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A man in a whitewater kayak about to surf in a whitewater hole.
Location: Roseway River, Nova Scotia. Photo credit: Karl Vollmer

Paddle Canada Intoxicants Policy

The Paddle Canada Intoxicants Policy is to outline Paddle Canada’s direction to instructors and students as to the appropriate consumption of intoxicants in order to reduce risk and liability.


“Intoxicant” is defined as follows for this policy:

Intoxicant means a substance that, if taken into the body, has the potential to impair or alter judgment, behaviour or the capacity to recognize reality or meet the ordinary demands of life, but does not include caffeine, nicotine or any authorized medication used in accordance with directions given by a registered health care professional.


  1. No intoxicants shall be consumed by any participant or instructor(s) eight hours prior of any instructional activities. Where appropriate, an instructor may further limit the use of intoxicants by students and instructors on the course to ensure a safe and respectful learning environment.
  2. It is the responsibility of every Paddle Canada instructor to remove a candidate from a course, or cease training, if she or he feels the candidate is under the influence of intoxicants.
  3. It is the responsibility of the instructor to brief students before the commencement of each course on the Paddle Canada Intoxicants Policy and their responsibility to maintain a respectful and safe environment for other students and instructors alike.
  4. It is the responsibility of the student to conform to this policy.

Last updated: May 2011 by the Instruction & Safety Committee.