When you look at the industry as a whole and you start opening up cabotage to foreign carriers, it has a snowball effect. The rates conditions and working conditions on board foreign-flag vessels, and some of these are actually first registry European vessels, second registry European vessels, and especially Ethos sea vessels, are far below what the standard is in Canada.
We have vessels that are currently... There's one in Vancouver where the wage rates on board are as little as $2.50 per hour. We have other scenarios where we go from $1.75 an hour and up. When you look at the working conditions, the safety conditions, the environmental standards, and everything else on board these vessels, it's very lax.
There is no international control on flag of convenience vessels. That's why they're called flag of convenience. The owner of the vessel is in one country. The beneficial owner, the registered owner, is in another country. Their crew could be from three or four different countries. The insurance agent is from another country. There are layers and layers in order not to get to that real beneficial owner.
I'll keep this brief. We've had situations where people have been hanged on board ships, on flag of convenience ships, in order for them to avoid Canadian standards or any other standards. There is a huge discrepancy and there is no control over what goes on aboard those ships, because a lot of it is left to flag state control.
When you look at the flag of convenience countries, the flag state control does not exist. A seafarer who is injured, a seafarer who is cheated wages, a seafarer who has anything on board that ship, who lacks food, who lacks anything, has to look at an outside resource such as the ITF in order to try and get that fixed, and it's a long difficult process because it's the Wild West in shipping.
Shipping was the first globalization industry, and we certainly understand trade. We understand everything else. Our industry is built on trade, but you cannot compare Canadian flag and Canadian conditions, which thank God we're in Canada, to an FOC or a foreign-flag vessel.