The Government of Canada Rolls out Regulations for River Rafting

Thursday, 01 May 2008
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The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced the coming into force of the Special-purpose Vessels Regulations and the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations. These regulations are made under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (CSA 2001).
OTTAWA - The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced the coming into force of the Special-purpose Vessels Regulations and the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations. These regulations are made under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (CSA 2001).

"Our government is committed to the safety and security of all commercial and recreational users of Canadian waterways while protecting the environment," said Minister Cannon. "To address the increase in traffic on our waterways, the regulations provide new national river rafting safety standards, and updated mechanisms to restrict the use of any type of vessel, including personal watercraft, on designated waters."

The new Special-purpose Vessels Regulations incorporate industry best practices by outlining the requirements for all river rafting companies to have vessel and safety equipment standards such as helmets, lifejackets and their equivalents, and the circumstances in which they must be worn; operational standards such as first aid training, familiarization trips and safety briefings; and the maintenance of detailed records of each excursion.

The updated and renamed Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations make it possible for local authorities to apply to Transport Canada to place restrictions on the access of a vessel or class of vessels to specified waters; the mode of propulsion used; maximum engine power or speed; and recreational towing activities (e.g., water-skiing). The new regulations also impose a universal shoreline speed limit of 10 km/h within 30m of the shore in all rivers and lakes of Nova Scotia, including Bras d'Or Lake.

The Special-purpose Vessels Regulations were pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I on August 11, 2007. The Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations were first published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on August 18, 2007. A comment period for these regulations was provided, during which interested parties were encouraged to provide their views to Transport Canada. The new regulations will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II on April 30, 2008.

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Contacts:

Karine White
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa
613-991-0700     

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055

Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and speeches at www.tc.gc.ca/e-news and keep up-to-date on the latest from Transport Canada.
David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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