December 2018
CSBC Newsletter - December 2018
  • Message from the Chair
  • Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBAs)
  • New Fisheries and Oceans Arctic Region
  • CSBC Membership Fees
  • Proposed Amendments to the Navigation Safety Regulations
  • New Research from Maritime New Zealand
  • In brief
Message from the Chair
I would like to start by thanking the organizing committee for this year’s annual Symposium in Victoria, B.C. It was a great event made even better by those who attended and used the opportunities to share ideas with one another. We look forward to seeing you next September when the Symposium will be held in Port Credit, just west of Toronto.

We also look forward to seeing many of you at the CASBAS on Sunday January 20. 2019, at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel in Toronto.

I will now talk about how the new regulations regarding the possession and use of cannabis will affect the operation of vessels in Canada.

I have taken the liberty to quote the following information received from Transport Canada:

Since October 17, 2018, the  Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) has legalized, regulated and restricted access to cannabis. This Act is a strict legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale, possession and use of cannabis in Canada.

The new legislation will allow adults to possess and use small amounts of cannabis. This will no longer be a criminal offence in Canada.

In addition,  An Act to amend the Criminal Code (Bill C-46) will set out 3 new drug-impaired driving offences. The 3 offences are for having specified levels of a drug within 2 hours of driving.

Under Bill C-46, it will be illegal to drive and operate a vessel while having:

  • a THC level between 2 and 5 nanograms (ng)
  • a level above 5 ng
  • a blood alcohol concentration of 50 mg per 100 mL of blood, in addition to a THC level of more than 2.5 ng

Please note: current impaired-based drug driving offences will continue to apply.

What you need to know

Being impaired by any drug or alcohol while carrying out your work duties can affect your ability to perform. Impairment could negatively impact your watch-keeping duties and other duties related to safety. This, in turn, could have a negative impact on the overall safety of navigation and in marine transportation, including the safety of the public and marine personnel.

Cannabis impairs your ability to:
  • focus
  • make decisions
  • follow instructions
  • handle equipment and tools
  • safely operate a vehicle.

Operating a vehicle, which includes a vessel, while impaired by cannabis risks property and people’s lives. It could come with severe consequences for you, your colleagues and your job status.

Criminal Code:  vessel operation

Under subsection 253(1) of the  Criminal Code, you may not operate, assist in the operation of, or have the care or control of a vessel while impaired. This applies whether or not the vessel is moving. It also applies whether you are using alcohol or drugs, or both.

In closing, a reminder that a safe boater is a happy boater, and fun is what our boating experiences should all be about!

Respectfully Submitted

John Gullick
Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBAs)
Come and join us at the CASBAs on Sunday, January 20, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto. The 21st anniversary CASBA Gala will be a special evening for all: a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of individuals and organizations who have distinguished themselves in the field of boating safety and environmental stewardship, while also promoting the enjoyment of time spent on the water. You will have plenty of time to network with fellow marine professionals at the reception and while enjoying a sumptuous meal.

The deadline for registration is January 14th, 2019.Tickets are $150 a person, for which you will receive a charitable donation receipt for $50. Table assignment & seating will be provided at the event. Tables of 8 may be reserved for $1,200, for which you will receive a charitable donation receipt for $400.

New Fisheries and Oceans Arctic Region
On October 24, 2018 Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and Natan Obed, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, (ITK) announced the creation of a new Fisheries and Oceans Arctic Region, inclusive of the four regions of Inuit Nunangat. . This Region will have DFO and Coast Guard headquarters based in the North. The new Region will allow DFO and Coast Guard to:

  • enhance program and service delivery in the North and better meet the needs of these communities;
  • ensure that Northerners have a greater say in the Department’s decisions and operations
  • honour the Government of Canada’s commitment to reconciliation and a renewed relationship with the Indigenous peoples of the North; and
  • build partnerships, co-develop priorities and support the voice of Northerners.

Gabriel Nirlingayuk is the new Regional Director General for DFO and will be based out of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. Neil O’Rourke is the new Assistant Commissioner for the Coast Guard. He will be based in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

The Canadian Safe Boating Council has been working closely for a number of years with the Canadian Coast Guard, the Canadian Rangers, local communities and other partners to improve boating safety in the North, and we look forward to continued collaboration.

CSBC Membership Fees
In early 2018 the CSBC announced a new corporate membership fee of $ 500/yr. We offered a transition period under which the $500 corporate membership fee covers both 2018 and 2019. The CSBC Board has subsequently given this matter a great deal of thought and at the Oct 4 Board meeting in Victoria decided that going forward, the annual corporate rate will now be $ 250. This decision in no way affects corporate members who renewed their membership this year at the $ 500 for 2 years rate. 

The fee for individual membership remains at $75.

Click here for more information on the benefits of CSBC membership.
Proposed Amendments to the Navigation Safety Regulations
Transport Canada is proposing that a new regulatory package be introduced to amend its Navigation Safety Regulations . As part of these proposed regulatory changes, Transport Canada is asking for feedback from stakeholders. Share your ideas!

Send a written submission via the “Submissions” tab.
New Research from Maritime New Zealand
New research published by Maritime New Zealand in October shows that boaties’ (boaters’) safety behaviour has improved in the four key risk areas identified and targeted by the 23-member New Zealand Safer Boating Forum: lifejacket wearing behaviour is steady, and more boaties are checking the weather, taking two ways to call for help and avoiding alcohol when going out on the water.

Some key facts about boating in New Zealand in 2018:

  • 1.5 million adults (42% of New Zealanders) were involved in recreational boating.
  • Kayaks remain the most popular craft used by boaties (33%), followed by power boats under six metres (22%), and dinghies (11%).
  • 19 people died in recreational boating accidents on New Zealand waters. Of these, 18 were men - 14 over 40 years (the highest fatality group).
  • Lifejackets remain the most prevalent form of safety device taken on boating trips.
  • The number of boaties wearing their lifejackets all, or most of the time, on the water, remains stable at 75%.
  • The percentage of boaties having at least two ways to signal or call for help if needed ‘every time’ has risen to 43% in 2018 from 38% in 2017.
  • The percentage of boaties checking the weather before heading out on the water has risen to 85% in 2018 from 81% in 2017.
  • The decision to avoid alcohol ‘every time’ either before or during time on the water has risen from 61% in 2017 to 67% in 2018.

For more information go to:

In brief
Save the date: the next CSBC Symposium will be held in Port Credit, Ontario from September 18th - 20, 2019. And if the above article piqued your interest in boating safety in New Zealand, you’ll be glad to hear that Baz Kirk from Maritime New Zealand is an invited speaker!

The Government of Canada introduced the Budget Implementation Act on October 29, which includes proposed legislative changes to the Canada Shipping Act , 2001 and the Marine Liability Act. These changes deliver on commitments made under the Oceans Protection Plan to enable the government to respond to marine pollution incidents faster and more effectively, and to better protect marine ecosystems and habitats. Further information is available here:

The International Boating and Water Safety Summit will be held in Jacksonville, Florida from March 24 – 27, 2019. Click here for details.