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Merchant Seamen Compensation Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. M-6)

Act current to 2022-09-22 and last amended on 2015-02-26. Previous Versions

Merchant Seamen Compensation Act

R.S.C., 1985, c. M-6

An Act respecting compensation for merchant seamen

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Merchant Seamen Compensation Act.

  • R.S., c. M-11, s. 1

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

  •  (1) In this Act,

    accident

    accident includes a wilful and an intentional act, not being the act of a seaman, and a fortuitous event occasioned by a physical or natural cause; (accident)

    Board

    Board[Repealed, 2012, c. 31, s. 233]

    compensation

    compensation includes medical and hospital expenses and any other benefits, expenses or allowances authorized by this Act; (indemnité)

    dependants

    dependants means members of the family of a seaman who were wholly or partly dependent on his earnings at the time of his death, or who but for the incapacity of a seaman due to an accident would have been so dependent; (personnes à charge)

    employer

    employer includes every person having any seaman in his service under a contract of hiring or apprenticeship, written or oral, express or implied; (employeur)

    foreign voyage

    foreign voyage means a voyage extending beyond the area of a home-trade voyage and not being an inland or minor waters voyage; (voyage de long cours)

    home-trade voyage

    home-trade voyage means a voyage, not being an inland or minor waters voyage, between places within the following areas, namely, Canada, the United States other than Hawaii, St. Pierre and Miquelon, the West Indies, Mexico, Central America and the northeast coast of South America, in the course of which a ship does not go south of the sixth parallel of north latitude; (voyage de cabotage)

    inland voyage

      inland voyage means a voyage, not being a minor waters voyage, on the inland waters of Canada together with such part of any lake or river forming part of the inland waters of Canada as lies within the United States or on Lake Michigan; (voyage en eaux internes)

    invalid

    invalid means physically or mentally incapable of earning; (invalide)

    medical aid

    medical aid means the medical, surgical and dental aid, the hospital and skilled nursing services and the artificial member or members and apparatus and repair mentioned in subsection 46(1); (assistance médicale)

    Minister

    Minister means the Minister of Labour; (ministre)

    minor waters of Canada

      minor waters of Canada  means all inland waters of Canada other than Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron, including Georgian Bay, and Superior and the St. Lawrence River east of a line drawn from Father Point to Point Orient, and includes all bays, inlets and harbours of or on those lakes and Georgian Bay and the sheltered waters on the seacoasts of Canada that the Minister of Transport may specify; (eaux secondaires du Canada)

    minor waters voyage

      minor waters voyage means a voyage within the following limits, namely, the minor waters of Canada together with the part of any lake or river forming part of the minor waters of Canada that lies within the United States; (voyage en eaux secondaires)

    seaman

     seaman means every person, except pilots, apprenticed pilots and fishers, employed or engaged on

    • (a) a ship registered in Canada under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 , or

    • (b) a ship chartered by demise to a person resident in Canada or having their principal place of business in Canada,

     when the ship is engaged in trading on a foreign voyage or on a home-trade voyage, and, if so ordered by the Governor in Council, includes a seaman engaged in Canada and employed on a ship that is registered outside Canada and operated by a person resident in Canada or having their principal place of business in Canada when that ship is so engaged; (marin)

    ship

     ship means a vessel as defined in section 2 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. (navire )

    survivor

    survivor means a person who, at the time of the death of a seaman, was

    • (a) the seaman’s spouse, if there is no person described in paragraph (b), or

    • (b) a person who was cohabiting with the seaman in a conjugal relationship for a period of at least one year immediately before the seaman’s death. (survivant)

  • Marginal note:Deemed accident

    (2) A seaman who suffers a disability arising out of and in the course of his employment as a seaman, otherwise than as a result of an accident, shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act to have suffered the disability as a result of an accident and, except for the purpose of computing compensation, the accident shall be deemed to have taken place on the day the disability first became known to his employer.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 2
  • 2000, c. 12, s. 187
  • 2001, c. 26, s. 307
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 233

 [Repealed, 2012, c. 31, s. 234]

 [Repealed, 2012, c. 31, s. 234]

Scope

Marginal note:When compensation not payable

 No compensation is payable under this Act,

  • (a) where a seaman or his dependants are entitled to claim compensation under the Government Employees Compensation Act or under any provincial workers’ compensation law; or

  • (b) where a seaman is or his dependants are entitled to claim compensation under the Order in Council of April 30, 1942 (P.C. 104/3546), or any statute or law that provides similar benefits.

  • R.S., c. M-11, s. 4

Marginal note:Compensation under law of foreign country

  •  (1) Where an accident happens in respect of which a seaman or his dependants are entitled to claim compensation under the law of any foreign country, they are bound to elect whether they will claim compensation under that law or under this Act, and to give notice of that election, and if an election is not made and notice not given it shall be presumed that they have elected not to claim compensation under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Notice of election

    (2) Notice of an election under subsection (1) shall be given to the Minister within three months after the happening of an accident or, if an accident results in death, within three months after the death or within any longer period that, either before or after the expiry of the three months, the Minister may allow.

  • Marginal note:Waiver of all claims

    (3) No compensation is payable in respect of any accident mentioned in subsection (1) unless the seaman or their dependants submit to the Minister, in a form approved by the Minister, a waiver of all claims for compensation under the foreign law referred to in that subsection.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 6
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 235

Marginal note:Application of Act

 This Act applies to accidents happening within or outside Canada.

  • R.S., c. M-11, s. 6

Compensation

Marginal note:Compensation, how paid

  •  (1) The employer of a seaman injured by reason of an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment shall pay compensation in the manner and to the extent provided by this Act, except where the injury

    • (a) does not disable the seaman for a period of at least three days from earning full wages at the work at which he was employed; or

    • (b) is attributable solely to the serious and wilful misconduct of the seaman unless the injury results in death or serious disability.

