• We apologize for the somewhat convoluted sign-up process. Due to ever-more sophisticated attacks by chatbots, we had to increase our filtering in order to weed out AI while letting humans through. It's a nuisance, but a necessary one in order to keep the level of discourse on the forums authentic and useful. From the actual humans using WCP, thanks for your understanding!

Leaders of club trips must register their kayak

Here's hoping that Nootka is right. If not, it will be an unmanageable procedure for clubs to have leaders in registered boats. A club cannot register boats unless they own them. To expect everyone that might lead a club paddle to register their boat is also unreasonable. The first aid kit, manifest and other safety items in the regulations seem quite reasonable and sensible (though having, and potentially administering, 48 doses of analgesic is counter to what guides are taught in the wilderness first aid courses they are expected to take!).
Let's hope we get some clarity from TC soon and in the mean time...
If I am leading a group of vehicles to the launch point, does that make my auto a commercial vehicle? No.
If I convey someone else's kayak to the launch point, does that make my auto a commercial vehicle? No.
If I am a designated driver, does that make my auto a commercial vehicle? No.
If I winch someone out of a ditch, does that make my truck a commercial vehicle? No.

"Providing a service" does not equal "commercial vehicle".

Can Transport Canada employees make up laws that do not exist in legislation?
I think not.
I wonder if the interpretation regarding a non-paid 'leader' stems from other legal precedents.

It is my understanding (and I'm no lawyer), after having sat through a number of risk-management seminars, that there is a basis for legal liability for someone who is the 'assumed' leader.

For instance:
- If you take a group of friends hiking, un-paid, up to a mountain top, using your skills and knowledge, to places they individually would never have gone alone, you become the implied 'leader', and assume some measure of liability.

- If one goes kayaking with a friend, both of you are at a similar level of skill, but you lead him to somewhere they have not been, but they could have gone indepenantly, you are not the assumed leader, and do not carry the same level of liability.

- If one takes a group kayaking, and lead them to an area, or teach skills which they would not do otherwise, where you are the one 'leading', you assume some liability.

I'm just trying to figure out why TC might be interpreting the act in that manner.
nootka said:
The legislation itself is quite clear; one just needs to ignore the Paddle Canada website.

Yes! And thank you Nootka for digging through this. You inspired me to read the actual legislation and figure things out too. I came up with many inaccuracies as well. What an unnecessary panic :yikes: :yikes: :yikes: for clubs and other paddlers.

For commercial paddlers some things worth noting. (a.k.a. breathe) :mrgreen:

First aid kit regulations state the long list AND a 3 year exception if you already have a first aid kit:
8.(2) Instead of a first aid kit referred to in subsection
(1), a first aid kit that meets the requirements of the
Small Vessel Regulations as they read immediately before
the day on which these Regulations came into force
may be carried on board a vessel for a period of three
years after that day unless the kit is replaced before the
end of that period.

And class three waters is defined differently than some organizations do:
300. The following definitions apply in this Part.
“class 3 or above waters” means waters that have
(a) rapids with moderate and irregular waves; or
(b) rapids that are stronger, have more obstructions or
are otherwise more difficult to navigate than rapids
with moderate and irregular waves.

vanislepaddler said:
there is a basis for legal liability for someone who is the 'assumed' leader.

Vanislepaddler - you have also pointed out an important point - The Duty to Care
This has always applied and still will. On the other hand, this type of leader does not need to meet certification requirements! Why should they need to put numbers on boats? :wink:

Maybe this whole numbering thing will eventually lead to an industry certification standard for "commercial" leaders and guides - which opens another can of worms that is too much to insert into this educational post.

On the other hand, it may be worthwhile opening another forum and to discuss the implications of the Duty of Care for volunteer leaders! :big_thumb
More ammo ...
What is a small commercial vessel?

A small commercial vessel is regarded as any commercial vessel up to 150 gross tonnage, in operation, carrying a maximum of 100 passengers (100 unbearthed, 25 berthed). Excluding commercial fishing vessels, other commercial vessels include workboats, tugboats, boom boats and other non-passenger vessels, and special purpose vessels/non-conventional vessels such as white water rafting, air cushion vehicles, amphibious and sail training vessels.
What does the term commercial mean?

