Boating in Canada Archive

2000 Canadian Boating News

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Private member's bill to help deal with PWCs (Nov/00)

Senator Mira Spivak will introduce legislation in the next session of Parliament to give communities a way to deal with safety threats, noise, pollution and other hazards of personal watercraft. Proposed legislation will allow communities a way to deal with safety threats, noise, annoyance and other hazards of personal watercraft (jet skis). Read more...

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Livius Sherwood Wins Sailing's Highest Honour (Oct/00)

The International Sailing Federation has awarded a Canadian, Livius Sherwood, the Beppe Croce Trophy for making "a voluntary outstanding contribution to the sport of sailing". Livius became a top International 14 sailor in the 1950s in North America, was Canadian champion in the Shark class in 1964 and North American champion in 1965. He was chief race officer of the 1976 Olympic sailing competition in Kingston, Ontario, one of his proudest achievements. He officiated at 3 Olynpics, 8 America's Cups and 26 World Campionships in various classes, as well as working at the local club level in Ottawa, Ontario.

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BoatU.S. National Recall Alert Registry

Boat manufacturers in the U.S. must notify owners within 5 years of any defects or recalls, but often do not have up-to-date records. To make sure owners are notified, BoatU.S., an organization that provides many member services, has launched the first universal online boating registration site at www.boatus.com/recall. A private password protects your boat information when you register the ID numbers of your boat and motor and your contact information. Manufacturers will have access only to records about boat they build.

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Port of Toronto may move (Sep/00)

Toronto might lose its entire port and the 2,000 jobs that go with it under a new federal proposal tied to the city's waterfront renewal projects. The port handles about 300 commercial ships a year and is a federal responsibility. Having the port outside Toronto would create huge trucking costs bringing the goods back to the city.

Toronto Port Authority president John Morand said recreational boaters and windsurfers currently using the outer harbour would not be adversely affected by a port shift.

Recreational boater groups and Toronto Councillor Jack Layton were outraged by a proposed move to the outer harbour, saying it Layton said dredging and the proposed ship berths at the eastern end of the spit would threaten Cherry Beach, remove many small-craft berths and sailing clubs, and disrupt the sheltered tranquillity of the spit-protected waters. (Toronto Star September 26, 2000)

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New Ontario Drinking Water Protection Regulation (Aug/00)

The Government of Ontario has announced a new Drinking Water Protection Regulation to ensure the safety of Ontario's drinking water. The regulation is part of Operation Clean Water, a comprehensive action plan to give Ontario residents the best, safest drinking water in Canada. The new regulation becomes part of the Ontario Water Resources Act. It puts into law the Ontario Drinking Water Standards (formerly the Ontario Drinking Water Objectives), which have been updated and strengthened to reflect the most current expertise and procedures in drinking water protection. [Details..]

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Mosquito-born West Nile virus

Sep/00: The virus has been identified in a dead bird in southern Ontario.

Aug/00: Last year, the West Nile virus killed 7 (including a Canadian tourist), and made 55 people ill in New York. Hundreds tested positive for the virus, but all the victims were over 68 years of age. The virus has reached Rochester, NY, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey and Connecticut. The virus survived the mild winter and will come to Canada via migratory birds such as crows. One person has been sick with the virus so far this year.

Symptoms range from mild flu-like symptoms to intense headache, high fever, stiff neck, muscle weakness, encephalitis, and even death in people with weak immune systems. It is common in parts of Africa, Europe and Asia. There is no known treatment.

Canada tests a system of 600 "sentinel checkens" near the U.S. border, since chickens don't die of the virus, but develop antibodies that can be tested. Some experts say spraying mosquitoes with malathion would harm more people than the virus. Although the links cannot be proven, more than 90% (11 million) of the adult lobsters in Long Island Sound mysteriously died not long after spraying was done.

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Great Lakes fish unsafe (July/00)

Women of child-bearing age should be warned that eating fish from the Great Lakes may cause birth defects, according to the IJC (International Joint Commission) report on the largest fresh-water lake system in the world. Eating contaminated fish before and during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight and lower intelligence in children, says the report.

