Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Transport and Communications

Issue 14 - Evidence, October 17, 2001

OTTAWA, Wednesday, October 17, 2001

The Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications, to which was referred Bill C-14, respecting shipping and navigation and to amend the Shipping Conferences Exemption Act, 1987 and other acts, met this day at 5:32 p.m. to give consideration to the bill.

Senator Lise Bacon (Chairman) in the Chair.


The Chairman: Honourable senators, we are again discussing Bill C-14, an act respecting shipping and navigation and to amend the Shipping Conferences Exemption Act, 1987 and other acts.

Our witnesses today are officials from Transport Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Welcome, gentlemen. I am sure that you have all been following our discussions in the committee. Some of you have been present at some of our meetings.

Please proceed.

Mr. Bud Streeter, Director General, Marine Safety, Transport Canada: With the indulgence of senators, I will outline the interests and statements of Transport Canada and our partner department. I should like especially to clarify some of the concerns that have been raised in the last few days of your deliberations.

First and foremost, Madam Chair, I agree with the introductory statement that you made yesterday. There is a fundamental difference between a boat that is being used for personal or recreational purposes and a boat that is being used for commercial purposes. We also agree that anyone offering a service to the general public has obligations and that passengers must have reasonable expectations of safety.

Both the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Transport Canada are committed to working together and with our stakeholders to ensure that we develop an appropriate regulatory regime that is fair, safe, workable and enforceable.

It is also important to note that the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 is a major step in the reform of marine law in Canada. However, it is primary legislation and will need to be supported by regulations and a regulatory scheme, along with standards, guides and operational policies if it is to be properly enacted and applied.

We have committed to developing this framework over the next several years in consultation with stakeholders before the coming into force of all parts of the bill. These regulations must conform to federal regulatory policy and cannot be developed in a vacuum. The regulatory development process that we will undergo will also involve forming partnerships and developing tools and systems to support the legislative framework.

Madam Chair, yesterday you indicated the importance of educating the public about rules and regulations. You also wondered whether enforcement has been adequate. We agree with those concerns and the issues raised.

We certainly agree that education of the public and stakeholders is critical. We believe we have done that during the process that led us to this stage in the development of the bill. Officials from both departments, together and separately, conducted national consultation sessions in at least seven regional locations, which were well attended by all sectors of the marine industry.

You will recall that in June 1999 we took the then unusual step of having cabinet authorize us to release a draft of the bill - a bill in its legislative form - for consultation purposes, recognizing that it had not been amended for a significant amount of time and that it is technical legislation.

We think this reflected the government's open approach to public consultation on proposed legislation, and certainly the approach that the two departments wanted to take in addressing this issue. That consultation alone resulted in a number of improvements that were made to the bill in the version you have before you.

As well, we also used the Canadian Marine Advisory Committee, CMAC, which is our principal consultation forum with our industry sector. CMAC meetings are held twice a year - in the spring and in the fall - nationally and also in each of our five regions. To ensure that we address all of the issues, the sessions are co-chaired by officials from Transport Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Indeed, there is a standing committee on recreational boating under the banner of the Canadian Marine Advisory Committee.

It is worth mentioning that, in addition to the CMAC process, the Canadian Coast Guard has fora known as Recreational Boating Advisory Committees, RBAC, which meet nationally and regionally. Transport Canada attends these meetings, as required, to clarify or discuss areas of common interest. In addition, I am a member of the National Recreational Boating Advisory Committee, NRBAC.

It is therefore quite difficult for us to understand the specific issue regarding lack of consultation. I have a favourite phrase I use with many of our stakeholders, which is, "Consultation, not capitulation." It is similar to management-employee communications; many times we say there is no communication, but usually it is simply that the message we hear is not the one we want to hear.

As well as the process I have described above, when there have been specific concerns raised we have met with many stakeholders during the process. My colleagues from DFO and I have met with several stakeholders to address, in particular, small craft issues.

Some of the examples of that are, first and foremost, the provisions we have in the bill for vessels of a prescribed class, and that are in the existing bill as special purpose vessels. We recognize that there has been an increase in the use of small vessels for everything from eco-tourism to sport fishing to whale watching, bird watching, white water rafting and that they cannot meet traditional requirements for passenger vessels, and that, indeed, they are commercial operations. However, we must work with the industry stakeholders, our colleagues and our partners to ensure that we clearly identify a safety regime that makes sense to us and to all the stakeholders.