Small vessels fall under two categories; pleasure craft for pleasure use and; non-pleasure craft used for commercial purposes. Commercial relates to vessels that are primarily operating for profit, normally with paying passengers.

A commercial vessel is also considered a non-pleasure craft. Commercial vessels are business operated and include vessels managed by federal, provincial and municipal departments and agencies.

How do I determine if I'm carrying passengers or guests?

The basic consideration when deciding which category a vessel should fit is whether the person(s) carried on board are passengers or not.

The situation is clearer where the vessel owner also operates it and there is no form of charter party in existence. In this situation, you have to examine the relationship between the owner and the people on board. If any of them are paying money for their carriage on the vessel, then they will be deemed to be passengers and the vessel will come within Transport Canada’s regime. If the owner is receiving any form of remuneration for the use of the vessel, even if not directly from the persons carried, then they will be passengers. If the persons are guests, there is no form of remuneration and the vessel is being used exclusively for pleasure they will not be passengers and the vessel will be under pleasure craft regime. This would include the situation where an owner invites some friends for a trip on his pleasure craft. If the sole purpose of the trip is pleasure and there is no commercial element or intent then they will not be passengers.
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/de ... al-502.htm

Examples of Non-Pleasure Craft (Commercial) and Pleasure Craft (Recreational)

Non-Pleasure Craft

* Vessels transporting cargo for profit.
* Vessels carrying passengers.
* Vessels rented with a crew.
* A guided charter fishing vessel.

Pleasure Craft

* Privately owned vessels used for recreational purposes.
* A privately owned vessel used to entertain your guests.
* Rented vessels used for recreational purposes where friends are invited and contribute money for expenses.
* Vessel used to transport persons or goods as a favour.
* Vessel used as an essential means of transportation.
* Vessel provided with a rented cottage.
* Vessel occasionally chartered or rented out by owner to third parties for recreational purposes. Rental does not include crew.
* A rental vessel operated by the individual renting the vessels (no crew), including the period when an 'orientation skipper' is on board.
* Kayak, canoe, or personal watercraft (e.g., jet ski) lesson.
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/tp ... 0-2884.htm

(Not permitted to carry passengers)

1. Rented vessels used for recreational purposes:
a) Yacht;
b) Sailboards;
c) Personal Watercraft (PWCs);
d) Fishing boat (fishing camp);
e) House boat - friends invited, they don’t contribute money;
f) House boat - friends invited, they contribute money;
g) Kayak/canoe/personal water craft tour;
h) Kayak/canoe/personal water craft tour as part of summer camp activity;
i) Kayak/canoe/personal water craft lesson; or
j) Kayak/canoe/personal water craft lesson as part of summer camp activity.

2. Boating education/training schools:
a) Sail Boat Instruction, 10 persons or less on board (day sailing only) - contract in place for provision of sail training and affiliated with yacht clubs;
b) Power or sail boating school – contract in place for instruction only; or
c) Watercraft training vessels – contract in place for instruction only.

3. Situational examples:
a) Boat used to transport person or goods as a favour (no remuneration and no commercial purpose whatsoever).
b) Boat used as an essential means of transportation for one person/persons (no remuneration).
c) Boats provided with a rented cottage.
d) Boat used for subsistence activities, e.g. fishing and hunting.
e) Safety craft operated by yacht club with skipper and "spotter", e.g. club launch and standby vessels for races.
f) Privately-owned and used recreational craft.
g) Privately-owned yacht used to entertain owner’s guests.
h) Outboard motorboat used exclusively for pleasure at a cottage.
i) Cabin cruiser, occasionally rented out by owner to third parties for them to use for weekend or weeks to cruise on their own.
j) Pontoon houseboat rented out by owner for "U-Drive" cruising/camping vacations.
k) Sailboat, bareboat (no crew) chartered/rented for a period of time.
l) Any vessel converted to private/personal use without commercial component.
m) "U-drive" rentals that are operated/navigated by individuals renting the vessels.
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/policy/report-a ... 8e-845.htm
It looks like PFDs are acceptable on commercial vessels only during guided excursions:
Red, orange and yellow are the only life jacket colours approved for use on commercial vessels.
Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) are designed for use aboard pleasure craft. PFD are not approved for use on commercial vessels.
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/tp ... 0-2909.htm

