At a recent meeting in Edmonton, the CCA Board moved to financially support Ontario’s initiative to lobby the federal government on current and future Transport Canada Regulations, which are having and will have a serious, negative impact on many Canadian camps. The Ontario Camps Association hired Global Public Affairs Inc. to schedule meetings on April 22, 2013 of three OCA representatives with MP David Tilson; MP Larry Miller, Chair of the House Transport Committee; the Political Staff in the Ministry of Transport and the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Small Business and Tourism.
The federal legislation applies to all camps that use motorized boats over 9.9 HP for any reason but it is particularly demanding for camps that are accessed by water or regularly transport more than 6 passengers.
Current legislation requires the registration of every motorized vessel over 9.9 HP as a Small Commercial Vessel (SCV). The onerous registration paperwork can take up to six months. Registered boats require specific equipment (flares, lifejackets (as opposed to PFDs), communication devices etc).
Small Vessel Operator Proficiency (SVOP) and Small Non-Pleasure Vessel Basic Safety (MED A3) are now required for operators carrying more than six passengers or operators of workboats greater than 8 metres in length. These qualifications require several days to complete at a cost per individual of between $500 and $1000.
By 2014, Small Vessel Marine Insurance is anticipated at a rate of $250,000 liability insurance per seat for each motorized passenger-carrying vessel. This coverage is separate and distinct from other general liability insurance. Nancy Brown, broker for the CCA Insurance Progam, is working with the OCA representatives on this aspect of the anticipated legislation.
There is mounting evidence that government legislation has been and will continue to be a grave concern for camp operators. CCA, recognizing the need and advantages of being proactive, has added lobbying to the top of the agenda for the National Leadership Forum (NLF) this November. At the NLF, the CCA Board, Provincial Presidents and Executive Directors will consider the viability of retaining a lobbyist to keep camp leaders aware of pending legislation that will affect the camping industry. A national committee dedicated to monitoring legislation with input from a professional lobbyist would enable us to be proactive.
Today we are doing our best to react to Transport Canada regulations. Camp owners in Ontario have made individual contributions to add to the financial commitment from OCA and CCA. The initial costs are estimated between forty and sixty thousand dollars. Financial support from any camp across the country directed to the OCA Executive Director, Heather Heagle, would be most welcomed.
This is a national issue. We need to know what camps in what provinces are being affected negatively by the Transport Canada Commercial boating regulations. We would like to hear your stories. How are the regulations affecting you now? What has been your experience with Transport Canada or other enforcement officers? How will the regulations affect you? Please contact Mark Diamond (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your stories.