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National Industry Standards for Paddling


Last fall Paddle Canada approached Parks Canada about a proposal to establish a set of national standards for all paddle sports activities. In return Parks Canada wrote a letter of support back to us in January 2013, stating that “Parks Canada strongly supports the establishment of national standards for activities that take place at its parks and sites…… (Parks Canada) recommend that your organization participate in the consultations to establish national standards for all paddling activities”. This process will require the participation of many stakeholders including provincial and local paddling associations.  This will serve Parks Canada better,  in helping them issue Business Licenses for paddling programs in their National Parks.  The hope is that this set of standards will be available as necessary to help other federal, provincial government and municipalities in their own processes.

The process of Business Licences has been at times problematic for some of Paddle Canada instructor members wanting to run PC courses within National Parks.  Parks Canada feels they are unqualified to make the decision about who should or should not get such a license. The business licenses are required under Parks Canada Policy for commercial activities within their boundaries.

We have offered to put these recommendations together and have assured them that we will consult with the wider paddling community in an inclusive process.


The simplest solution for Parks Canada is for PC to hand them a list of organizations or certifications that would be approved to operate within their park boundaries.  To do this we have to make a comparative list.

The Vision:

  • provide a mechanism to ensure that applicants for business licenses within National Parks meet the required guidelines
  • provide a list of guidelines for operating within the park that both the applicant and Parks Canada have access to.
  • Keep it simple for everyone
  • be inclusive
  • be accommodating to regions and activities
  • be rigorous
  • be transparent
  • Be able to back up all our work in a court of law.

A face to face meeting with Parks and Paddle CAnada directors and Executive Director, Graham Ketcheson,  took place Jan 25, 2013 in Ottawa. A task force committee including SKGABC is working on this task.

Questions and comments may be directed to committee chair, Rick Wise at [email protected]