To this end, we have worked with our colleagues in the International Sail and Power Association to develop a national standard.Most of the work was done by the International Sail and Power Association and the Canadian Yachting Association, but it was done in partnership. We have evaluated that standard, which was formally presented to us in May, 2001. We have agreed that in most aspects it makes sense.

Another example is the large sail-training vessels - the brigantines - that operate in Central and Eastern Canada, where we worked again with the Canadian Sail Training Association to develop a standard that makes sense. It does not make sense to turn a sail training vessel into a passenger ship if it distorts the original purpose of that vessel.

A third example is the sport fishing and charter fishing business on the West Coast, where there was a fear that we would arrive carrying a big stick to make them all apply life raft and fire protection standards to these vessels because they operate offshore. As we discussed this with the industry, it became obvious to us that they work in groups and there is not usually one vessel alone out there. We worked with them to develop a buddy system so that one vessel looks after another and they maintain communication. They work together. That prevents having to enforce significant new rules that really do not make sense. I believe that illustrates the approach we would like to take.

We believe that we have consulted with our stakeholders. We have not given everything that they asked for, and I recall that when the minister was here for the first presentation to introduce this bill, he said that. He said that we have changed some things, but he also said there are things that we have not changed because we have obligations that we must fulfil.

We will continue to work and consult with all of our stakeholders as we begin the same process for the development of supporting regulations.

We look forward to the continued help that the pleasure craft community, the Canadian Yachting Association and Mr. Vollmer, personally, will offer in developing these applicable regulations during the RBAC meetings, the NRBAC meetings, the CMAC meetings and other consultative fora that we will use for the process.

We have already, together, started educating our stakeholders. We are conducting across the country two-day orientation sessions on the draft bill to help people understand the change in direction we will take. We have also outlined for them the role they can play to help us to develop the instruments that are necessary through consultation and support. To date, we have received much positive feedback and cleared up many misunderstandings. Some misunderstandings will remain and we will continue to address them.

One significant issue is enforcement. Both departments and the Standing Committee on Transport and Government Operations, SCOTGO have made changes to accommodate stakeholder requests to ensure that the scheme we have on the waterways is seamless. We want to ensure that, inadvertently, we do not regulate commercial traffic on the right-hand side and pleasure craft on the left-hand side because that would not be good for very long. We have changed the law to make sure we have joint regulatory authority to ensure that does not happen.

Throughout the exercise, we evaluated and analyzed different ways that marine services and marine safety services, in particular, are delivered. We identified new approaches that we believe would be of use to ensure compliance. We also believe that these will result in significant improvements in efficiency and in the productivity of those who are involved in those activities.

Our vision of safety enforcement activities in the future does not just involve work processes changes. It involves an increased level of professionalism on the part of all who are involved in enforcement, including our partners, and ensuring that we reflect underlying Canadian values of fairness, respect and, of course, due process.

Enforcement is an integral part of the new Canada Shipping Act. The new framework we talk about is designed to deal with the broad range of safety and environmental requirements for commercial vessels that we believe can, for the most part, be dealt with outside of the judicial system and within allowable administrative enforcement boundaries. As we described on the first go around, we firmly believe that such a change will reduce the costs for all and will serve the commercial marine sector and the public needs for many years to come.

I do not intend to imply that means, in any way, shape or form, a diminishing role for police forces in this country. In fact, it presents an opportunity to strengthen the partnership with all of the agencies that assist us in ensuring the requirements of the Canada Shipping Act and that safety and environmental protection requirements are met. This does not only include police forces, it also includes partners in Environment Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard and partners in other government agencies who, from time to time, are required to enforce portions of our regulation. To this end, we have had preliminary discussions with some police forces, particularly the Ontario Provincial Police, OPP.

There is no doubt that additional work in terms of regulation must be done. We are firmly committed to implementing, with our partners and stakeholders, common sense policies and, of course, comprehensive implementation plans and strategies. This includes detailed training both for us and for our partner agencies such as the RCMP and provincial and municipal police agencies. We know that this will go a long way toward ensuring a common and consistent program delivery.