Fish consumption advisories have been issued for a long time, due to neurotoxins, PCB's and mercury. The highest levels of toxins are found in older, larger fish, and bottom fish like carp and catfish.

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Toronto Harbour licence fee rises (June/00)

The new, federal, Toronto Port Authority (TPA) has increased the Harbour Licence fee by 50% for no perceptible reason other than to squeeze more taxes and has also initiated a harbour user fee that will see recreational boaters paying from $20 to $100 PER YEAR to sail in the harbour! This is a test and will likely spread to other federal harbours including those taken over by local governments. See the protest by searoom.com.

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GPS accuracy vastly improved (May/00)

GPS accuracy for has vastly improved - SA is now gone! The United States will stop the intentional degradation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) signals available to the public beginning May 1, 2000. WIth SA removed, the accuracy of GPS positions indicated by receivers should improve from 100 metres 95% of the time to 15-20 metres 95% of the time.
Read the press release...

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Canadian lakes faces new invader: Hydrilla (Feb/00)

Already introduced to alien species like zebra mussels, spiny waterflea, the tube-nosed goby, and the ruffe fish, Canada is about to be introduced to hydrilla. This fast-growing, adaptable plant plagues waterways throughout the U.S.A. as far north as Washington state and Pennsylvania. 70% of Florida's freshwater lakes and rivers are infested since introduced in the 1960s.

Hydrilla grows up to 2.5 cm (1") a day and has long stems and branches that form a thick clumps on the water's surface, making swimming and boating difficult. They multiply quickly, even from uprooted gragments, since male and female flowers grow on the same plant. Plants are so invasive, they can kill native plant species - even other nuisance plants like Eurasian watermilfoil! Hydrilla mats prevent large fish in their hunt for food, resulting in smaller or stunted fish. Although difficult to eradicate using herbicides, a fish called the grass carp feeds on the plant.

Prevention? Don't dump aquarium plants or garden waste into waterways. Clean out boat bilges, fish wells, and propellor weeks when transporting your boat between waterways. Examine any new water plants you buy for "hitchhikers".

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Colin Angus ends Amazon journey (Feb/00)

Colin Angus of Canada with paddlers Scott Borthwicke (South Africa) and Ben Kozel (Australia) successfully completed their epic 5 month voyage down the Amazon River from its source in the Andes Mountains to the Atlantic ocean. (00/02/10)

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Environment Canada and the Canadian Marine Manufacturing Association fast track the introduction of cleaner engines in Canada

Canadian marine engine manufacturers have voluntarily committed to supply cleaner engines in Canada, starting with the 2001 model year. They will be designed to match United States federal emissions standards. The agreement covers outboard engines and personal watercraft engines (PWC). Canadian Marine Manufacturing Association (CMMA) supply most of the marine products used by recreational boaters and fishermen in Canada.
Press Release (Environment Canada)

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Proposed regulations for charter boats

Bill C-15 first reading to amend the Canada Shipping Act. According to a post in can.rec.boating:

It is going to add a cost of around $6,000 to $10,000 depending on vessel to comply and this is only the beginning. You need extensive training, courses, medical that amount to about $2,000 and about 2 months of your time. There will eventially be a Federal Commercial Tax on your vessel which may range from $1,000 to $2,000 per year. I, like many, feel this is nothing more than a tax grab. If it is safety the feds are worried about, why is it that a vessel under 5 gross tons and under 8.5 meters are exempt? After all, this is where many of the "incidents" occur - with the smaller vessels. This will make many "Charter" operators buy smaller unsafe vessels so that they do not fall within the guidelines of compliance. ..we all better get on it and voice our concerns to your member of parliament. This will also effect greatly the bareboat charter industry. After operating my vessels for over 20 years on the coast and the last 12 chartering on a full time basis, I am not qualified to do so as of Dec 31, 2000.

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