Canada's NDP


September 27th, 2022

MP Bachrach joins families in calling for stronger rules to protect tugboat workers

NEWS RELEASE: September 27, 2022

OTTAWA - MP Taylor Bachrach (Skeena-Bulkley Valley) says the fine Transport Canada issued a B.C. tugboat company for an accident that killed two men is not enough to protect mariners.

Today, Transport Canada announced it has completed its investigation into the 2021 sinking of the tugboat Ingenika near Kitimat, B.C., which claimed the lives of crew members Troy Pearson and Charley Cragg. The department has fined Wainwright Marine $52,000 for its role in the incident.

“My thoughts today are with Troy and Charley’s families, and with all the men and women who work on tugboats up and down our coast,” said Bachrach. “While the investigation clearly showed the company acted recklessly, a fine alone won’t create safer conditions for workers. They need strong, consistently enforced federal regulations and they needed them yesterday.”

Currently, no certification is required for commercial vessels under 15 tons (or those modified to fit that class), no specific training is required for crew members, and there is no limit on the size of barge that can be towed.

“The minister says he’s working on new regulations but every day that goes by is another day mariners are at risk,” said Bachrach. “The minister should issue orders under existing legislation to improve safety while the full regulations are being developed.”

“Transport Canada's investigation and the resulting penalties are a clear indicator of the injustice committed against my son and his skipper,” said Genevieve Cragg, the mother of Charley Cragg. “These penalties are only the start. Ultimately, we need to see change within Canada's marine shipping industry, specifically related to the tugs and crews working tirelessly up and down B.C.’s coastal waters.”

“I will not stop, nor will I rest until I see a new safety culture in place as part of Charley's legacy. He died as a result of this systemic injustice. He paid the ultimate price with his life, and it is now time for change,” said Cragg.

“I'm glad Transport Canada determined Wainwright Marine was negligent in its operations but I’m very disappointed the maximum fine for such negligence is only $60,000,” said Judy Carlick Pearson, the wife of Troy Pearson. “How will companies ever learn if they get a slap on the hand?”

“Our fight for justice isn't over. We will continue to promote that more changes be made. Ultimately, fines of such a low value need to be increased to at least $250,000. If not, companies won't feel the brunt and will continue to be negligent,” said Carlick Pearson.

MP Bachrach has met several times with transport minister Omar Alghabra to push for action on tugboat safety and has raised it repeatedly at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities.


CONTACT: Ben Tassell - - 613-408-0167