Q1: In what areas is boating prohibited? Are there any temporary speed restrictions in place?
A1: The Interim Order applies to all vessels, which are prohibited from operating on the Ottawa River between the western point of Île Dubé in the Parc National De Plaisance and the Grenville lighthouse. All vessel operators are asked to be cautious on the waters and watch for debris.
Emergency vessels, public ferry services, and those able to access their property only by water are exempt from this order.
Various speed restrictions are in place, they are issued as NAVWARN by the Canadian Coast Guard:
- NW-Q-0808-19: des deux Montagnes Lake, maximum speed limit 10 km/h
- NW-Q-0734-19: Richelieu River, maximum speed 10 km/h
- NW-Q-0733-19: Batican to Montreal, secure speed between Ile-des-Barques at 9kts and 11 kts
- NW-Q-0606-19: Batiscan to Quebec, secure speed
Q2: What is the role of Transport Canada with Interim Orders issued for the flood?
A2: The Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (CSA 2001) gives the Minister of Transport authority to make an interim order if immediate action is required to deal with a direct or indirect risk to marine safety or the marine environment, including on a precautionary basis.
The Minister of Transport issued the Interim Order to protect the safety of people and vessels, and to help first responders do their jobs in flooding conditions.
Q3: How do you decide which areas are added and / or withdrawn from the interim orders?
A3: In conjunction with the municipalities, provinces and other authorities, Transport Canada Marine determines the areas in which a critical safety issue could arise. The Interim Order was issued to protect the safety of people and vessels, and to help first responders do their jobs in flooding conditions.
Q4: Where can we access the interim orders?
A4: The Interim Orders are published on our website: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/mediaroom/interim-order-5-respecting-flooded-areas.html
Q5: Are the restrictions only applicable to the waterways mentioned in the orders or can we go on lakes to fish where there are no flooding?
A5: The Interim Order only applies to the waterways listed:
- The Ottawa River, in Ontario or Quebec, between the western point of Île Dubé in the Parc National De Plaisance and the Grenville lighthouse
However, the public is urged to continue to stay off flooded waterways in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick (including those not subject to restrictions) to ensure navigational safety, and prevent damage to infrastructure and the environment.
Q6: The term “affected area” is used. Is the entire river considered to be an “affected area” or does this refer to areas that are actually experiencing flooding where properties are at risk?
A6: The Interim Order applies to the following waterways in their entirety:
- The Ottawa River, in Ontario or Quebec, between the western point of Île Dubé in the Parc National De Plaisance and the Grenville lighthouse.
Q7: If I don't use an engine, can I take my boat out? / Can I use a human-powered vessel, such as a canoe? / Can I fish if I go slowly?
A7: No, the Interim Order applies to all vessels, including vessels with no engine, such as human-powered craft or sailing vessels. Flooded waterways can have strong currents, contain debris and hide hazards to navigation. It is important for the safety of boaters, as well as first-responders that the waterways remain clear. It is also important for those aiding in the relief and clean-up efforts.
Q8: Why are paddling and other non-motorized activities banned?
A8: The Interim Order was issued to protect the safety of people and vessels, avoid damage to infrastructure and the environment, and to help first responders do their jobs in flooding conditions. For human powered vessels such as canoes or kayaks, concerns include risks to the safety of individuals including the risk to first responders required to interrupt their work to ensure the safety of paddlers. In addition, all vessels can cause damage to the environment, properties and infrastructure and as a result have been prohibited from using the affected waterways. It is important that first responders and those helping with relief efforts are able to do their jobs.
Q9: Can I fly my floatplane into or off of waterways covered in the Interim Order?
A9: No you may not. Once on the water, either for takeoff or landing, a float plane is considered a vessel under the Canada Shipping Act 2001 and subject to the Interim Order. On waterways not subject to the Interim Order, pilots are urged to use caution and reminded of their obligation to assess where they are going to land to determine if it is hazard free.
Q10: Can I still put my boat in the water at my dock without taking it to sail?
A10: The ministerial Interim Order prohibits navigation. As long as the boat is moored and immobilized, it does not contravene the order.
Q11: Are contractors exempt from interim orders to access damaged residences by boat?
A11: A person accessing property on behalf of its owners to deal with flooding emergencies is not subject to the Interim Order.
Q12: Are there any plans to reduce or lift the restrictions in the near future? When do you think the situation will return to normal?
A12: We continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis and will lift the order as soon as possible. Vessel operators are reminded, however, to please use caution, to not go in or near flooded areas except for emergency or to access your property, to go slow and watch out for debris that may remain in the water.
We are optimistic that water levels will continue to recede over the coming weeks. Provinces, municipalities and local authorities are keeping a watchful eye on water levels and communicating this news out when possible.
Q13: Are there any fines for non-compliance?
A13: Any violations of these provisions are subject to fines of up to $5,000 through an Administrative Monetary Penalty, or in case of summary conviction up to $1 million and/or up to 18 months in prison, or the seizure of the vessel.
Q14: We have questions - Is it possible to contact TC?
A14: Members of the public looking for additional information may contact Marine Safety and Security at:
Phone: 1-855-859-3123 (Toll Free) or 613-991-3135
Q15: Is the Canadian military still involved in emergency measures?
A15: Please contact the Department of National Defence for information on military involvement in flooding relief efforts.
Q16: Does the Canadian government plan to compensate residents affected by the floods?
A16: For information regarding potential compensation, please contact the relevant provincial authority.