Proposed New Rules For Outfitters Clarified

Thursday, February 03, 2005 at 14:11



An official from the marine branch of Transport Canada is seeking to clarity some recent rumours over proposed legislation that would affect outfitters.


Earlier this week, northern Saskatchewan’s Member of Parliament, Jeremy Harrison, criticized the federal government over some proposed rule changes related to commercial operators of small watercraft.


Harrison stated that some of the plans would require guides to earn their captain’s licences to operate small boats, and radios would have to be installed, as well.


Transport Canada spokesperson M.J. Dubois says she has heard about Harrison’s concerns.


She acknowledges the department is looking at implementing some changes, but insists nothing is set in stone.


Dubois also says that while the feds are considering making radios mandatory in some boats, it likely wouldn’t affect many northern outfitters.


She admits Transport Canada has amended what it had originally proposed about that requirement because of concerns raised by outfitters.


Now, it will only apply to passenger vessels that operate more than two miles from shore and which have more than six passengers.


Dubois also wishes to clarify the additional safety training proposals for outfitters and their guides.


She says nothing actually involves captain’s training.


Rather, the government is looking at making operators take what’s called the Small Vessel Operator’s

Proficiency Course.


She says it’s essentially a two-day training program on safety procedures in sheltered waters and could potentially be done at the site of the operator.


Dubois says her department is currently looking for feedback on all of these ideas, and is adamant that no changes will be made without additional consultations.