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Archived - Government of Canada launches North American Safe Boating Awareness Week with new funding for boating safety projects

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May 15, 2015 – Wiarton, Ontario – Transport Canada

Today the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, joined by Larry Miller, Member of Parliament for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, launched North American Safe Boating Awareness Week and announced new funding for boating safety projects under Transport Canada’s Boating Safety Contribution Program (BSCP).

The BSCP is a contribution funding program that promotes boating safety in Canada by financially supporting initiatives that highlight the importance of safe boating practices. The program includes two components – one geared towards recreational boating safety and the other focused on safe boating practices onboard small commercial fishing vessels. The BSCP provides funding of up to 75 per cent of the total eligible cost of a project.

This year, under the Recreational Boating Safety component of the BSCP, five organizations are receiving a total of over $1 million for education and awareness projects that aim to increase the number of pleasure craft operators who follow safe boating practices, and that help to reduce loss of life, injuries and property damage due to boating accidents.

The Minister also announced a call for applications under the Recreational Boating Safety component of the BSCP for additional projects that promote safe boating practices which would start in the 2016 boating season. Applications will be accepted until October 15, 2015.

Since 2009, through the Boating Safety Contribution Program, the Government of Canada has provided approximately $2.9 million for 54 recreational boating safety projects across Canada.

The Commercial Fishing Safety component of the BSCP was launched in April 2015. Under this component, up to $300,000 per year over three years is available to support education and awareness initiatives that promote safe boating practices onboard small commercial fishing vessels across the country. Applications for funding under this component will be accepted until June 15, 2015.

Quick Facts

  • North American Safe Boating Awareness Week 2015, which is taking place from May 16 to 22, 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). If you remember only one thing about boating safety, it should be to always wear your lifejacket or PFD when on or near the water. It could save your life!
  • In Canada, all recreational boats with a motor of 10 horsepower (7.5 kW) or more must have a pleasure craft licence. It is the law. Download, complete and print the PDF Application for Pleasure Craft Licence online.
  • If you’re operating a motorized boat in Canada, you need to carry a proof of competency and a piece of personal identification.  One example is a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) that shows you know how to operate your boat safely and what to do in an emergency. Get a PCOC by taking a boating safety course in person or online, and passing the final test. Visit to find Transport Canada accredited course providers.
  • Don’t cruise with booze! Impaired driving, whether on land or water, is illegal and punishable under the Criminal Code of Canada.
  • Abandoned or wrecked boats are dangerous. Keep your boat in good condition now and recycle or dispose of it responsibly later. Abandoned boats and wrecks can cause marine navigation hazards, public safety risks, environmental threats, and can result in significant costs for communities. To increase awareness of responsible boat ownership, Transport Canada recently launched a new webpage that outlines boat owner responsibilities, impacts of abandoned boats, end-of-life boat management options, and key contact information.


“The safety of Canadians is a top priority of the Government of Canada. 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 Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport

“Local waterways are very busy during the summer months, so safety is of utmost importance. Boating with friends and family can be a great activity for aIl ages and I encourage local boaters to engage in safe and responsible boating practices to ensure everyone’s safety when on the water this boating season.”
Larry Miller
Member of Parliament for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound

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Zach Segal
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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