Martin’s ship flying tattered Canadian flag, soon to be non-Canadian flag

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The Article

I should note that Paul Martin doesn’t have anything to do with Canada Steamship Lines.  He don’t know nuttin.  He sold it to his sons in 2003, see. 

I’ve blogged about current Liberal leader Paul (“I dint know nuttin”) Martin’s Canada Steamship Lines several times, but it never ceases to amaze me how the media have largely avoided delving into this thing. 

In this latest story today, the fact that one of the ships is flying “a tattered Canadian flag” says a lot to me, but the rest of the story is beyond the pale. 

Crew of PM’s sons’ ship fear for jobs
Rumours say vessel will be reflagged, deckhands replaced after election

The crew of a vessel owned by Prime Minister Paul Martin’s family is afraid the company is only waiting for the election to end before reflagging the ship and replacing the sailors with a foreign crew.

The Atlantic Superior, a 220-metre bulk carrier that usually works in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway, is in Halifax for repairs to its engine.

The rumour on the docks is that Canada Steamship Lines Inc., the company Mr. Martin built and eventually handed to his sons, plans to register it abroad and hire a cheaper foreign crew, but is waiting until Tuesday, because the news might hurt Mr. Martin’s electoral chances if it came out in the middle of the campaign.

“That’s why he might have kept the Canadians on board until just after the election, because he knows that it would kill them if he would do so right now,” said a union source, who asked not to be named.

The rusty ship, flying a tattered Canadian flag, is tied up at Pier 34 in Halifax, with a skeleton crew aboard.

“The Canadian crew have been pretty open about it around the port, that the ship will be reflagged and crewed with Russians after the election,” said one waterfront source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Mr. Martin’s political opponents have often pointed to the fact that some of CSL’s ships operate under foreign flags of convenience with foreign crews.

[…] Some Cape Bretoners have complained that Mr. Martin’s family has profited from the government’s decision to shut down the coal mines, because CSL makes money shipping foreign coal to Sydney for electricity generation.

The day after the last election, inspectors found 83 kilograms of cocaine bolted to the underside of the hull of a CSL vessel in Sydney. The cocaine was on the Sheila Ann, a CSL vessel named after Mr. Martin’s wife. Port officials and police believe the drugs were secreted onto the vessel by organized criminals in Venezuela, where the vessel had taken on coal. No one has ever suggested anyone in CSL knew of the coke.


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