We are certain that the new Canada Shipping Act brings about much needed change. Particularly, it will commit us to focus resources on areas of need and permit operators who are very good operators to perform their tasks with a minimum of interference and involvement. That is not to say it will be hands off, carte blanche. That is not what we are advocating. We advocate attention paid where attention is deserved.

Police involvement and support for our joint efforts to improve safety and compliance continue to be important. Under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, you will appreciate that we have a range of options. For minor offences, enforcement officers can function exactly as police officers. If you are pulled over but you have done nothing serious, if the officer likes how you look, you will proceed, receive a warning, be fined or have your vehicle towed home. That range of options is exactly the same.

In our case, of course, if there is intent or if they are very serious offences, we can go up to indictable offences with whatever penalties the court deems necessary depending upon the severity of the impact of the incident or the intent or will.

We certainly must assess what tools we will use, and in the interim we must ensure that we have a valid enforcement scheme that is applied to the existing act. This is where confusion arises with the Contraventions Act and the application of certain penalties to small vessels under that act.

Under the existing legislation we want to move a number of offences into the Contraventions Act. However, as we described in our first appearance here, there are difficulties with regard to the enforcement of the Contraventions Act. One problem is that in provinces that do not have a strong provincial police force enforcement is by contract and memoranda of understanding with the RCMP so that federal resources become an issue, particularly in British Columbia.

The bigger problem under the Contraventions Act is that it may not be appropriate to have equal penalties for equal offences on commercial versus pleasure craft. I offer as an example the lack of a life jacket. If I am operating my boat with my family on it and I do not have a life jacket for one my children, I not only deserve the $100 or $200 fine, but I really should get something for criminal stupidity because I am knowingly putting my own family at risk.On the other hand, if I am charging people for a trip, should the fine be the same as for putting myself or my family at risk? We do not think so. The penalty for such offences is not the same in other areas. Certainly operating without a life jacket in a commercial operation is a much more significant offence than it is on a pleasure craft, in the opinion of those of us who believe in enforcing safety.

In some cases, although offences may be similar, penalties required to ensure that offences do not become a cost of business in the commercial world are in excess of those that can be applied under the Contraventions Act. There must be flexibility. That is one of the reasons we have chosen the administrative scheme we are talking about.

We believe that similar vessels of similar size in similar operations should have similar safety requirements. However, we believe that driving our own car is different from operating a taxi. Operating a mini-bus for personal use is different from carrying paying passengers in a mini-bus. Flying an airplane for personal use is different from flying paying passengers in an airplane.

It is not a large leap from there to state that if a vessel is engaged in a commercial operation, particularly if it is carrying passengers, the vessel and crew must comply with regulations and safety requirements that may differ from those required for a pleasure craft in the same area.As I said, this is especially critical for vessels that carry passengers and for vessels that may not be suitable for that trade.

In the commercial world we may well ask for higher accreditation than the operator proficiency certificate required for a small craft. That is no different from the requirement for a commercial driver's licence on the road. Recent Transportation Safety Board reports to Parliament have identified operator and crew competency on these types of vessels as a significant safety issue, one that we feel obligated to address in a comprehensive yet sensible way.

The principles I have talked about are consistent with all of the other commercial transportation activities that I mentioned. There should be no difference for marine vessels. There is a different level of care required to carry people for remuneration and to carry yourself for your pleasure or your recreation.

In a nutshell, jurisprudence in Canada has proven and continues to prove that a pleasure craft is one used solely for the purposes of pleasure. That principle has been reaffirmed by the courts of Canada many times in the recent past. We think it is necessary to set safety requirements for pleasure craft that, at a minimum, ensure safe and prudent operation of the vessel by the owner, who is clearly totally responsible for it and its conduct.

However, a vessel used in commercial operations - to carry passengers or goods along waterfront property or to carry goods on our waterways - must have a higher level of compliance. Tourists who pay for a trip expect that the vessel, its operator and crew have in place all the necessary safeguards, equipment and training to operate the vessel safely. More important, if the vessel gets into trouble, equipment and training for evacuation and survival is essential. We receive many letters from people across Canada asking us to ensure that small vessels continue to be safe. We believe that is our obligation and Canadians believe it is our duty to ensure that.

