WIARTON, ON, May 15, 2015 /CNW/ - Today the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, joined by Larry Miller, Member of Parliament for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, launched North American Safe Boating Awareness Week and announced new funding for boating safety projects under Transport Canada's Boating Safety Contribution Program (BSCP).
The BSCP is a contribution funding program that promotes boating safety in Canada by financially supporting initiatives that highlight the importance of safe boating practices. The program includes two components – one geared towards recreational boating safety and the other focused on safe boating practices onboard small commercial fishing vessels. The BSCP provides funding of up to 75 per cent of the total eligible cost of a project.
This year, under the Recreational Boating Safety component of the BSCP, five organizations are receiving a total of over $1 million for education and awareness projects that aim to increase the number of pleasure craft operators who follow safe boating practices, and that help to reduce loss of life, injuries and property damage due to boating accidents.
The Minister also announced a call for applications under the Recreational Boating Safety component of the BSCP for additional projects that promote safe boating practices which would start in the 2016 boating season. Applications will be accepted until October 15, 2015.
Since 2009, through the Boating Safety Contribution Program, the Government of Canada has provided approximately $2.9 million for 54 recreational boating safety projects across Canada.
The Commercial Fishing Safety component of the BSCP was launched in April 2015. Under this component, up to $300,000 per year over three years is available to support education and awareness initiatives that promote safe boating practices onboard small commercial fishing vessels across the country. Applications for funding under this component will be accepted until June 15, 2015.
- North American Safe Boating Awareness Week 2015, which is taking place from May 16 to 22, promotes a wide range of safe boating practices to the estimated 10 million recreational boaters in Canada.
- On average,100 boating fatalities happen annually on Canadian waters. About 90 per cent of people who drown in recreational boating incidents are not wearing a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD). If you remember only one thing about boating safety, it should be to always wear your lifejacket or PFD when on or near the water. It could save your life!
- In Canada, all recreational boats with a motor of 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) or more must have a pleasure craft licence. It is the law. Download, complete and print the PDF Application for Pleasure Craft Licence online.
- If you're operating a motorized boat in Canada, you need to carry a proof of competency and a piece of personal identification. One example is a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) that shows you know how to operate your boat safely and what to do in an emergency. Get a PCOC by taking a boating safety course in person or online, and passing the final test. Visit www.tc.gc.ca/boatingsafety to find Transport Canada accredited course providers.
- Don't cruise with booze! Impaired driving, whether on land or water, is illegal and punishable under the Criminal Code of Canada.
- Abandoned or wrecked boats are dangerous. Keep your boat in good condition now and recycle or dispose of it responsibly later. Abandoned boats and wrecks can cause marine navigation hazards, public safety risks, environmental threats, and can result in significant costs for communities. To increase awareness of responsible boat ownership, Transport Canada recently launched a new webpage that outlines boat owner responsibilities, impacts of abandoned boats, end-of-life boat management options, and key contact information.
"The safety of Canadians is a top priority of the Government of Canada. I am pleased to see that, year after year, our partners and stakeholders are onboard with our efforts to promote the importance of safe boating practices across the country. Together, we are making our waterways safer and working to reduce boating fatalities and injuries."
The Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport
"Local waterways are very busy during the summer months, so safety is of utmost importance. Boating with friends and family can be a great activity for aIl ages and I encourage local boaters to engage in safe and responsible boating practices to ensure everyone's safety when on the water this boating season."
Member of Parliament for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound
- Backgrounder: Boating Safety Contribution Program 2015-2016 Recipients
- North American Safe Boating Awareness Week
- Boating Safety Contribution Program – Applicant's Guide
- Transport Canada - Office of Boating Safety
- Transport Canada – Abandoned Boats and Wrecks
Boating Safety Contribution Program - Recreational Boating Safety Component
2015-2016 Funding Recipients
Life Saving Society, Quebec Region (Montreal, QC)
The Life Saving Society, Quebec Region (Montreal, QC) has been approved to receive a contribution of up to $206,250 towards their three-year national and provincial project.
The Life Saving Society project is an awareness campaign (through public service announcements) directed at boaters, anglers and hunters to promote the compliance of boating safety regulations and safe boating practices. The project will take place throughout Quebec to include hunting and angling evening events that will be held during the winter months. In the second and third years of the project, the public service announcements will be adapted to be distributed across Canada.
Canadian Red Cross, Quebec Zone (Montreal, QC)
The Canadian Red Cross, Quebec Zone (Montreal, QC) will receive a contribution of up to $328,758 towards their three-year regional project.
The project is a boating safety awareness and education program targeting anglers, hunters and boaters in three remote regions in Québec where significant levels of drowning have been identified. The program will be delivered during the 2015-2017 boating seasons.
The CRC will have information kiosks containing various PFDs, required safety equipment and printed outreach materials for distribution and will attend various boating and fishing events to provide demonstrations, presentations, Pleasure Craft Courtesy Checks (PCCC) and youth educational activities.
Canadian Red Cross, Atlantic Zone (Dartmouth, NS)
The Canadian Red Cross, Atlantic Zone (Dartmouth, NS), has been approved to receive a contribution of up to $383,744 for a two-year regional project.
The project is a boating safety awareness and education program targeting families and younger boaters throughout the Maritimes (NB, NS, PEI & NL) during the 2015 and 2016 boating seasons. The project will be delivered by hiring and training summer students to carry out presentations, demonstrations and distribution of boating safety promotional materials at federal, provincial, municipal and private parks throughout Atlantic Canada.
Canadian Power and Sails Squadrons (Toronto, ON)
The Canadian Power and Sails Squadrons will receive a contribution of up to $229,000 for a three-year national project.
The purpose of this project is to provide education on required safety equipment, the care and maintenance of that equipment, and how to safely and effectively use flares when needed.
In addition, it will raise awareness of the need to dispose of outdated flares in a safe and timely manner at disposal events where individuals would return outdated flares to selected Canadian Power and Sails Squadrons and partnering retailers.
Northern Village of Denare Beach (Denare Beach, SK)
The Northern Village of Denare Beach has been approved to receive a contribution of up to $4,511 for a one-year municipal project.
The purpose of the project is to increase boating safety awareness about the low wake zones and speed limits.
It intends to raise awareness by installing buoy markers in Shwaga Bay on Amisk Lake to remind boaters to reduce their speed, to be cautious of others users and to be aware of the wake their vessel is creating on the shoreline. Posters and printed materials will be distributed in marinas, community halls and boat launches in and around the areas.
SOURCE Transport Canada
For further information: Zach Segal, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, Ottawa, 613-991-0700; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, 613-993-0055; Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to e-news or stay connected through RSS, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada. This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.