Quick Facts on Solas Lifejackets
* Approved by international standards for all vessels in Canadian waters.
* Mandatory onboard commercial vessels (i.e. fishing vessels, ferries and ocean-going vessels.) (Option to carry either standard lifejacket or SOLAS lifejacket.)
* When worn correctly these devices will turn you on your back to keep your face out of the water, whether conscious or unconscious.
* Must be worn loose to allow the water to flow under the device in order to turn you face up.
* Have retro-reflective tape and a whistle.
* Red, orange or yellow are the only Canadian approved colors for these kinds of devices.
* Available in 2 sizes; persons over 32 kg (70 lbs.), persons less than 32 kg.
Due to these requirements, foam filled SOLAS lifejackets are bulky and less comfortable than any other devices.
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/de ... s-1179.htm

However, the SVR says that PFDs are acceptable during a guided excursion:
303. (1) A person responsible for an enterprise that conducts guided excursions and the leader of a guided excursion shall ensure that
(a) every participant in the excursion wears the following safety equipment:
(i) a personal flotation device or lifejacket of an appropriate size
http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p2/2010/ ... 1-eng.html

So it looks like a a paddler in a commercial vessel can wear a PFD during a guided excursion but has to wear a lifejacket at other times.
Nootka - I'd interpret the wording regarding lifejackets vs PFD to mean:

Paddler in a Commercial Vessel must have a LIFEJACKET.

The guide in a commercial vessel must ensure the participants wear a PFD or Lifejacket.

303. (1) A person responsible for an enterprise that conducts guided excursions and the leader of a guided excursion shall ensure that
(a) every participant in the excursion wears the following safety equipment:
(i) a personal flotation device or lifejacket of an appropriate size

This quote does not say a 'guide' can wear a PFD while 'guiding'. This applies only to the 'participant' not the 'guide'.

Trust me... I'm not happy about wearing a lifejacket, and really wonder how this will play out. *sigh
VIP: after further reflection, I agree with you.

Regarding inflatables:
However, SOLAS inflatable lifejackets are a lot more comfortable and compact. They inflate automatically on immersion but can also be inflated manually or by mouth.
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/de ... s-1179.htm

I can't see an inflatable lifejacket being much use if it inflates automatically on immersion.
Operators of small commercial vessels require a SVOP or a PCOC.

Transport Canada approved SVOP is required for all small commercial vessels (November 2009).

Now, anyone operating a small commercial vessel must have either a:
* PCOC (Pleasure Craft Operators Certificate)
* SVOP (Small Vessel Operator Proficiency) Certificate
http://www.ravenrescue.com/index.php/fa ... boat-for-/

The other source of confusion is that we’ve found that most front line employees at Transport Canada don’t understand who needs what, and in fact, some “higher ups” will even provide incorrect information.
To sort this out, we kept trying until we found a Transport Canada employee who really knew what they were talking about. We hit “gold” when we contacted Captain Diane Couture, Nautical Certification and Examination, Transport Canada, who personally wrote a good chunk of the new legislation and understands its implications inside out.

Who Requires a PCOC?
A PCOC is required if you are the operator of a small commercial vessel that is:
* under 8 metres (~26.3’) in length
* in sheltered waters (see definition below)
* not carrying more than six passengers (see definition below)
* not conveying any paying passengers
* not towing another vessel
A PCOC is still all that is required if:
* the boat is not carrying any passengers and provided the operator does not travel more than two nautical miles from shore on a body of water classified as near coastal, Class 2 (see definition below).
Near coastal, Class 2 voyage: Defined by Transport Canada as a voyage where the vessel is not more than 25 miles from shore.
Sheltered waters voyage: Defined by Transport Canada as a voyage:
* on a body of water that is a lake or river above tidal waters, where a vessel can never be further than one nautical mile from the closest shore (ie. the lake or river can’t be more than two miles wide at any point)
* larger bodies of water and coastal waters including bays, inlets and harbours listed in Transport Canada’s “Schedule 1: Sheltered Waters” during specified times of year. For example, sheltered waters include Nanaimo Harbour all year round, and Toronto’s Outer Harbour between May 1 and October 31. Transport Canada’s current list of “Sheltered Waters” can be obtained here: http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/SOR-2007- ... anchorsc:1
Post worth highlighting from the ccr website re:pfds between one of the users and TC rep.

