New boating regulations floated

by Jeff Helsdon | April 6, 2022
OPP checks a boat

Transport Canada is floating new boating regulations, including expanding pleasure craft licence requirements and modernizing the pleasure craft operator training program.

Changes include adding a $15 fee to process an application for a new licence, or to renew, transfer, or duplicate one.

The amendments to the Small Vessel Regulations are expected to go to the treasury board, the federal cabinet committee that oversees government financial management, this year.

Additional changes

Another change would require licences for all pleasure craft greater than six meters, including wind-powered vessels. This does not include human-propelled boats, such as canoes and kayaks.

Other changes being considered include reducing the licence renewal period from no expiry or 10 years to five, as well as reducing the timeline to report info changes – such as a sale or address change – from 90 days to 30.

The changes are intended to ensure up-to-date information is associated with a pleasure craft.

“The goal is to assist law enforcement and first responders in carrying out search and rescue activities and to support accountability and compliance with safety and environmental regulations,” said Sau Sau Liu, a communications advisor with Transport Canada. “The proposed fee will help to recover most of the costs associated with providing pleasure craft licensing services and reduce the cost borne by Canadian taxpayers for proving the licensing services.”

Additional fees

Transport Canada is also proposing changes to the Pleasure Craft Operator Competency Program by introducing an accreditation application fee of $5,000, payable every five years by course providers, and implementing a maintenance and test materials access fee of $8.50 for each operator card that’s issued.

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) expects course providers could increase course fees to recuperate these additional expenses.

“These are significant changes that have the potential to directly impact many of our members,” OFAH Fish and Wildlife Manager Matt DeMille stated. “This proposal deserves direct and meaningful discussions with the fishing, hunting, trapping, and boating communities, so we will be pushing the federal government to do this.”

Transport Canada has been discussing possible fees on vessel licences since 2013, Boating Ontario CEO Rick Layzell said.

“The conversations have come back up with open dialogue on using the fees to assist in the costs of removing abandoned and derelict boats as well as collecting meaningful data to assist the industry,” he said. “Conversations are ongoing and Boating Ontario and our peers are at the table on behalf of the industry.”

Click here to learn more about the proposed changes

For more outdoors news, click here

Sign up for our mailing list

indicates required
Email format


  1. Mitch McConnell wrote: Just another cash grab .. so shocking.... HA!
  2. Mike Brown wrote: Changing the license from lifetime to 10 or 5 years and charging a fee is just another way for the government to collect money so they can pay for more federal government jobs. Those people (or there estates), or corporations who leave derilect vessels to be cleaned up should be responsible for the cost of the cleanup, not the innocent owners of watercraft. In today's computer dominated world, registration is very inexpensive and should remain free. Changing the update period from 90 days to 30 to update records makes sense. We need less government bureaucracy not more. Just look at what they did with the new minnow regulations. Transporting minnows should be restricted to minimize the spread of disease and invasive species. Requiring people to buy minnows is nothing but a blatant attempt to employ more people in economically depressed areas. There is absolutely no environmental reason why people who don't live in an area should not be allowed to trap minnows in an area they are visiting. It's an out and out money grab. The main difference is the level of government that's trying to soak the public. Again.
  3. CJ Fast wrote: How will "reducing the license renewal period from no expiry or 10 years to five" help to achieve any of the stated goals? I think this renewal requirement should be waived for all CPS members who have taken boating courses, and keep their memberships up to date. CPS membership is about competency. It is about being responsible and safe at all times. It is the epitome of governing one's self to the highest standard. I would rather answer to CPS than a government regulatory body. If I'm stopped, I show my card, and you leave. Bye.
  4. Doug "Buck-a-Beer" Ford wrote: My Friends, I'm pleased to announce you'll now be paying more to have the right to operate the same boat on the same waterways you have always have, so we've created an elaborate story about offsetting the cost of removing large numbers of abandoned watercraft each year. Follow me on Twitter to learn more ways I'll be charging you to enjoy the outdoors in the years to come!
  5. Warren Wolfe wrote: Politicians must stay up at night dreaming of more ways to TAX Canadians.