Crew members of doomed B.C. ferry smoked pot: TSB

Mandatory drug testing faces human rights challenges but ferry sinking raises issue of safety in transportation industry
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today

After an investigation into the March 2006 sinking of the ferry Queen of the North off the coast of British Columbia, the Transportation Safety Board reported it had found several crew members regularly smoked marijuana between shifts both on and off the ship.

The board recommended BC Ferries review its drug and alcohol policy and ensure the policy was properly enforced. BC Ferries acknowledged the report and agreed it was important to address the issue. However, mandatory drug and alcohol testing has been challenged under human rights issues and struck down in the courts.

BC Ferries said public safety is very important in the transportation industry and suggested the federal government give powers to ferry operators across Canada to conduct mandatory drug and alcohol testing.