Consultation on updating the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations (2020 submission)

Current status: Closed

Open on December 15, 2021 and will be closed on February 14, 2022.

The Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations explain the rules for vessels that navigate or operate in certain Canadian waters.

Each year, Transport Canada receives applications from local authorities to create or update navigation restrictions to make navigation safer, to protect the environment and to protect the public interest.

We use this yearly process to update the regulations and make other small changes.

We're holding this consultation to collect feedback from key stakeholders, including Indigenous communities, about:

  • updating subsection 2(7) (and consequently paragraph 2(8)(b) – exemption) of the regulations to add vessels with electric motors. Doing this will make sure that these vessels follow the same rules as power-driven vessels in similar situations
  • update section 16 so that peace officers or marine patrol officers who work for the municipalities of Ivry-sur-le-Lac, Quebec; Lac-Simon, Quebec and Vulcan County, Alberta can enforce local restrictions on the water

The goal of updating subsections 2(7) and 2(8)(b) is to keep boaters safe and help us keep up with boating technology. New, more powerful electric motors means that some boats can do a lot more, including recreational towing.

These changes also mean that some boats with electric motors can go as fast, or faster, than power-driven vessels (which are already covered by the regulations). Many parts of the regulations already include vessels with electric motors, and these final changes would make sure the regulations are consistent throughout all restrictions.

These changes would affect anyone who uses any Canadian body of water where navigation is restricted.

These proposed changes should be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II in winter 2022. The changes would come into force at the same time.

How to participate

If you would like to submit feedback on the changes we're proposing or have any questions, please email the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations Manager:

Who is the focus of this consultation

We're interested in hearing from the public, including Indigenous groups. We will also be asking for input from stakeholders from the Canadian Marine Advisory Council's Standing Committee on Recreational Boating and the National Recreational Boating Advisory Council. These stakeholders include:

  • boating safety associations
  • police marine units
  • accredited course providers
  • Canadian and United States Coast Guards
  • businesses
  • academics

Key questions for discussion

  • What do you think about the proposed change that would extend the restrictions of subsection 2(7) and 2(8)(b) to vessels with electric motors?
  • Are there issues you'd like to raise about allowing officers in Ivry-sur-le-Lac, Quebec, Lac-Simon, Quebec and Vulcan County, Alberta to enforce local restrictions on the water? If yes, please explain.
  • Are there any other issues that we've missed, or general concerns that you think need to be dealt with?

Contact us

Transport Canada
Place de Ville, Tower C
330, Sparks Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0N5