inspector Bélanger stated that Pierre-Luc Caron had claimed sea service as a master even though he had not yet reached the age required (15 years of age) to hold such a certificate. In fact, Pierre-Luc Caron's birth certificate (Exhibit M-13) shows that he was born in 1986.

[64] Section 302 of the MPR requires that no person under 16 years of age be employed or engaged or work on the vessel. However, under paragraph 110(1)(b) of the MPR, in the case of service acquired on a fishing vessel in respect of an application for a fishing certificate, the minimum age of 15 is acceptable.

[65] In light of the foregoing, Pierre-Luc Caron's sea service on board the St. Malo No. 2 can only count from the second year of fishing of the period of service claimed, that is 2001. He is therefore claiming seven fishing seasons of sea service even though the first year cannot count since he had not yet reached the minimum age of 15.

[66] Even if the service was allowed, I note that he is claiming it as master, which seems unreasonable on a fishing vessel of 46 tonnage. Indeed, in their testimonies, both Inspector Bélanger and Pierre-Luc Caron spoke of Pierre-Luc Caron's early career as a seaman in 2003 and 2002 respectively.

[67] Inspector Bélanger testified that when he attempted to clarify who had actually been the master of the St. Malo No. 2 during the period claimed in the Testimonials of Sea Service, Paul‑René Caron had confirmed that it had been him, except during two short periods in 2009. During both of these short periods, Pierre-Luc Caron had been master. This testimony is not contested.

[68] Therefore, I conclude that the Minister has established, on a balance of probabilities, the second element of the violation alleged against Pierre-Luc Caron.

[69] Pierre-Luc Caron submitted that the steps regarding the recognition of his sea service had been taken by Paul-René Caron and that he had not read the documents (Exhibits M-8, M-9 and M-10) before signing them. However, he recognized that the steps had been taken on his behalf and that it had been his obligation to read the documents.

[70] Paul-René Caron claims that he answered Inspector D'Amours questions about Pierre‑Luc Caron's sea service on board the St. Malo No. 2 honestly. Even if that was so, it has been shown that some information was false. It was Pierre-Luc Caron's responsibility to ensure that the information was true, and he admitted that he had not read the documents.

[71] Subsection 16(1) of the Act prescribes that an application for a Canadian maritime document must be made in the form and manner specified by the Minister of Transport. Paragraph 16(2)(a) requires the applicant to provide evidence that the Minister considers necessary to establish that the requirements for the issuance of the document have been met. Lastly, paragraph 16(4)(b) allows the Minister to refuse to issue such a document if the applicant has misrepresented a material fact.

[72] The Petit Robert 2000 defines the word "sciemment" as "en connaissance de cause" and provides the synonyms of "exprès" and "volontairement". According to this definition, only Pierre-Luc Caron's statement that he had neither completed nor read the documents in the Application to be Examined and the Testimonial of Sea Service (Exhibits M-8 and M-10) could exonerate him.

[73] However, the evidence established that Pierre-Luc Caron signed the Application to be Examined and the Testimonial of Sea Service containing the misrepresentations. In the absence of testimony and reasonable grounds to the contrary, I cannot accept the suggestion that he was unaware that these misrepresentations had been made to the Minister.

[74] Consequently, I conclude that the Minister has established, on a balance of probabilities, the third element of the violation alleged against Pierre-Luc Caron.

VII. DECISION

A. Paul-René Caron

[75] The Minister of Transport has established, on a balance of probabilities, that the Applicant, Paul-René Caron, has contravened section 87 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. Consequently, the $1 250 penalty is confirmed.

[76] The amount of $1 250 is payable to the Receiver General for Canada and must be received by the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada within thirty-five (35) days of service of this decision.

B. Pierre-Luc Caron

[77] The Minister of Transport has established, on a balance of probabilities, that the Applicant, Pierre-Luc Caron, has contravened paragraph 23(d) of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. Consequently, the $1 250 penalty is confirmed.

[78] The amount of $1 250 is payable to the Receiver General for Canada and must be received by the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada within thirty-five (35) days of service of this decision.

March 7, 2012

Yves Villemaire                     

Member