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Flag Quebec - free pratique


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Many moons ago, there was a command exam question relating to the requirement to fly flag Quebec when entering a Canadian port to request free pratique.  I tried to find the statutory/regulatory source of the requirement the other day, and couldn't.  Can anyone recall what the statute or regulation is that establishes this?  Thanks!
Free pratique is the practice of declaring a ship free of plague  or other disease. The ship must usually request this status from the port authorities before passengers or crew are allowed to disembark or embark.

See here: http://www.shipinspection.eu/index.php/home/k2-item-view/item/396-free-pratique

Flying flag quebec indicates that a ship is free of contagion. In earlier days it actually meant the opposite. Today flag Lima when flown in port indicates qurantine. Of interest, yellow fever takes its name from flag quebec. Flag quebec is also sometimes called the yellow jack, but that apellation is also given flag lima.
Yes, thank you, I am familiar with the meaning (though not all of the historical context you provided).  But what I am looking for is a reference to the actual Canadian statutory basis for the use in Canada.  The legislation one would point to if a hypothetical ship's master said, "You tell me why I have to fly the flag in Canada."  I used to have it, but no longer.  Maybe the legislation has changed - I couldn't find the reference on a search of the Canadian laws page of the Department of Justice.  Or maybe my search missed it.
Neither could I, but Maritime Law is often different than national law. Sometimes it might even supercede it to the point that no reference is made in national laws?
Since Flag Quebec is part of the International Code of Signals it may well be an International Convention that governs the use of this signal rather than national laws.  A quick review of my copy identifies a range of pratique messages in Section 9, with a reference in the heading to "International Health Regulations" - Google identifies that there was a UN WHO accord signed back in the late 1960s relating to ships and aircraft crossing international boundaries and the measures for issuance of clearance from a health perspective. My personal suspicion is that hoisting Flag Q is a simple way of requesting health clearance, and saves unnecessary voice / radio traffic.