Promoting safe and responsible boating throughout Canada. 

CSBC Newsletter - April 2018
In this issue

For some of us the winter snow has disappeared, the trees are in bud and the flowers in bloom. But for many of us it is still snowing, the water is still hard and boating on the water is still a hope and a prayer away.

Don't worry, warm weather is coming and so is the May long weekend and Safe Boating Awareness Week. Plans are already underway for events across the country and this year there will be a focus on Boating Under the Influence. The CSBC key message on Don't Drink and Boat will be modified a bit to reflect Canada's move to legalize the recreational use of marijuana later this year.

Looking south of the border, a group of Canadian CSBC members have just returned from the International Boating and Water Safety Summit that was held this year in Lexington, Kentucky, the home of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).
This year there was a good mix of full group general sessions, breakout sessions and two in-the-water sessions at the university's pool.

I had the privilege of moderating an hour and a half session on Working with Indigenous Populations. There was a half hour session on the work that the CSBC is doing with the Canadian Rangers in communities on the Western shores of James Bay, given by Lt. Col. Matthew Richardson and WO Carle Wolfe, and a presentation from Kelli Toth, Office of Boating Safety for Alaska on work that she is doing with Alaskan indigenous communities. These presentations were followed by a discussion and Q & A. As a result, it looks like there will be a road trip to Alaska for Carl and colleagues to see first-hand the work that Kelli and her colleagues are carrying out. There were about 40 people who attended the session. Kudos to all on this one.

On the final day I gave a brief CSBC update to the full group. It actually snowed that morning, which was the first time it had ever done so at any Summit. The Summit was attended by about 200 people. The number of attendees has dropped considerably over the past three years. The 2019 Summit will be held in Jacksonville, Florida.

Looking forward to a safe and happy 2018 boating season,


John Gullick

CSBC Membership Benefits: Please Join Us!

It is time to renew your CSBC Membership for 2018, and if you are not already a member, we would love you to join us. Both organizational and individual memberships are available. Here are some of the  benefits of CSBC membership:
  • NEW - The Canadian Safe Boating Council and Stearns/Coleman Canada have come together to offer you and all of the members of your organization a 30% discount on all online purchases through any Coleman Canada website! This discount applies to the full line of Coleman Canada products, including Stearns PFDs, Sevylor inflatables and Coleman outdoor gear. Once your membership is paid in full, you will be issued the discount code. Depending on how much gear you buy, this benefit can save you thousands of dollars a year.
  • A free Safety First Marine certificate program. It is geared towards marine retailers and offers an online staff training and certification program that will give staff all the information they need to promote the choice, purchase and maintenance of required marine safety products to their customers.
  • Extensive free resources to support you, your members and customers in enjoying safe and enjoyable boating experiences on the water, including:
    • Boat Notes APP
    • Mobile-enabled Smartboater website
    • CSBC Newsletter to keep you updated on boating safety news
    • Social media to keep you connected
  • Opportunities to customize our handy and popular Boat Notes brochure to promote your own organization with your selected audience and customers
  • The right to use the CSBC Member designation and and links on your media materials, to demonstrate your commitment to safe boating
  • Multiple and flexible opportunities to sponsor CSBC activities and events
  • Opportunities for personal networking with key industry and government representatives at CSBC events.
The Canadian Safe Boating Council is in the business of promoting safe and responsible boating throughout Canada. Our members include organizations and individuals from all boating sectors. Your membership fees will help maintain and grow CSBC events and activities, like the Safe Boating Awareness Week Campaign, the Annual Symposium, Cold Water Awareness programs, and the Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBAs).  As a member of the CSBC, which is a non-profit organization, you are recognized as a supporter of safe boating in Canada and can be confident in knowing that your membership dollars  can Help Make a Difference!

To learn more about the CSBC's achievements, and how to become a CSBC member, please go to 
Give Cold Water the Respect It Deserves

Cold Water

During April, the CSBC reminds boaters through a major media campaign on the dangers of Cold Water Immersion.  Boaters should remember to check the marine weather forecast before heading out to make sure that the conditions aren't going to exceed the design of the boat or your personal skill levels.  Also, wearing clothing that provides some level of thermal protection will not only protect you from cool breezes coming across the water, but will also provide some protection against hypothermia should you end up in the water.  Most importantly, wearing your lifejacket may well save your life..

 A little knowledge can go a long way to surviving a cold water immersion.  The initial gasp response, which is followed by hyperventilation, will subside within a minute or two. Also, understanding that, for an adult, becoming even mildly hypothermic takes at least 30 minutes, boaters should try not to panic and use the next 10-15 minutes to self-rescue before your muscles cool to the point where they no longer work.
Safe Boating Awareness Week 2018 - Let's Do Launch!

Safe Boating Awareness

Safe Boating Awareness Week runs from May 19 - 25. This week is all about reminding boaters of 5 key messages as they head out on the water this season:
  • Wear a Lifejacket
  • Don't Drink & Boat (no intoxicating substances, including drugs, are safe on the water)
  • Take a Boating Course
  • Be Prepared - Both You & Your Boat
  • Be Aware of the Dangers of Cold Water Immersion
Safe Boating Awareness Week will be launched with kick-off events planned in Vancouver, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto & Dartmouth.

