When did these changes come into effect?
The updated Small Vessel Regulations were released by Transport Canada in April, 2010.
First Aid Kit Questions
Is the First Aid kit requirement per boat or per excursion?
The leader is the only one required to carry an approved first-aid kit.
We understand that the leader might move from boat to boat when demonstrating throughout the course or trip so the First Aid Kit needs to be with the "lead" boat not the "leader". The first aid kit needs to be accessible if there is an accident or it could affect insurance and PC certification/insurance if it is a PC sanctioned course.
What is meant by the requirement that equipment and material that is not in use must be "secured in place"?
This means equipment and material should be secured so it doesn't interfere with the individuals ability to paddle.
I teach or lead trips on water that is colder then 15c; does this now mean that everybody needs to be in dry or wet suits?
Though there are times when it is prudent to be in full immersion clothing, you are not required by law to at this time.
If you are teaching on cold water the regulation states that the instructor or guide will have equipment immediately available or have established procedures to protect against the effects of hypothermia. Examples if this could be extra warm clothing for each participant in a dry bag or a pre-established warm building onshore nearby.
What should the safety briefing cover?
With regards to the safety briefings: it could vary depending on the location (shelter lake to open lake easy to difficult river). Basic safety briefing would be safe paddling practices, basic rescue procedures, local and weather hazards, and paddling signals would be a good place to start (see the Paddle Canada program manuals).
Commercial Vessel Designation
I'm planning to go out paddling with my friends. Is that classed as a "guided excursion"?
No...If the trip isn't an organized or commercial event and nobody is taking on the roll as a leader then it would still be classified as a recreational activity but not a "guided excursion". So paddlers would not have to follow the 'guided excursion' rules and vessel regulations (considered pleasure-craft only).
I'm an instructor teaching a course, is my boat classed as a commercial vessel?
I'm a volunteer at a club leading an evening paddle. Is my boat classed as a commercial vessel?
I am in a leadership role and taking my friends out for a paddle. Is my canoe or kayak classified as a commercial vessel?
If you are in any type of leadership position while on the water (paid or unpaid) then your vessel is classified as a commercial vessel and thus falls under the commercial regulations.
The Minister made an announcement on March 17, 2011 that registration is no longer required for human-powered vessels, small sailing vessels and small vessels that are equipped with a motor less than 10 horsepower.