Boating regulations up in the air
Licencing for junior operators may be on the way

by Derek Neary
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 17/98) - The possibility of mandatory licensing for young motorboat operators hasn't been ruled out by the federal government.

Mike Berthiaume, project adviser on small vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard,

said there will be "a requirement for people to demonstrate that they have basic boating safety knowledge."

The implementation of the regulation depends on the timing of its development, Berthiaume said.

"It could be developed very quickly. It may take some time. Your guess is as good as mine," Berthiaume said.

According to a xxxGlobe and Mail article earlier this month, the federal government will begin a licensing program for boating operators under the age of 16 as of Jan. 1, 1999.

Within 10 years, all boaters up to age 55 are to be encompassed by the program, sources told the xxxGlobe and Mail.

Further, anyone under 12 will be prohibited from operating a boat with more than a 10-horsepower motor and boater from 12 to 16 will be permitted to operate boats with engines of no more than 40 horsepower.

Boating safety courses, at $30, are to be offered by the Red Cross, the Power Squadron and the Canadian Yachting Association.

According to the xxxGlobe, these courses won't be compulsory but the $20 testing will be.

Berthiaume directed further questions to Charlie Gadula, director of the Small Vessel Partnership Project. Gadula, however, couldn't be reached because he was attending a two-day boating safety convention in Kingston, Ont.

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