Cold Water Workshops with Professor Popsicle

The CSBC will be running 2-Day Cold Water Workshops in the following locales during 2018:
  • St. John's, NL - Dates TBD
  • Victoria, BC - October 2/3.
Cold Water Workshop

These popular workshops will be facilitated by Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht, Professor of Thermophysiology at the University of Manitoba. (Dr. Giesbrecht was christened 'Professor Popsicle' when he appeared on the Letterman Show several years ago, and the name has stuck!). The workshops are designed primarily to train those who serve as first responders or who work around cold water on how to rescue and treat potentially hypothermic victims. 

Anyone wishing to register for any of these workshops should visit  or contact Ian Gilson (

Canadian Navigable Waters Act Bill C-69

By Jay Morrison. Jay is the Environment Committee chair for Paddle Canada and a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Safe Boating Council. He has been active on this issue since 2009, testifying on behalf of the boating community in front of Senate and House of Commons committees.

The Federal Government recently tabled legislation, Bill C-69, to be known as the Canadian Navigable Waters Act (CNWA). This Bill amends the current Navigation Protection Act (NPA) that was passed by the previous government. The NPA made significant changes to the former Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA), which had remained in force largely unaltered for some 100 years.  The NPA had the effect of severely restricting the common law right of navigation by limiting effective Government oversight of constructed works that could obstruct navigation to a restricted list of some 164 scheduled waters, thereby excluding the vast majority of lakes and rivers commonly used by boaters and virtually all the smaller water bodies used by paddle craft. The NPA also limited the definition of what were considered navigable waters, which in common law had been the ability to float a canoe. The net effect of the NPA was that many canoe routes of both common usage and historic significance were not considered as navigable, and failed to enjoy the full protection of the NPA. The NPA also required persons who objected to the obstruction of the public right of navigation on non-scheduled waters to sue the owner of the obstructing work in civil court without support or involvement of the Government of Canada. 

Bill C-69 maintains a list of scheduled waters upon which application for proposed works must be made and approval given by the Minister of Transport.  However, under the CNWA the list may be amended by request under terms that make it likely that many more water bodies will meet the criteria.

Bill C-69 restores effective Federal oversight of the public right of navigation to all bodies of water by requiring owners of proposed works to notify potentially affected parties about the works and where disputes cannot be resolved, those objecting to the proposed works may apply to the Minister of Transport for a ruling on whether or how the works may proceed.

Further, Bill C-69 defines navigable waters to which the legislation will apply in a way that applies to virtually all waters where paddle craft can be and are actually paddled.  This overturns the negative effect on the right of public navigation imposed by the NPA and is actually an improvement on the former NWPA, since the definition of navigability in Bill C-69 is both explicit and inclusive of paddle craft.

In conducting its review of the NPA before drafting Bill C-69, it is clearly evident that Transport Canada officials have been listening quite hard to the boating community. When asked about the greatest navigational concern to paddlers, I responded that it was the ability to safely bypass dams and weirs without unduly long or difficult portages, even where the adjoining land is privately held.  The reaction was quite positive and in Bill C-69 there are provisions that will enable TC to respond to this concern.

Paddle Canada and the Canadian Safe Boating Council will continue to monitor this Bill as it makes its way through the legislative process and will be prepared to comment on behalf of boaters.  All boaters can be pleased that the Federal Government is restoring and strengthening the common law right to safely navigate our waterways.
This Summer, Spot a CASBA Nominee!

As you're out and about on the water this season, keep your eyes open for those potential Canadian Safe Boating Award winners and get your nominations in early and often.

Nominations close in the late fall, and the awards ceremony will be held in Toronto on January 20, 2019. Go to to learn more. 

CSBC Symposium in Victoria, B.C. October 4 - 6, 2018

We are working hard to finalize an exciting program for the CSBC Symposium in Victoria, from October 4 - 6, 2018. A great roster of speakers have been invited from Canada, the U.S. and overseas, and rooms at the Laurel Point Inn will fill up fast. 

Reserve your room now at the special conference rate, and register for the Symposium. 

Advocating for Safer Boating

The CSBC recently collaborated with Paddle Canada to ask Ontario Tourism to make sure that paddlers and other boaters who appear in their visual marketing are all wearing lifejackets while on the water, and to ask a U.K. tourism company promoting adventure paddling tours in Canada to change their marketing material to show participants wearing lifejackets.

AGM Reminder Notice to all CSBC Members

The Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Safe Boating Council will take place on May 23, 2018 at 1300, at the Courtyard Toronto Airport Hotel, 231 Carlingview Drive, Toronto. It is open to all CSBC members. The meeting will cover a number of subjects including a report on activities accomplished in 2017 and the election of officers.  Come and spend an hour or so to learn of the great progress we have made in promoting safe boating and renew acquaintances with others like yourself who support our goals.

BriefIn Brief

Reminder: Support CSBC at LCBO Stores April 29 - May 26!

The spring and fall 2018 National CMAC meetings will take place at the Shaw Centre (located at 55 Colonel By Drive in Ottawa) on the following dates: May 1, 2 & 3, 2018 and November 13, 14 & 15, 2018.