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 Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from all of Canada's pilotage districts and also includes an 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, 2018 and 2022 for four-year terms. 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. Ross Calder

Ross Calder is a Master Mariner and a Class 'A' Pilot with the Atlantic Pilotage Authority, for the Compulsory District of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Ross is a graduate of Georgian College, Owen Sound, ON (1999). Prior to becoming a Pilot in 2015, Ross served on several types of vessels over 17 years, working his way up from Deck Cadet to Master. Some of the types of vessels Captain Calder served on include product tankers, Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs), offshore shuttle tankers and offshore support vessels, engaged in both international and domestic trade.

Since 2017, Captain Calder has been proudly serving as the District Chairman of the Halifax Marine Pilots group, a group of highly skilled professionals with an exceptionally rich history, dating back to 1750.

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. Michael Kilpatrick

Michael Kilpatrick grew up in Port Dover on the waters of Long Point Bay at the eastern end of Lake Erie. He worked in the commercial fishing industry for a span of 11 years throughout high school as well as university. After earning a B.A. and B.Ed., he worked in the education field for 3 years before his love of the water called him back. In 1996, he joined the fledgling company Lower Lakes Towing where he worked his way up the “hawsepipe” from deckhand to Captain.

Capt. Kilpatrick became a licensed pilot in 2007 for the Great Lakes pilotage region encompassing the Welland Canal, Lake Erie and Detroit /St. Clair Rivers.

He has served in various capacities on committees and the executive and is at present the President of the Corporation of Professional Great Lakes Pilots for the third year and is currently the CMPA’s Vice President for the Great Lakes Region.

Vice-President, Pacific Region – Capt. Cal Smith

Cal Smith began his Marine career in 1977. He has served as Master on the Great Lakes, Deep Sea and West Coast. He spent 4 years in the Marine Administration (Transport Canada) in Ottawa and has now been a BC Coast Pilot for 15 years.

Representative, Laurentian Region – Capt. Yves Plourde

Yves Plourde has been a member of the Corporation des pilotes du Bas St-Laurent (CPBSL) since 1996. He holds a foreign-going master’s certificate and a class A pilot’s license. Prior to obtaining his pilot’s license in 1998, he had sailed for 15 years on various types of Canadian vessels engaged in the domestic, foreign and Arctic trades.

He served as Director of the CPBSL from 2005-09 and was elected President in 2019. He strongly believes in upholding the highest standards for the profession, including in respect of training, to further both safe navigation on the St. Lawrence and the public interest. He served on the licensing Board of Examiners from 2010-2019 and, as such, he played a key role in determining whether the level of expertise and local knowledge of new entrants was sufficient to be issued a pilot license.

He is a graduate of the Institut Maritime du Québec (1985) and has been serving on the Board of Directors of the CMPA since 2019.

Representative, Great Lakes Region – Capt. Marie‑Claude Laurendeau

Marie-Claude Laurendeau has been working on ships for more than 20 years, and has been serving as a marine pilot for the Great Lakes Pilotage Authority since 2011. She studied navigation at the Institut Maritime du Québec. She started her career sailing on ocean tankers and then on Great Lakes freighters. She reached the rank of Master on those vessels at only 30 years old before moving on to become a pilot in the Saint-Lawrence Seaway District between St. Lambert and Cornwall.

Capt. Laurendeau has been actively involved for many years in the Corporation des Pilotes du Fleuve et de la Voie Maritime du Saint-Laurent and is currently President of the Corporation. She is also actively involved in many initiatives to promote piloting jobs in Canada and to increase female participation in the maritime sector.

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.