The Association

The Canadian Marine Pilots' Association was founded in 1966 to foster public awareness of the role of marine pilots in protecting public safety and the environment, and to work with other marine stakeholders to ensure a vibrant and healthy marine sector.

The CMPA represents Canada's marine pilots and is concerned with all marine issues as they affect pilots - whether expressed through legislation, regulation, policy reviews or industry consultations. The Association is not involved in contract negotiations or the day-to-day relations between pilots, the pilotage authorities and pilotage users.

The CMPA is a member of the Canadian Merchant Service Guild, the national association representing masters, mates, pilots, engineers and other marine officers. The CMPA also works closely with a number of Canadian organizations representing shippers, shipowners, ports and other industry stakeholders.

The CMPA is also a member of the International Maritime Pilots' Association which represents pilots from approximately 50 countries throughout the world. The CMPA is active in a number of other worldwide organizations, including the International Maritime Organization, contributing to their deliberations on such matters as safety and regulatory issues.


The CMPA's governing body is comprised of representatives from all of Canada's pilotage districts and includes a five-member executive committee:

President – Capt. Simon Pelletier

Simon Pelletier is an experienced mariner, having sailed on many different types of vessels, on every ocean, and made ports of call on all continents. He started his career in 1982 and rapidly achieved the rank of master before qualifying for his license as a marine pilot on the St. Lawrence River in 1996.

A champion of both his profession and marine safety, Captain Pelletier has played a leadership role in the Corporation of Lower St. Lawrence Pilots, which he served as President from 2004 to 2007, and in the Canadian Marine Pilots' Association (CMPA), of which he has been President since 2009.

Captain Pelletier also has a keen interest in international affairs affecting marine pilotage. First elected as Vice-president of the International Maritime Pilots Association (IMPA) in 2008, Capt. Pelletier was elected IMPA President in 2014 for a four year term. As President, he is responsible for ensuring that pilots from six continents speak with one voice on global issues affecting pilotage and for ensuring that they play a constructive role in discussions with their partners in the international maritime sector and, in particular, with the International Maritime Organization.


Vice-President, Atlantic Region – Capt. Andrew Rae

Andrew Rae is a Master Mariner and a class 'A' pilot working in the Atlantic Pilotage Authority's Port of Halifax district, where he has served for twenty five years.

Prior to becoming a marine pilot, Captain Rae served at sea for over fifteen years. Eight of those years were spent as Master on various classes of vessels engaged in the domestic, foreign, and high-Arctic trades.

A hallmark of Captain Rae's career has been his work with industry to improve safety and efficiency in marine transportation. Captain Rae has also been a driving force behind the Halifax Mission to Seafarers, serving as Chair from 2006 to 2010.

He is a graduate of the Marine Institute in St. John's in Nautical Science, Newfoundland and is the CMPA's Vice President for the Atlantic region.


Vice-President, Laurentian Region – Capt. Alain Arseneault

Alain Arseneault has been a member of the Corporation of Mid St. Lawrence Pilots (CPSLC) since 2003. He holds a foreign-going master's certificate and a Class A pilot's license. Prior to obtaining his pilot license, he served as an officer for many years on both Canadian and foreign-flagged vessels, including as captain on tankers.

A graduate of the Institut Maritime du Québec in Rimouski, he obtained a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from UQAR in 2005. He served on two CPSLC boards before becoming the Corporation’s President in 2017. Captain Arseneault has developed particular expertise in matters related to governance and new technologies, assuming key roles within his organization, both in its technical committee and strategic planning working groups.

He has been Vice-President of the APMC for the Laurentian Region and Chair of the Technical Committee since 2017.


Vice-President, Great Lakes Region – Capt. Mike Burgess

Mike Burgess served at sea on Canadian Steamship Limited vessels for 22 years, rising from wheelsman to Captain. For the most part, he commanded bulk freighters on the Great Lakes, although he also took vessels down the West Coast and through the Panama Canal.

Captain Burgess is a licensed pilot for the Welland Canal, Lake Erie, Detroit and St. Clair Rivers' District of the Great Lakes pilotage region.

He is the immediate past President of the Corporation of Professional Great Lakes Pilots and is currently the CMPA regional Vice-president for the Great Lakes.


Vice-President, Pacific Region – Capt. Robin Stewart

Born and raised on the west coast, Captain Stewart feels most at home when he is at sea. Realizing his passion for the water at a young age, he worked as a commercial diver and specimen collector for the Vancouver Aquarium at just 17. Subsequently, he worked as a commercial salmon fisher and, later on, spent over two decades navigating on tugs along the coast, from Columbia River to Alaska.

He was first introduced to marine pilotage while working for Tymac Launch Service, providing pilot transfer services to and from commercial vessels. Capt. Stewart eventually decided to apply to become a pilot and, after successful examination, was licensed as a pilot in 2000. Capt. Stewart has served for many years, including as President on two occasions, on the Board of the Directors of the British Columbia Coast Pilots Ltd.


Executive Director and General Counsel – Tristan K.-Laflamme

Tristan Laflamme holds a M.Sc. in public administration and public policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He was called to the Québec Bar in 1995 after obtaining an LLB from Laval University.

Prior to joining the CMPA in 2010, Mr. Laflamme had been a senior member of two leading public affairs consulting firms in Canada where he directed a number of major public affairs projects for well-established national organizations, particularly in the transportation and telecommunications sectors.