In summary, we will continue to consult to ensure that the safety regime for each sector is applicable, fair, just, and sensible for that sector.

I thank you for listening even though I know you have heard this speech before.

We believe in what we are doing. We will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure that we get it right.

We will be pleased to answer your questions.

Mr. Tim Meisner, Director, Policy and Legislation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada: I would like to add several comments in support of what Mr. Streeter said.

The Canadian Coast Guard is also very dedicated to the consultation process to make the bill, and the regulations that will follow, move forward. We are working very closely with Transport Canada to deliver the regulations that will follow this bill. It is not two departments working separately. We have a seamless operation to move this forward.

The Chairman: Do the departments have adequate resources to enforce the proposed regime?

Mr. Streeter: The two departments are not the primary enforcers of the enforcement regime that we will put in place. Municipal, provincial and national police forces are the primary enforcers. The same applies to the administrative penalty scheme. Police officers will have two books in their back pockets, one for pleasure craft for citations under the Contraventions Act, and one for notices of penalty under the Canada Shipping Act for commercial vessels. That is why we referred earlier to training and enforcement.

We do not anticipate the requirement for a significant number of resources for enforcement in that we enforce through partner agencies. That has been our modus operandi for many years and will continue to be so.

The Chairman: What is your plan for increasing public awareness of the rules and their importance?

Mr. Streeter: As I said, we have had orientation sessions across the country for the new act. A number of the agencies that set up these seminars have also approached us to do those things for specific stakeholders.

As the standards are developed, there will be notices of consultations as we take those consultations across the country to regional CMACs. Finally, both departments are putting short blurbs on the weather network and are airing special shows on some other networks.

Those are our plans for educating the public.

The Chairman: If federal regulations are enforced in B.C. by the RCMP, for example, and resources are inadequate, does that mean enforcement in B.C. is inadequate?

Mr. Streeter: I do not think it is inadequate, but it is to a different standard than it is in some other areas. Obviously, it is a function of the number of people there, but the on water enforcement presence is not the only tool.

For example, if a vessel is brought to our attention as substandard, we detain that vessel. Under the Canada Shipping Act, section 310, we have quite significant powers of detention. There are currently about 54 vessels under detention that cannot sail until deficiencies are rectified. We have powers to prevent vessels from sailing that way. We are meeting and we will continue to meet with police forces to determine what we can do to increase all means of enforcement.

Senator Oliver: I have a question to follow up on the orientation sessions. Mr. Streeter, you said that these orientation sessions are happening across Canada in respect of the draft bill. You also said that you have had much positive feedback. Is that feedback coming from some of the yachting people who have twice been before us?

Mr. Streeter: I think that I recall reading the testimony. I certainly would not put words in Mr. Vollmer's mouth, but I recall him saying that he found the session in St. Catharines quite interesting and rewarding. We have feedback from a wide range of stakeholders. Although we may not receive feedback from an executive member of the Canadian Yachting Association, for example, individual members may attend different sessions. Really, we are really just starting that process, Senator Oliver.

Senator Callbeck: When do you anticipate the regulations will be ready?

Mr. Streeter: It is safe to suggest that it is probably a three- to five-year project to develop all of the regulations for the new bill because of the lengthy consultation process. The other issue is that we worked very hard to ensure that the transitional process is in place so many of the regulations, especially those affecting different classes of small vessels, will change and will remain in effect under the old act. The most difficult aspect that we will have under the new act are the new enforcement procedures and getting those correct. The technical regulations and safety regulations are continuing involvement and the old act will protect those. They have priority, senator, and the safety regulations will be completed, many of them in the very near future for small vessels, and specific standards are ready to go in May 2002.

Senator Callbeck: I would like to have a point clarified. If you have a pleasure craft and register it, if you decide six months down the road that you want to rent it out for one month, then are you required to register it commercially?

