OTTAWA, Canada – Today, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, launched North American Safe Boating Awareness Week and announced new funding under Transport Canada’s Boating Safety Contribution Program for initiatives that promote safe boating practices and behaviours in Canada.
The Program includes two components – one geared towards recreational boating safety and the other focused on safe boating practices onboard small commercial fishing vessels. This year, under the Recreational Boating Safety component, five organizations are receiving a total of $1.3 million over three years for education and awareness projects. These projects aim to increase the number of pleasure craft operators following safe boating practices, and also to reduce injuries, loss of life and property damage due to boating accidents.
The Minister also announced a new call for proposals under the Recreational Boating Safety component for the 2017 boating season. Proposals will be accepted until October 15, 2016.
“As a former mariner, I know how important safety is when it comes to being on a boat. I am pleased to see that, year after year, our partners and stakeholders are onboard with our efforts to promote the importance of safe boating practices across the country. Together, we are making our waterways safer and working to reduce boating fatalities and injuries.”
The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport
• North American Safe Boating Awareness Week 2016, which is taking place from May 21 to 27, promotes a wide range of safe boating practices to the estimated 10 million recreational boaters in Canada.
• On average, 100 boating fatalities happen annually on Canadian waters. About 90 per cent of people who drown in recreational boating incidents are not wearing a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD).
• In Canada, all recreational boats with a motor of 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) or more are required to have a pleasure craft license.
Boating Safety Contribution Program
Recreational Boating Safety component 2016-2017 funding recipients:
Canadian Safe Boating Council (Toronto, ON)
The Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) will receive up to $915,400 for a three-year national project to raise knowledge and awareness about safe boating practices among boaters and the public across Canada. The project will include prevention activities, promotional campaigns and research. CSBC will also develop a mobile application to provide users with information about safe boating practices, and undertake research about attitudes towards wearing life jackets in Canada’s north.
Association maritime du Québec (Montréal, QC)
The Association maritime du Québec (AMQ) will receive up to $270,570 for a three-year provincial project that will support safety awareness and education initiatives to encourage boaters to adopt safe boating behaviours. The campaign will target various marine sectors, including marinas, sports federations, regional sports clubs & associations and sports stations throughout Quebec. The AMQ will develop videos and outreach materials and hold an exhibition of Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) during boat shows and other events.
Paddle Newfoundland & Labrador (St. John’s, NL)
Paddle Newfoundland & Labrador will receive up to $35,919 for a three-year provincial project to provide education to its membership and the general public about safe paddling in cold water environments. A bi-annual newsletter, evening presentations and pool sessions in Gander and St. John’s will provide paddlers with the opportunity to learn and improve their rescue and boat handling techniques. In the second and third years of the project, the course content will be expanded to include swift water rescue and CPR/First Aid.
Labrador Hunting and Fishing Association (Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL)
The Labrador Hunting and Fishing Association will receive up to $78,000 towards a three-year regional project. The project will promote safe boating practices in the Upper Lake Melville area – targeting primarily hunting and recreational fishing communities within central Labrador. During the summer months, the Association will have a permanent booth at a public dock with printed outreach materials in English, Innu-Aimun and Inuktitut available. A mobile promotional booth will also be set-up at various community events to help gather statistics about current boating practices in the region.
Canadian Power and Sails Squadrons (Toronto, ON)
The Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPSS) will receive up to $58,425 for a three-year national project. The project will offer recreational boaters a basic safety check that includes: required safety equipment, operator competency, vessel licensing and other boating safety information.