Leisure craft on Canada’s waterways will be safer this year, if the Honorable Minister for Transport has his way. No less than five million Canadian boaters who do not currently have a licence – a ‘proof of competency’ – must get one before they take to the water, or risk a $250 fine.
Looking ahead to the 2008 boating season, the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, has urged Canadian pleasure boaters to make sure they have their proof of competency before heading out on the water.
‘Our government wants Canada’s several million recreational boaters to enjoy increased safety on the water,’ said Minister Cannon. ‘We believe that requiring proof of competency will help reduce the number of incidents and deaths that occur on our waterways every year.’
New Transport Canada regulations require all operators of motorized pleasure craft in Canada to have their proof of competency by September 15, 2009.
Already, any boater born after April 1, 1983, or anyone who operates a motorized pleasure craft less than four metres long, including personal watercraft, must have proof of competency on board, or risk fines up to $250.
The Canadian Government is keen to cut down the country’s boating incidents and fatalities. At the moment, Canada has 6,000 boating incidents a year, and 150 fatalities.