A ship radio station is now exempt from requiring a radio licence. A query to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada about use of callsigns brought this reply:
From: Bolduc, Gontran: DGRB <Bolduc.Gontran@ic.gc.ca>
Cc: Perron, Line: DGRB <Perron.Line@ic.gc.ca>
Sent: Thursday, June 17, 1999 1:06 PM
Subject: Station Identification
As you mention in your question to Mr Breau from Industry Canada, we no longer issue radio licences and call signs for ships or vessels which meet the exemption criteria; therefore If you were previously issued a call sign and now you meet the exemption criteria, you must discontinue to use the old call sign.
In accordance with the technical requirements for the operation of mobile stations in the maritime service (RIC-13), an exempted ship station must identify by using the name of the ship. If desired, the operator may include additional words or characters, along with the name of the ship, for identification purposes.
However, some ships or vessels, may not have a vessel name. Since some operators file Float Plans with coast stations, and these Float Plans are filed according to the operator's surname, we suggest you use "the embarcation SURNAME" as a means of identification or the vessel registration number issued by Ocean and Fisheries (Canadian Coast Guard). This will provide the coast station with an easy method of retrieving the information you have filed with them.