  • Marginal note:Payable from date of disability

    (2) Where compensation for disability is payable, it shall be computed and be payable from the date of the disability.

  • R.S., c. M-11, s. 7

Marginal note:Deductions

 Except with the Minister’s approval, the amount of compensation payable under this Act is not subject to any deduction or abatement by reason of, on account of or in respect of any matter or thing whatever except in respect of any sums of money that have been paid by the employer to a seaman on account of an injury received by the seaman, which sum or sums shall be deducted from the amount of the compensation.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 9
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 236

Marginal note:Amount not to be assigned, etc.

 Except with the Minister’s approval, the amount of compensation payable under this Act is not capable of being assigned, charged or attached and shall not pass to any other person by operation of law nor shall any claim be set off against it, including, in Quebec, by way of compensation.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 10
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 236

Marginal note:Seaman may not forego benefits

 It is not competent for a seaman to agree with his employer to waive or to forego any of the benefits to which he or his dependants are or may become entitled under this Act and every agreement to that end is absolutely void.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 11
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 237(F)

Marginal note:Claims to be heard by Minister

 No action lies for the recovery of compensation payable under this Act, but all claims for compensation shall be heard and determined by the Minister.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 12
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 238

Marginal note:Right to compensation in lieu of all other rights

 The right to compensation provided by this Act is in lieu of all rights and rights of action, statutory or otherwise, to which a seaman or his dependants are or may be entitled against the employer of the seaman for or by reason of any accident happening to him while in the employment of the employer, and no action lies in respect thereof.

  • R.S., c. M-11, s. 12

Marginal note:Minister decides right to compensation

 Any party to an action may apply to the Minister for adjudication and determination of the question of the plaintiff’s right to compensation under this Act, or whether the right to bring the action is taken away by this Act.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 14
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 239

Marginal note:Exclusive jurisdiction of Minister

 The Minister has exclusive jurisdiction to examine, hear and determine all matters and questions arising under this Act and with respect to any matter or thing in respect of which any power, authority or discretion is conferred on him or her.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 15
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 239

Marginal note:Reconsideration and amendment

 The Minister may reconsider any matter that has been dealt with by him or her or rescind or amend any decision or order previously made.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 16
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 239

Marginal note:Production of information

 In any matter arising under this Act, the Minister has the power to require the production of any information that he or she considers necessary.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 17
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 239

 [Repealed, 2012, c. 31, s. 239]

Marginal note:Decisions final

 The Minister’s decisions and findings are final and conclusive.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 19
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 239

Marginal note:Award

 The Minister may award any sum that he or she considers reasonable to the successful party to a contested claim for compensation or to any other contested matter as compensation for the expenses that the party incurred by reason of or incidental to the contest. An order of the Minister for the payment by any employer of any sum so awarded when filed in the manner provided by section 21 becomes a judgment of the court in which it is filed and may be enforced accordingly.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 20
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 239

Marginal note:Order enforced as judgment of court

 An order of the Minister for the payment of compensation by an employer or any other order of the Minister for the payment of money under this Act, or a copy of the order that is certified to be a true copy by a person who is duly authorized by the Minister, may be filed with

  • (a) if the employer resides or carries on business in the Province of Quebec, the clerk of the Superior Court of Quebec,

  • (a.1) if the employer resides or carries on business in the Province of Ontario, the clerk of the Superior Court of Justice for the region in which the employer resides or carries on business,

  • (a.2) if the employer resides or carries on business in the Province of Nova Scotia, the prothonotary of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia for the judicial district in which the employer resides or carries on business,

  • (b) if the employer resides or carries on business in the Province of New Brunswick, Manitoba or Alberta, the clerk of the Court of Queen’s Bench of that province for the judicial district in which the employer resides or carries on business,

  • (c) if the employer resides or carries on business in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the clerk of the Trial Division of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador,

  • (c.1) if the employer resides or carries on business in the Province of British Columbia or Prince Edward Island, the registrar of the Supreme Court of the Province, or

  • (d) if the employer resides or carries on business in the Province of Saskatchewan, the Local Registrar of the Court of Queen’s Bench for the judicial centre in which the employer resides or carries on business,

and may be enforced as a judgment of that Court.

  • R.S., 1985, c. M-6, s. 21
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (2nd Supp.), s. 10
  • 1990, c. 16, s. 17, c. 17, s. 35
  • 1992, c. 51, s. 57
  • 1998, c. 30, ss. 13(F), 15(E)
  • 2012, c. 31, s. 240
  • 2015, c. 3, s. 132

Marginal note:Where seaman not a resident of Canada

  •  (1) Where a seaman is not a resident of Canada and by the law of the place or country in which he resides compensation in respect of accidents is payable and an accident happens in respect of which he is entitled under this Act to receive compensation for permanent total disability or permanent partial disability, then, notwithstanding anything in this Act, the amount of compensation payable under this Act shall not exceed the amount of compensation that would be payable had the accident happened in the place or country in which he resides.

  • Marginal note:Where dependant not a resident of Canada

    (2) Where a dependant of any seaman is not a resident of Canada, the dependant is not entitled to compensation under this Act unless, by the law of the place or country in which he resides, the dependants of a seaman to whom an accident happens in that place or country if resident in Canada would be entitled to compensation, and where such dependants would be entitled to compensation under that law, the compensation to which the non-resident dependant is entitled under this Act shall not be greater than the compensation payable in the like case under that law.

  • R.S., c. M-11, s. 21
 
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