Of course my prediction yesterday was way off but the announcement was great news non-the-less for canoe and kayak instructor/guides across
According to the press release on the announcement:
Owners of human-powered vessels, such as canoes, kayaks and small sailing vessels, as well as small vessels with motors less than 7.5 kilowatts (10 horsepower) will not have to register their craft with Transport
"We do not believe Canadian boaters should face onerous regulations to go canoeing and kayaking, which is why registration requirements for all human-powered vessels, small sailing vessels and small motorized vessels will not be required," said Minister Strahl.
This registration will continue to be required for commercial river rafts, government vessels and for any vessels where registration is necessary for safety reasons.
The other new small vessel regulations are still in effect which we have talked about before a couple of times.
This is great news. I will post more updates as I get them.
Update: Tony Palmer, friend of the site and owner of the
I just got word that Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable Chuck Strahl will be in
There is no word on what the announcement could be but as somebody who loves to follow Apple product rumours and personally making poor predictions as to what the iPhone 5 will feature, I’m going to go out in a limb and give an educated guess.
Here it is: I predict that they are going to announce a freeze in the implementation of the new regulations across the board while Transport
Here are my reasons why I think this will happen:
“Sir, the press are asking questions about people not being allowed to go canoeing this summer!”
“Oh no, tell them that isn’t our intention. We love people out paddling.”
“But Sir, we have an election coming up. What if it becomes an issue and somebody starts asking questions at one of our town hall meetings along the election trail?”
“Yikes! Ok, freeze the whole thing. We will sort it out after the election.”
That was only three weeks ago. If they are making an announcement this fast, there is no way they would have been able to make the significant changes required to clear the confusion and controversy surrounding the regulations. Maybe but highly unlikely.
The only other possible announcement that I can see is that they will exempt Girl Guides and Scouts from the regulations and vessel registration. That would be fairly easy to implement as they could make an amendment to exempt the two groups from it. The only problem with specifically exempting them only is that it doesn’t really address the perception that joe public, church or non-profit youth groups will be forced to register before going out on a camping trip.
In an election year, public perception has soured election results in the past and keeping everybody happy really is the key. Between now and ballot day you can bet that everyone will be walking on egg shells and it’s much easier just to put a freeze on it for now and sort it out later.
Could I be wrong? Probably, we will see tomorrow but to not guess would take the fun out of it!
Update: Did Canada's Minister of Industry, Tony Clement hint to MooseFM today that the whole thing is dead in the water? Maybe. Though 99.5 MooseFM isn't exactly known for their hard hitting investigative journalism, there is a quick snippet of an interview he did on local television recently. He says that nothing is going to go through and the regulations are all going to change.
Did you know that Paddle Canada has been actively developing a new Stand-Up Paddling program over the winter?
The final draft of the Flatwater level is now completed and they are looking for your comments. They also released the first draft of the Flatwater Instructor program so also take a look at it as well while you are at it.
The SUP Program Development Committee also announced that they have written about half of the River and Coastal programs so expect the drafts to be released in due course.
Finally, the PDC is developing a resource manual for SUP instructors and are on the lookout for a couple specific resources. If you can contribute anything it would be greatly appreciated.
We are looking for submissions from you for the Resource Manual.
Almost anything goes. Of course, credit will be given to the author!
Last Friday the Toronto Star wrote an article about the new Transport Canada regulations that effect instructors, leaders and guides who are on the water in canoes and kayaks.
The article focuses on the confusion that many Canadian paddlers are having with the new regulations and the fact that Transport Canada has yet to come out with some definitive guidelines and steps on if you need to register and how to do it.
All the media attention finally made Transport Canada publicly respond and clarify several items including the perceived notion that they are trying to hinder people from getting out on the water.
Back in the fall of 2010 Transport Canada formally released an update to their small vessel regulations which; for the first time in a long time impacts canoe and kayaks.
The most controversial element of the new regulations centers around the idea that any type of paid or volunteer leadership on the water (including teaching or guiding) is now deemed as a commercial venture. This, "Guided Excursion" means that your canoe or kayak now falls under the commercial regulations for small vessels which includes commercial vessel registration.
I will be honest with you. Since the announcement I have seen some of the most ridiculous posts by people on canoeing forums. Post by people who know nothing about the regulations but still very willing to tell the world how Paddle Canada and Transport Canada are destroying our canoeing heritage.
I will admit that when Transport Canada announced the changes there were lots of questions to be answered as the regulations are very vague and open to a lot of interpretation. To help understand them better I worked with several other Paddle Canada Program Development Committee volunteers to go through and sort out what everything means. It took a while to sort through which included many, many calls and emails with Transport Canada representatives but I think we created a good summary document with an FAQ that is posted on the Paddle Canada website.
Even though there is still some uncertainty about some areas here is what I know for sure:
Paddle Canada just announced a new membership perk for instructors. In partnership with Level 6 instructor members can now get 40% off all regularly priced items in the catalogue. That’s a pretty solid deal.
For those not in the know, Level 6 have been around since 1997. Based out of Ottawa Ontario, they produce a wide range of items from dry suits, to safety gear, to actual fashionable items that your non-paddling friends would wear.
"We know what it is like to be an instructor and understand the challenges it can have." says Tyler Lawlor, co-owner of Level 6, "Increased participation in paddling starts with great instructors, and we want to provide an opportunity for each instructor to achieve their best ."
To access the deal you need to be a paid-up Paddle Canada instructor. The deal is only good through the Level 6 office so don’t race down to your local paddling shop looking for the same prices.
More info: http://conta.cc/c0MRm7
Just a quick reminder that the Canadian Professional Paddling Conference is taking place September 24th to 26th in Minden, Ontario. The date is approaching quickly so if you haven’t registered yet then it’s time to get on it ASAP.
Here are a couple photos from a trip last week up to Lake Superior last week. I had the pleasure of being invited to teach a Paddle Canada Level 2 sea kayaking course at Naturally Superior Adventures with my co-instructor; the very funny and hugely talented Rev. Bonnie Perry. Long-time readers will remember a piece I wrote a year ago when she was nominated to be the Bishop of Minnesota.
If you are a Paddle Canada Level 1 Instructor and thinking about moving up the certification ladder, you might be interested to know that White Squall Paddling Centre is going to be running a Level 2 Instructor Course this October. It is being held in conjunction with the Georgian Bay Storm Gathering so it’s more than just the course.
As far as I know, it’s the only one registered in Canada for 2010 so get yourself registered while there is space.
Here are all the details: