As a result of recommendations made by a Royal Commission on Pilotage in Canada, the Pilotage Act was assented to by Her Majesty and the Governor-in-Council and proclaimed in force February 1, 1972. The Pilotage Act created four pilotage regions with specific authorities, thereby replacing a large number of local pilotage districts. The four Pilotage Authorities – Atlantic, Laurentian, Great Lakes and Pacific – are Crown corporations, responsible to Parliament through the Minister of Transport.
The Great Lakes Pilotage Authority, Limited was established and incorporated in 1972 as a subsidiary of The St. Lawrence Seaway Authority. For the purpose of the Financial Administration Act, the Authority is a Crown corporation specified in Schedule III, Part I of that Act. As a result of the Canada Marine Act of 1998, the Great Lakes Pilotage Authority Canada is no longer a limited company.
The role and objectives of the Authority are to establish, operate, maintain and administer, in the interest of safety, an efficient and economical pilotage service within its geographical boundaries; all waters in the Province of Quebec south of the northern entrance to St. Lambert Lock and all Canadian waters in and around the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba. (Pilotage in the international waters within the boundaries is shared with United States of America Pilot Corporations, which are under the direction of the United States Coast Guard, as agreed under a memorandum of arrangements between Canada and the United States.)
Further, the Authority prescribes tariffs of pilotage charges that are to be fair, reasonable and consistent with providing revenues sufficient to permit the Authority to operate on a self-sustaining financial basis.