Wow! I emailed Luc Tremblay today and he responded. Very impressive. He also clarifies the requirement for PFDs vs lifejackets.

Dear Mr ,

The part 3 of the Small Vessel Regulations are the correct requirements for canoes and kayaks that are not pleasure craft. PFD are acceptable as stated in 310.(1).

The information in the Small Commercial Vessel Safety Guide - TP 14070 E (2004) is based on the previous edition of the Small Vessel Regulations. The updated guide should be on-line soon. A copy of the new guide is attached, extract from page 47 below, you will see the exception for human-powered vessels in line with the new Small Vessel Regulations.


Luc Tremblay
Manager Small Vessels | Gestionnaire Petits bâtiments
Design, Equipment, and Boating Safety (AMSR) | Conception, Équipement, et Sécurité nautique (AMSR)
Marine Safety | Sécurité maritime
Transport Canada | Transports Canada
330 Sparks St. | 330 rue Sparks
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8
luc.tremblay@tc.gc.ca *** New/Nouveau ***
Telephone | Téléphone : (613) 990-2068
Facsimile | Télécopieur : (613) 991-4818
Government of Canada | Gouvernement du Canada

Original post: http://www.myccr.com/SectionForums/view ... &start=180
The new rules read like the recreation industry has been consulted and the public recreation community has not. End result is the regulation has been written to suit the recreation industry. Hence the idea of leadership as a service because in the recreation industry that is what a customer is paying for. The public recreation community is getting screwed because TC thinks the recreation industry is speaking for everyone. ...And my view of the recreation industry (a view that has been getting much worse of late) is that they would make no attempt to disabuse TC of that notion... What better way to get the public recreation community off the water so we won't be competing for the recreation resource.
In fact, last year's revisions made no changes to registration requirements, Transport Canada spokeswoman Maryse Durette said. Human-powered, non-pleasure vessels have been required to be registered since July 2007, she said.
Toronto Star Feb 25 2011

What happened in 2007? The Canada Shipping Act 2001 became law.

The Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (CSA 2001)
came into effect on July 1, 2007, announced the Honourable Lawrence Cannon,
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.
http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/arch ... c3204.html

What are the changes in the CSA 2001?

The CSA 1985 definitions:
"pleasure craft" means a vessel used by an individual for pleasure and not for a commercial purpose
"ship", except in Parts II, XV and XVI, includes
___ (a) any description of vessel used in navigation and not propelled by oars
"vessel" includes any ship or boat or any other description of vessel used or designed to be used in navigation

The CSA 2001 definitions:
"pleasure craft" means a vessel that is used for pleasure and does not carry passengers, and includes a vessel of a prescribed class
"ship" is not defined
"vessel" means a boat, ship or craft designed, used or capable of being used solely or partly for navigation in, on, through or immediately above water, without regard to method or lack of propulsion, and includes such a vessel that is under construction. It does not include a floating object of a prescribed class.

So the CSA 2001 applies to canoes & kayaks.
However, we see that the CSA 2001 definition of a "pleasure craft" is less restrictive; it does not have to be used by an individual; it does not specifically prohibit "commercial purpose".

Note that the CSA 2001 does not include the phrases "guided excursion" or "commercial vessel".

All non-pleasure (commercial) vessels, including any non-powered vessel such as canoes or kayaks, must be registered with Transport Canada.
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/tp ... 84.htm#3-1

The above is a reasonable statement of what has changed.
There has been no re-definition of what is a commercial vessel (not legally, that is).
Someone on myccr posted a link to this CBC Ontario interview with a woman who represents Ontario summer camps. Listen here:


What is most interesting is that the communications director from Transport Minister Chuck Strahl's office contacted CBC and said: "....common-sense will prevail in this matter.‪‪ The Minister of Transport has instructed his officials to quickly review and provide options that address these onerous registration requirements, while continuing to ensure the safety of Canadian boaters.‪‪" See the full comment on the site above.