Mr. Streeter: No. If you have a pleasure craft, depending on the size, there is no mandatory requirement to register the pleasure craft in the first place. There is a licensing requirement. There is a difference between a license and a registration. Registration is much like registering a mortgage. It is a traceable process so that you can exercise searches and other required functions. Its primary purpose is to register legal ownership and is primarily for registering mortgages. Under the small vessel regulations there is a requirement to licence small vessels, but that is a paper process that is not traceable and searchable. Really, it is a manual process. That is the difference between licensing and registering. One is a proper registration in the legal sense of the word, and the other is a simple licensing arrangement.

Some owners of pleasure craft do register, mind you, although they are not required to do so. If, for example, you get a mortgage to buy your boat, the bank will require, as a condition of that mortgage, that you register the vessel. In that way it has a unique identifier, it can be traced and ownership can be confirmed. There is a legal process for transferring ownership and similar issues so that your investment is protected.

That creates some confusion. Some pleasure craft are registered. In response to the question, if I had a pleasure craft, that was not formally registered, and I wished to rent it out to someone as a boat for hire, that is not a commercial operation. That is like a U-Drive transaction, which involves the use of the vessel. If you were, on the other hand, to take passengers on that vessel, then we would ask you to register that vessel. In that way, we know where you are, and you may well have to meet a different set of safety requirements.

It is still driven by the use of the vessel, Senator Callbeck. We made it very clear to all of our stakeholders that rentals, U-Drives, have a business behind them but the use of a vessel specifically for the pleasure of the person who rents it is like a rental car. That does not mean the individual has to have a taxi licence. That is considered to be a U-Drive. If it is used to carry passengers or cargo there may be a registration process. If you let someone else drive your pleasure craft vessel and they pay you for that, as long as you are not transporting someone, there is no requirement.

Senator Callbeck: If you have a pleasure craft and you use it to take people somewhere and you are charging them, then you have to register the vessel.

Mr. Streeter: That is correct.

Senator Callbeck: Do you licence it also?

Mr. Streeter: You have to register it. If it is licensed, you have to register it.

Senator Callbeck: If you carry on that business for only one month, is that requirement in effect for that month, or is it in effect for the life of the vessel?

Mr. Streeter: You can register a vessel and you can strike it from the registry after that month, if you wish. There is no continuing cost. It is a one-time fee.

The same issue would apply, for example, in Ontario if you have a pick-up truck and you use it entirely for personal use. You register the truck and licence it like a car, but if you use it once as a commercial vehicle you are required to licence it as commercial. If, after you licence it as a commercial vehicle, you decide you will not use it commercially, you can return it to pleasure vehicle status. You do not have to maintain registry if the usage changes.

Senator Callbeck: If you are stopped six months down the road and you have a vessel licensed and registered as commercial although it is really a pleasure craft, does that create a problem?

Mr. Streeter: There is no problem. I am a taxi driver and I own the vehicle. On Sundays, I take the taxi sign down and I take my family for a drive. I am just using it for the pleasure of my family. I would use the same example of the ferry on the river that runs from Cumberland to Masson. Every year, because the owner is a big supporter of the Buckingham Curling Club, he takes his friends on a cruise up the river. Although that is a commercial vessel, for that one day it operates as a pleasure craft.Certification as a commercial vessel restricts the vessel to its run, but as a pleasure craft, guests can be taken on a trip up the river. That is not an issue. If he is stopped by the OPP on the river, officers will want to ensure that he has life jackets for each passenger and that he has the required safety equipment. The use of the vessel at the moment in question determines the application of the law. That has not changed since Admiral Nelson wrote the act on his way to Egypt.

Senator Maheu: I am curious about the definition of "passenger." Does that mean "paying passenger," or does it refer to the five or six people on your boat for a weekend away?

Mr. Streeter: It is very clear that "passengers" involves an exchange of money. If I go away with four or five friends, depending on the application, even if four or five of us split the cost of renting a boat for the weekend, we are not passengers, but we are co-adventurers out to have fun.

Senator Callbeck: Mr. Vollmer talked about the enforcement scheme and he thought it would be much better if we had a common enforcement scheme for vessels under 24 metres in length.

Mr. Streeter: Again, we have to have a common enforcement net, but I do not believe that the regulatory underpinnings of the two schemes have to be the same. For example, if I do not have a life jacket for a family member on a pleasure craft there is a fine of $100 or $200. However, if I do not have a life jacket for someone who pays me for transportation on a passenger ship, there should be a higher level of fine because there is a higher expectation of the public relative to that expectation.

