Safer boating standards set by Canada's New Government

    OTTAWA, June 27 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister
of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced changes to the
Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations, which now set higher
standards for boating safety testing.
    "Canada's New Government is committed to protecting the health and safety
of Canadians and these amendments will improve the quality of the boating
safety test," said Minister Cannon. "Education is key to preventing injury and
death related to pleasure craft operations."
    The new amendments contain stricter requirements for those administering
the test and demand greater accountability for testing services before
Pleasure Craft Operator Cards are issued. For example, course providers are
now required to submit a test protocol for approval by Transport Canada. All
test protocols must outline the procedures to follow during and after testing,
and demonstrate that all tests will be administered in an appropriate setting.
Transport Canada will not hesitate to take enforcement action - such as the
suspension of a course provider - if a test is being administered outside of
the approved test protocol.
    While Transport Canada administers the regulations, operator competency
courses and tests are delivered by private sector organizations.
    The Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations establish
competency requirements for operators of pleasure craft fitted with a motor
and used for recreational purposes. The regulations were first introduced by
the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in 1999 in an attempt to reduce the
number of boating accidents in Canada. They were transferred to Transport
Canada in early 2004.
    Amended Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations were
published in the Canada Gazette, Part I on October 1, 2005. Following the
mandatory 30-day public comment period, Transport Canada acted on suggestions
to improve the accreditation and testing requirements for boating safety
providers. The amendments to the regulations are being published today in the
Canada Gazette, Part II.

For further information:

For further information: Natalie Sarafian, Press Secretary, Office of
the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613)
991-0700; Kirsten Goodnough, Communications, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613)
993-0055; Transport Canada is online at Subscribe to news
releases and speeches at and keep up-to-date on the
latest from Transport Canada; This news release may be made available in
alternative formats for persons with visual disabilities.

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