June 2023

New Canadian Safe Boating Council Board Elected

At the CSBC’s Annual General Meeting on May 24, 2023, the following slate of Directors and officers was elected:

Chair: Mike Dean

Vice Chair: Mal Blann

Treasurer: Joe Gatfield

Secretary: Ron Kroeker

Past Chair: John Gullick

Executive members at large: Peter Heard, Jean Murray


Returning Directors:

Barbara Byers, Ian Gilson, Lawrence Jacobs, Jason Krott, Michelle McShane, Dave Moffatt, Brenda Reeve, Steve Wagner plus above Executive

New Directors:

Lili Colby was elected to the Board.

Ian Campbell, Rick Cassels and Denis Vallée are stepping down from the Board.

Ex-officio observer: Robert Newsome, Chair, U.S. National Safe Boating Council

Directors Emeritus: Ted Fortuna and Michael Vollmer (CSBC Chair appointments)

CSBC incoming Chair Mike Dean thanked retiring Chair John Gullick for his guiding hand on the tiller during a time of change over the past year, and Joe Gatfield for carrying out the demanding responsibilities of both Past Chair and Treasurer over this period. He thanked Ian Campbell, Rick Cassels and Denis Vallée for their wisdom and contribution to the CSBC Board, as well as all the continuing Board members for their ongoing commitment. He warmly welcomed Lili Colby to the Board. The CSBC is a volunteer-based organization, and our growth as an influential and successful boating safety organization is thanks to the hard work and dedication of our Board, Committee Chairs and project leaders.

Coming in the August Newsletter: profiles of new Chair Mike Dean and new Board member Lili Colby.

Be a Better Boater This Season with CSBC’s New FREE BetterBoater App

The CSBC has created a new safety app called BetterBoater. It will provide you with an enormous amount of boating safety information that you need, INCLUDING a digital, searchable version of Transport Canada’s Safe Boating Guide. All of this safety information will be right in the palm of your hand, and with advance search capabilities, finding the right information is quick and easy. 


To help communicate the messages, the app is complete with a comprehensive video library full of great boating tips, as well as additional safety information on a variety of boat types and boating scenarios.


And to connect you with others in the boating community, there are even interactive features to allow and encourage boaters to share their own tips and information on boating and boating safety!


This is a must for every boater, and we encourage readers of the CSBC newsletter to download your own version of the app, and share its availability far and wide.


Visit www.betterboater.ca to learn more and download the app today! 

National Safe Boating Awareness Week 2023

National Safe Boating Awareness Week took place across Canada from May 20 to May 26, 2023. The purpose of this initiative, managed by the Canadian Safe Boating Council together with its partners, is to promote safe and responsible boating practices.

To help boaters focus on what is important, the CSBC and its partners promote five key boating safety messages directed towards the most common boating related incidents. They include:

  1. Wear Your lifejacket
  2. Boat Sober 
  3. Be Prepared, You and Your Vessel
  4. Take a Boating Course
  5. Be Cold Water Safe

To help deliver these messages, the CSBC works with a variety of boating and water safety groups and agencies and also depends on the participation of Canadian media to help get the boating safety messages out.

"Safe Boating is not just a week-long affair. To ensure an enjoyable boating trip for everyone, be safe and stay safe and always wear your lifejacket." – John Gullick, Chair, Canadian Safe Boating Council

“The number of boats on our waterways keeps growing - big and small, powered, sail, and human powered. When you venture out, be prepared and be safe." “ Josée Côté, Directrice Générale/General manager, Nautisme Québec

“When people think about driving impaired, they think about a car on the road. But operating a boat while impaired is just as dangerous and illegal.” – Jaymie-Lyne Hancock, President - MADD Canada

“We know that time spent outdoors is good for us, both physically and mentally. Outdoor activity continues to thrive, especially in paddling, and it is important for new and seasoned paddlers to be safe while enjoying their time on the water.” - Michelle McShane, Executive Director – Paddle Canada


For more information, go to www.sbaw.ca.

