Board Profile - Laurentian Pilotage Authority

Laurentian Pilotage Authority

Corporate Mandate

The mandate of the Authority is to operate, maintain and manage, in the interest of navigation safety, an effective pilotage service in the Canadian waters for the Laurentian region. To fulfil this mandate, the Authority must continue to charge equitable, reasonable pilotage tariffs that will enable the Authority to finance its operations autonomously. The Authority exercises public regulatory authority, and also issues, suspends or revokes pilot licences and certificates.

The Authority has set three key objectives to carry out its mandate:

  • to achieve and maintain financial self-sufficiency;
  • to work with its partners and service providers to maximize the efficiency, quality and safety of pilotage services, by being attentive to client needs;
  • to heed and to comply with the policies and initiatives of the Government of Canada, especially in technological and economic matters.

Roles and Responsibilities of Members

Generally speaking, the members of the Board of Directors of the Authority must act honestly and in good faith, in the best interests of the Authority. They must, in performing their duties and functions, exercise the care, diligence and skill of a reasonably prudent person.

The Board members’ specific responsibilities relate to the following aspects of managing the Authority:

1.0 Approval of Strategic Orientation

The Board's main responsibility is to approve the Authority's strategic orientation. The executive develops the Authority's strategic orientation and business plan, but the Board has the responsibility to evaluate, question and approve them.

In carrying out these responsibilities, the Board must:

  • develop the Authority’s public policy objectives;
  • evaluate what compromises must be made to address conflicts that sometimes exist between the public interest and the Authority’s business objectives;
  • represent members and speak on their collective behalf to the Minister, through the Chairman, in consultations with regard to the statement of priorities and responsibilities, and make observations about issues regarding the mandate of the Authority.

2.0 Identification of Key Risks

Exercising stewardship of the Authority’s resources, especially its financial resources, is the task that most requires the Board members’ attention. The Board must review and approve all crucial decisions regarding the Authority’s assets and their funding. The Board must ensure that there are mechanisms in place to effectively monitor and manage any risks that might hinder the Authority in fulfilling its mandate.

In carrying out these responsibilities, the Board must:

  • promote a corporate culture with public policy objectives;
  • monitor the degree to which employees reflect this corporate culture, so that the Authority’s ethics and values are strictly observed, and the Authority can report on how they are observed.

3.0 Succession Planning

The Board must ensure that there will be qualified managers to enable the Board to fulfil its mandate on a permanent and long-term basis. Succession planning must consider the Chief Executive Officer’s plan to appoint, train, evaluate and motivate managers.

In carrying out these responsibilities, the Board must:

  • with the assistance of the Chief Executive Officer, divide responsibilities between the Board of Directors and the executive;
  • with the assistance of the Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer, develop the work description of the Chief Executive Officer;
  • with the assistance of the Chief Executive Officer, develop a set of objectives that the Chief Executive Officer must achieve for the Authority;
  • identify the skills and characteristics that the Board deems the Chief Executive Officer must possess to ensure the Authority’s performance and to address its key issues, risks and challenges;
  • evaluate the Chief Executive Officer’s performance on an annual basis, in light of the duties defined and the objectives agreed with the Chief Executive Officer at the beginning of the fiscal year.

4.0 Importance of Information

The Board must receive the information it deems necessary to perform its functions. Provided to the Board on a regular basis, this information must help the Board to assist in developing the Authority’s strategic orientation and monitoring the achievement of its objectives.

Among other responsibilities, the Board must co operate in implementing an information system that meets its needs. With managers, the Board must discuss and define the parameters, quantity, production schedule, frequency and usefulness of the information that it receives. The Board must ensure the integrity of information systems and related management practices, by ensuring that information provided to the Government, through the Minister of Transport, accurately reflects the Authority’s operational status and future plans.

In carrying out these responsibilities, the Board must:

  • ensure that the Authority’s reports (such as the business plan and the annual report) accurately convey the issues that it faces;
  • ensure that the Government of Canada is given enough information to be able to assess the degree to which the Authority has successfully achieved its objectives;
  • provide data on the achievement of government policy objectives.

5.0 Development and Independence of Board Members

The Board must assess the contribution of each of its members, so that it can improve its effectiveness and meet its succession planning responsibility. These evaluations also help the Board to identify opportunities to improve its practices or the abilities and skills that should be added to the Board itself and to its committees. For this reason, the Board must ensure that the directors have the opportunity to pursue their training and learning, and thus increase their effectiveness and contribution to the Authority.

In carrying out these responsibilities, the Board must:

  • develop a process to evaluate the effectiveness of the Board itself, its committees, and each director;
  • be attentive to the training and continuous learning needs of directors, and see that they obtain the required training;
  • assume responsibility for the overall approach that the Authority adopts in governance matters;
  • evaluate its mechanism for succession planning, performance, the directors’ training program, director’s pay and administration of the Authority’s governance regime.

Basic Qualifications, Skills and Experience

Board members are expected to possess a balanced set of knowledge, qualifications and experience, so that they can monitor and guide the Board’s activities, including the following basic qualifications and skills:

  • Informed judgement: Can provide informed and thoughtful advice from a broad national and regional perspective; analyze; raise appropriate strategic issues; consider the views of the various stakeholders; and grasp situations or problems by examining underlying issues.
  • Integrity and accountability: Know and apply current rules of ethical conduct; show probity and integrity; are prepared to implement and remain accountable for the Board’s decisions; meet accountability requirements established by acts, administrative regulations and the bylaws of the Board itself; see themselves as serving the interests of the Authority and the public at large.
  • Impact and influence: Know the impact of the Authority’s issues, policies and decisions on the shipping industry and on public opinion; are aware of the divergent needs and objectives of the various stakeholders; and act to persuade or convince others, in order to influence or produce a given outcome.

Some Board members should possess specific knowledge and experience to increase the Board’s effectiveness:

  • Previous experience as a member of the board of directors of a private or non-profit corporation
  • Knowledge and experience in business and best business practices
  • Financial knowledge: All directors should be able to read financial statements. At least one director should possess financial knowledge or experience, so that this expertise is available to the financial and audit committee.
  • Knowledge and experience of human resources
  • Knowledge and experience of public affairs
  • Knowledge and experience of the shipping industry
  • Knowledge and experience of pilotage


It is customary for the Board of Directors of the Authority to be made up of equal shares of individuals from Canadian society as a whole, the Canadian and international shipping community, and the pilotage sector. In addition to these six members, there is a Chairman, who should preferably possess knowledge or experience of shipping.

Working Conditions

The Board meets at least seven times a year at the Authority’s headquarters in Montreal. There are also meetings of the various committees formed by the Board. In view of the time it takes to plan each of these meetings and the travel required, members are able to devote about 25 days a year to their duties and functions relating to the Authority.

Members receive compensation established in accordance with the parameters defined by the Privy Council Office. The Authority also pays members’ travel expenses.