Now's the time to keep the momentum going by writing to the Transport Minister and expressing your concerns. Chuck Strahl's email: mintc@tc.gc.ca

I cant stand this Conservative government, even former Conservative party leaders hate Harper and his government. Nothing they do is ever based on sound public policy, only ideological motivations based on their agenda driven values of division and antagonism to meaningless ends.
A national cbc news story with another video from the website:

this is clipped from that cbc.ca newsstory:

Many canoeists and kayakers are confused and worried about new federal regulations that re-classify their boats as commercial vessels.
The Transport Canada regulations, brought in last fall, will require everyone from professional outfitters to people leading recreational boat trips to fill out five separate forms, measure their boat and pay a $50 fee.

Federal Transport Minister Chuck Strahl's office told CBC News in an email that the department is reviewing the policy, and that "common sense would prevail." But boaters are still concerned it could affect their summer paddling plans.
Scouts Canada said it's being asked to register any boat being used on a recreational trip led by a volunteer or instructor, a daunting task for the organization that has 1,000 watercraft.

"It's very difficult to figure out from the information that's available on the (Transport Canada) website what exactly is required to come into compliance," said Janet Yale, CEO of Scouts Canada.
"I can tell you that it would be a huge hardship for an organization like ours, given how close the summer camping season is, to try and comply," Yale said.

Paddlers look for way to dodge rules
Ottawa's YMCA Canoe Camping Club has 300 members, and goes on about 200 trips each year ranging from quick picnics to multiple day portaging expeditions.
Peter Kasurak said the club's members are already figuring out how to dodge the new rules.

"There's going to be considerable debate about what we do next," Kasurak said.
"Some of the members of the club would like to get out from under the regulations and might actually change our trip organization to be leaderless on the water.

It's unclear how the policy came into place. Strahl's office blamed a Liberal Party policy put in place around 10 years ago.
"Unless and until we understand the rationale for the rule, it's hard to understand why it applies and what the logic is for putting it in place," Yale said.

Both Yale and Kasurak are calling on Transport Canada to communicate the changes more clearly before the boating season begins.
Re: leaders of club trips must register their kayak - NOT

“Can we make it easy for you to go boating with your Boy Scout group? I’m sure we can and I’ve instructed officials to find a way to do that,” Strahl said in an interview Monday.
Toronto Star
Mr. Graham Ketcheson
Executive Director
Paddle Canada ...

Dear Mr. Ketcheson:

Transport Canada appreciates Paddle Canada's efforts to raise awareness about the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and regulations.

However, several inaccuracies in the following web pages on the Small Vessel Regulations and Vessel Registration gained significant media attention:

http://www.paddlecanada.com/resources/i ... sions.html
http://www.paddlecanada.com/latest-news ... s-faq.html
http://www.paddlecanada.com/resources/i ... ation.html

Diane Cosentino, Chief, Registrar in Operations & Environmental Programs of Transport Canada Marine Safety will be contacting you shortly in order to discuss the specifics of these web pages.

Please note that Transport Canada is currently reviewing the Vessel Registration and Tonnage Regulations for human-powered non-pleasure vessels and examining the feasibility of exemptions for certain groups so that registration is sensible, efficient and fair for all Canadian boaters. We will ensure that you are advised as to the outcome of this review.

Thank you for your consideration, and our thanks to Paddle Canada for raising awareness of marine safety among your members.

Yours truly,
Donald Roussel
Director General, Marine Safety
Transport Canada

from Canadian Canoe Routes

What does Paddle Canada have to say?
Some inaccuracies were apparently posted on Paddle Canada's website regarding the Vessel Registration summary pages
Boat registration is essentially on hold for the moment. If you go to the Transport Canada link describing registration

http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/marinesafety/oe ... es-457.htm

there is a new special link labeled "Note for human-powered non-pleasure vessels (e.g. canoes or kayaks)."

This says:

"Note: Transport Canada is currently reviewing the Vessel Registration and Tonnage Regulations for human-powered non-pleasure vessels and examining the feasibility of exemptions for certain groups, so that registration is sensible, efficient and fair for all Canadian boaters."

I assume that "certain groups" will include paddling clubs. If so, this may be welcome news. As a club member (SISKA), I have not been happy with the idea that our 24-30 volunteer leaders and instructors will have to register their boats when non volunteer club members are not required to do this. I estimate it would cost our club $1,200-$1,500 this year, since we would feel obliged to cover our volunteers' fees. (We have it on pretty good authority that we cannot pay one flat fleet fee, unlike commercial guiding companies with fleets.