Just Announced: In-Person Cold Water Workshop, September 24/25, St. John’s, Newfoundland

In-Person Cold Water Immersion Workshops

The Canadian Safe Boating Council will be hosting a 1-Day (General Interest) and 2-day (Instructor) Cold Water Immersion/Rescue Workshops on:

September 24 & 25, 2023 from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm.

Location: Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club (108 Greenslades Rd, Conception Bay South, NL A1W 3J1)


Cost:    1-Day (General Interest) $185 – September 24, 2023

             2-Day (Instructor)           $400 – September 24 & 25, 2023


Instruction will be in English. Mornings will be spent in class while afternoons will be dockside.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own boats, if desired, to make the demonstration even more effective. (Please contact Ian Gilson if you wish to do so)


Registrants should bring their own lifejackets. Please advise if you need one to be supplied.


Cold Water Workshop topics include:

Mechanisms of Heat Loss, Thermal Protection Realities, Extraction Techniques, Triage of Hypothermic Victims, Re-Warming, Packaging, Transport and more.


The Instructors’ Course will provide the tools you need to successfully teach first responders the proper rescue and re-warming techniques that are necessary to help save lives.

Registration can be completed by going to the Canadian Safe Boating Council website www.csbc.ca and selecting Cold Water Workshop under “Events” or click here. Please note that the course instruction will be in English.

For more information, contact Ian Gilson at [email protected].

Consultation on Pleasure Craft Licensing Regulations

Text from Transport Canada

The proposed changes to the Small Vessel Regulations for licensing a pleasure craft have been published in the Canada Gazette, Part I. You have until July 12, 2023 to provide comments and feedback on these proposed regulations. You can provide your comments using the online commenting feature on the Canada Gazette website. For more information on this new feature, please visit the Canada Gazette information page “How to Comment on Proposed Regulations.”

The proposed amendments to the Small Vessel Regulations would enhance the quality of data collected in the Pleasure Craft Electronic Licensing System by:

  • establishing a 5-year validity period for all pleasure craft licences including those with lifetime licences
  • reducing the timeframe for licence holders to provide a change of information (i.e. name or address) from 90 days to 30 days
  • requiring the new owner of a pleasure craft to apply to transfer a pleasure craft licence upon purchasing the pleasure craft
  • expanding the Pleasure Craft Licensing requirements to include wind-powered pleasure craft above 6 metres in length. These updated requirements would not apply to human-powered pleasure craft, such as kayaks, canoes, and dragon boats
  • providing the Minister of Transport with the ability to cancel a pleasure craft licence for non-compliance or upon a licence holder’s request

The proposed changes would also include:

  • introducing a $24 fee for an initial (new), renewal, transfer, or a replacement pleasure craft licence. The proposed fee is different from earlier consultations to reflect the increasing delivery costs of providing the service
  • adjusting the $24 fee to keep pace with inflation
  • formalizing the current practice for Manufacturer Identification Code (MIC) holders to update their contact information within 30 days of the change

A pleasure craft licence is a document issued by Transport Canada which contains a unique licence number used to identify a vessel. This number allows authorities and search and rescue personnel to access important information in an emergency. It also supports efforts to maintain accountability and compliance with safety and environmental regulations.

Comments and feedback received during this consultation period will help inform the next step of the regulatory process which is publication in the Canada Gazette, Part II. Following the publication of the Regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part II, the regulations will come into force.

Québec Coroner Report on Drowning Death of Firefighter in Lachine Rapids Rescue

On 26 April, 2023 a Québec coroner issued a report on the drowning death of firefighter Pierre Lacroix in a rescue incident involving two boaters in the Lachine Rapids, Montreal on 17 October 2021. The 25 recommendations are directed at multiple agencies : the Québec Minister of Public Safety (provincial standards and policies re fire service boating rescue services), the City of Montreal and surrounding municipalities (navigation warnings and mapping), the Montreal Fire Safety Services, (training, equipment, procedures, services), the Canadian Coast Guard (aids to navigation) and Transport Canada (operator competency requirements).

For more information (in French only), go to Me Géhane Kamel dépose son rapport d’enquête publique (gouv.qc.ca)

In Brief

Marie-France MacKinnon to lead NMMA Canada as new Executive Director (boatingindustry.ca)

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