May 25, 2021


With the boost in popularity that recreational boating has enjoyed in Canada this past year, the need for modern marine security and safety regulations is more pressing than ever. The record numbers of novice boaters taking to the water has made the safety piece especially critical.
This past fall, Transport Canada began consulting on updates to the pleasure craft licensing and Pleasure Craft Operator Competency (PCOC) programs. The proposed changes included:
The boating industry shares Transport Canada’s goal of promoting a safe and enjoyable experience on the water for all boaters. That includes advancing sensible reforms to pleasure craft licensing (PCL) and competency standards. However, the government needs to make sure any new fees lead to real improvements to the PCL system, which is outdated. As well, regulatory reforms should be evidence-based and not cause undue economic hardship.
The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Canada has long argued for a more robust and accurate pleasure craft licensing system. Reliable data helps our members understand trends in boat sales and track the usage of various vessel types across the country; it also gives Canadian marine manufacturers and dealers an edge against our global competitors. We are concerned that the nominal $15 fee suggested by Transport Canada will not get the job done. Instead, the government should take a longer-term view and allocate proper resources to create a modern PCL system. Imposing a fee on boaters that only keeps the existing flawed program going is the least effective option. READ MORE...