U.S. President Donald Trump has released his first budget, which includes a proposal to eliminate funding for a program that addresses water quality and environmental threats in the Great Lakes. The Agenda discusses what this could mean for Ontario, and whether Canada needs to step up its funding.
Click on the image below for a link to the program aired on TVOntario on March 22nd, 2017. Program length is 25 minutes.
The Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons are excited to announce their partnership with Transport Canada and CIL Dealers to undertake a project on education and awareness of safety equipment, the care and maintenance of that equipment and how to safely and effectively use and dispose of flares.
If your flares have a manufacture date of 2013 or earlier they have or will expire this year. You cannot light them or throw them in the water or throw them in your household garbage to dispose of them. Dealers are hosting Safety Equipment Education and Flare Disposal Days. On these days, you will be offered the opportunity to learn about required safety equipment and you can bring your outdated flares to be properly disposed of, free of charge.
In accordance with Transport Canada requirements, flares are approved for four years from the date of manufacture. Typically, this means that you need to replace your flares every third or fourth boating season. If they have expired or will expire during this boating season, you must replace them… it’s the law!
Andrew Hurlbut, GBA Director for Key River, has put together an excellent summary of the responsibilities a cottage owner needs to consider when renting or lending cottage boats.
Responsibilities of Cottage Owners who rent or lend cottage boats.
First, check with your insurance company – are there any issues?
If a cottage owner still chooses to make a boat available to a person renting a cottage they should be aware and ensure:
1) that anyone operating a boat with any type of motor must have proof of competency onboard for those that will operate the boat.
2) that the boat is sea worthy. Its against the law to knowingly allow any boat deemed unseaworthy to be taken out on the water. http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/FullText.html
3) that any boat with 10 hp or more is licenced with the proper markings on the bow and that the proper documentation is onboard.
4) that the boat has all required safety equipment onboard and that it is in good working order.
5) that it would be a good idea to include charts of the area, information about local marinas, and the numbers for the OPP and Coast Guard for assistance if needed.
Proof of Competency
The cottage owner must ensure that those who will be operating a power boat provided by the cottage owner have proof of competency. There are different forms of acceptable proof.
The most common form is the Pleasure Craft Operator Card.
For US citizens please note that Transport Canada has reciprocity agreements regarding competency with some US States.
From the Transport Canada Website : “For non-residents, proof of competency can take one of three forms:
- A Canadian-issued pleasure craft operator card.
- A completed boat rental safety check-list (for power-driven rental boats).
- An operator card or equivalent that meets the requirements of their state or country.”
Its the cottage owners job to determine if competency requirements are met.
If there is any doubt contact Transport Canada.
the following links lists the acceptable proof of competency:
Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations:
Small Vessel Regulations:
Ontario’s government has amended the Public Lands Act so that most docks and boathouses may not require work permits (i.e. permits to allow construction) or land use permits (i.e. authorization to occupy the Crown lake bed). Robert Moos, GBA Secretary, provides an important update on these amendments – here.
The following article is from the Washington Post March 24, 2017
How eliminating two EPA programs could affect large parts of America
President Trump proposed to slash the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by 31 percent, the biggest cut of any federal agency, in addition to eliminating a fifth of its workforce. Efforts to clean up the Great Lakes are among the more than 50 programs that would be eliminated. Read more here
There has been a lot in the US news about the upcoming budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Act (EPA). Several sources have indicated that the cuts to the EPA will have a direct severe impact on the Great Lakes Protection Fund activities. This is of grave concern to the GBA. We will continue to monitor and communicate information on this threat as it becomes available.
Attached are a number of items that regarding the recent discussion around the cuts to spending on Great Lakes protection proposed by the Trump Administration.
In order these are;
- Some key talking points to reference when talking with government officials.
- A sample letter to President Trump that has been written by Healing Our Water Coalition.
- A response that one of our US members received from her Congress representative.
- A Globe and Mail article on the importance of water to Canadians.
- A Globe and Mail article on Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna’s meeting with her US counterpart to discuss the importance of maintaining funding of Great Lakes protection.
We will keep you posted on this important issue as it unfolds.
Since we all spend our precious summer and holiday times on or near Georgian Bay it’s important to learn as much as we can about keeping it that way. Sometimes it’s good to look at the experience of others so that either we don’t make the same mistakes or we can learn good practices. If you spend your summers on Georgian Bay but live near Hamilton here’s the event for you: Tuesday March 28th, Hamilton Spectator Auditorium, 44 Frid St, Hamilton, Ontario, parking is available, RSVP below here.
Going boating? Boat Safely from Port to Port.
Just launched! The Discover Boating Safety app is only available in Canada and designed to keep you, your friends and family safe when you’re out on the water. It has all the info, tips and tools you need for boating safely in Canada, including navigation buoys, checklists, emergency contacts and much more.
Some features of the Discover Boating Safety app include:
- Be prepared! A pre-boat launch section provides several handy checklists to help make departures a breeze. It provides the minimum legally required boat safety equipment for every boat type or length, passenger briefing notes, basic boating safety suggestions, a handy trailering checklist and more.
- Plan your trip! Every boater knows to check the weather before they leave land. With guidelines on what to look for, links to active online marine forecasts as well as national radio and phone services, boaters can easily check the latest weather before departing. An interactive easy to use float plan builder provides a summary of your boat, crew and trip details that every boater should send to someone staying on shore just in case of emergency.
- Reference Guide! Filled with everything from lifejacket basics to visual references for navigation buoys and more, this section has the most information and will be referenced time and again. It includes links to rules and regulations and best practices for a variety of topics.
- What do to in an Emergency! This section includes safety procedures as well as contact numbers for Search and Rescue, RCMP, and most municipal marine police units. Boaters should take the time to review all aspects of this section well before they leave.
It works online, offline and offshore. You can find further details at www.discoverboating.ca/appsandtools.aspx and the app is available for free from the Apple and Google Play stores by searching for the app name, Discover Boating Safety. It is available in English and French as of January 2017 and will be available in Mandarin in 2018.
Please consider participating in this loon survey in your area of Georgian Bay this summer. Learn more on how to get involved by going to the Bird Studies Canada website – here
With its black and white plumage, large profile and haunting calls the Common Loon is Canada’s most iconic and beloved inhabitant of our lakes. But this ancient predator is undergoing systemic and increasing human pressure; pressures great enough that loons may someday be unable to maintain their current population levels. A concern verified by Canadian Lakes Loon Survey data that suggests Common Loon reproduction has declined over the last 30 years.
Canadian Lakes Loon Survey participants have worked since 1981 to track Common Loon reproductive success by monitoring chick hatch and survival. Participants dedicate at least three dates, visiting their lake once in June (to see if loon pairs are on territory), once in July (to see if chicks hatch) and once in August (to see if chicks survive long enough to fledge).
Participants also work as stewards within their communities sharing knowledge of better boating, fishing and shoreline practices, not only protecting and supporting loons but the many other aquatic species that share our waterways.
Families, lake property owners, fishermen and boaters can all help monitor the health of their favourite lake. By participating in the Canadian Lakes Loon Survey they will take their recreational activities to another level – active participation in science towards conservation.