More on mandatory PFD wear

Andy Adams

Feb 21, 2023

Yesterday was the last day for input into the Mandatory PFD Wear discussion with Transport Canada. Did you respond on the Transport Canada website?

You could provide your feedback to on the series of questions we published in the February 14 News Week Digest. These questions were crafted by Transport Canada through their Recreational Boating Advisory Council process that I suspect, is a mechanism that few of our readers are involved in or follow closely. 

All of Canada’s marine trade associations are at the table which is very good, but it seems we are at the end of the public consultation process.

Some people feel that mandatory PFD wear for everyone in a boat under 6-meters (20-feet) in length, regardless of age and regardless of what type of vessel it is, will be a good thing. Some say that if these new mandatory PFD laws save even one life, it will be worth it.

In my opinion, we have already been through the process of requiring a wide range of boating safety equipment, adjusted to different boat sizes and that was driven by boating safety statistics. Some people do drown in boating mishaps but the numbers are small. We offered up links to the websites of the Canadian Safe Boating Council and the Lifesaving Society where research statistics on water safety and drowning is available to study.

As a professional in the boating industry, I hope you did look into the numbers and that the data helped you to form an opinion that you then communicated through the public consultation process.

In my column last week, I made an error that I want to correct. I had written about the Shock Factor experiences that are part of the Shock and Awe NIF project that the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) is doing. As with previous CSBC projects, Playsafe Productions is a contractor working on this project for the CSBC. All the information will be made available on the CSBC website and not on the Playsafe website. 

And absolutely, this is really important research that I hope to be reporting on in future editorial.

Andy Adams – Editor

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