Transport Canada is proposing new boating regulations, including expanding pleasure craft licensing requirements and modernizing the pleasure craft operator training program.
The changes include the addition of a $15 fee to process an application for a new license or to renew, transfer or duplicate a license.
Changes to the Small Vessel Regulations are expected to go to Treasury Board, the federal Cabinet committee that oversees the government’s financial management, this year.
Another change would require licenses for all pleasure craft over six metres, including wind-powered vessels. This does not include human-powered boats, such as canoes and kayaks.
Other changes being considered include reducing the license renewal period from 10 years or without expiration to five years, as well as reducing the time to report changes of information – such as a sale or change of address – from 90 days to 30.
The changes are intended to ensure that up-to-date information is associated with a pleasure craft.
“The goal is to help law enforcement and first responders conduct search and rescue activities and support accountability and compliance with safety and environmental regulations,” Sau said. Sau Liu, Communications Advisor at Transport Canada. “The proposed fees will help recover most of the costs associated with providing pleasure craft licensing services and reduce the cost to Canadian taxpayers of proving licensing services.
Transport Canada is also proposing changes to the Pleasure Craft Operator Competency Program by introducing an accreditation application fee of $5,000, payable every five years by course providers, and introducing a maintenance and access to exam materials $8.50 for each driver card issued.
The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) expects course providers to increase course fees to recoup these additional expenses.
“These are significant changes that have the potential to directly impact many of our members,” said Matt DeMille, OFAH Fish and Wildlife Officer. “This proposal deserves direct and meaningful discussions with the fishing, hunting, trapping and boating communities, so we will push the federal government to do so.
Transport Canada has been discussing possible fees on boating licenses since 2013, said Boating Ontario CEO Rick Layzell.
“Conversations resumed with an open dialogue about using the fee to help defray the costs of removing derelict and derelict boats as well as collecting meaningful data to help the industry,” he said. “Conversations are ongoing and Boating Ontario and our peers are at the table on behalf of the industry.
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