Update from Transport Canada Office on Vessel Registration

Transport Canada is currently taking the month of March to review all the Small Vessel Registration processes pertaining to kayaks and canoes… 

Paddle Canada has received an official letter from Transport Canada – Safety and Security Office in Ontario today, in the wake of the significant media attention on the issue of vessel registration. This was followed up with a phone meeting between Graham Ketcheson, Executive Director Paddle Canada, Diane Cosentino, Chief Registrar in Operations & Environmental Programs of Transport Canada Marine Safety and Kevin Monahan, Project Manager Regulatory Services and Quality Assurance (AMSX) Transport Canada. Some inaccuracies were apparently posted on Paddle Canada’s website regarding the Vessel Registration summary pages.  We will be working with TC to correct the wording in the next few days.   It should be noted that a Paddle Canada’s sub-committee worked very long and hard on these TC summary pages over a period of several months.  Every possible attempt to contact Transport Canada and to extract the most correct information on this topic, was done, to the best of the volunteer commitees ability.  The original summaries posted in late January 2011 were the best Paddle Canada could come up with based on the answers we received at the time from Transport Canada. 

Some important excerpts from Transport Canada’s letter:

“Please note that Transport Canada is currently reviewing all 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.

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

I have been advised that April 1, 2011 will be the deadline to make the changes and relay the outcome of their decisions.  Paddle Canada has offered to advise and help TC in any way needed to make sure the review is appropriate and manageable for our members and the paddling community.  Paddle Canada has also been in touch with Boy Scouts Canada who is talking directly to Transport Canada as well to help in any way it can to come to a fair solution to the vessel registration.

And finally please be aware that any small vessel (including human powered craft) designated as a non-pleasure craft (commercial) has been subject to the registration process since the law took affect in 2007 (Canada Shipping Act), just that the paddling community is getting up to speed now on this.