Clearly, we believe that. We set that up because under the Contraventions Act there is a limit to the size of the fine. Not having a life jacket on a pleasure craft is an issue of common sense. Not having a life jacket on a commercial vessel could well accrue an advantage in a commercial sense to an operator and the fine for that should be high enough to ensure that not complying with the regulations does not become a cost of doing business.

Some of the fines we envisage for certain activities on small commercial vessels exceed the limit that can be applied under the Contraventions Act, hence the need for two schemes.

Having said that, I still believe there should be one enforcer who, clearly, should have the capacity to be trained in the application of those two schemes.

Senator Spivak: Madam Chair, my questions are also on behalf of an absent colleague and they reference the recreational pleasure craft. What is the maximum penalty for violations related to a pleasure craft?

Mr. Michel Desparois, Manager, Marine Communications and Traffic Services and former Manager, Office of Boating Safety, Fisheries and Oceans Canada: Under the Contraventions Act the maximum penalty is $250.

Senator Spivak: In the process of educating people, are you paying particular attention to the responsibilities of municipal, provincial and federal jurisdictions? It seems to me that people are confused about who has the responsibility for what. Do you think that is important?

Mr. Streeter: Understanding jurisdiction is extremely important. For shipping and navigation the jurisdiction is federal.

Senator Spivak: I understand that, but you delegate enforcement.

Mr. Streeter: We delegate enforcement and, certainly, we delegate some administrative issues. For example, for boating restriction regulation, commencement of process and consultation for that are delegated. However, in respect of enforcement, in particular, the delegation to agencies is usually done through memorandum of understanding, MOU, to begin with, and there are close links between the Office of Boating Safety and all of the policing agencies. Many of the members of NRBAC and RBAC are, in fact, representatives of police forces that are involved in those regions so that the hand-in-glove approach is maintained.

Senator Spivak: There are cases where people have thought that there were only bylaws to cover these areas. They do not really understand the federal responsibility.

Mr. Streeter: There are cases in which jurisdiction may not be exercised by the federal entity and municipalities may step in to address what they consider to be a gap. Sometimes that leads to ongoing discussions to rectify that.

Senator Spivak: I found some of your terms particularly interesting. "consultation, not capitulation" and "stakeholders." Who are your stakeholders in respect of pleasure craft? In terms of the consultations with which you will go forward and which will take three to five years, will you look at the area of your system, which can be onerous and in some cases quite arbitrary, in which you can apply for boating restrictions of all kinds? We are told that in some instances it could take two or three years to get on the list to do anything. There is much concern about that.

What do you mean by "stakeholders" and who are they? Are they also cottage owners and the general public, and not just the boating associations?

What is your definition of "capitulation" in terms of letting the general public have local control over their particular lakes and communities? Often it is high-handed, as you well know.

For example, Falcon Lake is close to my community. It wanted to introduce some regulations but the RCMP said to forget it because it could not enforce those regulations. So the community did not proceed with the regulations.

Mr. Streeter: I will begin my response with "stakeholders." You have given me several clues, so I would say they include cottage owners. From my perspective, it is the Canadian public, fare-paying passengers, waterfront property owners and crew members - not in order of priority. Those are the most important stakeholders. It is not a term unique to our business. It is not the people who pay our bills. The shipowner is a stakeholder, but it is the public and the working person on board the ship for which I am responsible for occupational safety and health. It encompasses all the people along the waterways because of pollution prevention activities and safety.

Senator Spivak: I am happy to hear you say that. That is not the impression that one sometimes gets from yachting associations

Mr. Streeter: Having said that, Senator Spivak, one of the difficulties we have, with the exception of local issues like your lake, is engaging the public at large in the discussions on what the proper regime is. Certainly, when there is an accident they are rapidly engaged.

I will allow my colleagues to address the issue of consultations particular to the boating restriction regulations.

Mr. Meisner: I am certain that you understand the issue on the consultation on boating restrictions, but I will paraphrase them.

Senator Spivak: There are 20 steps.

Mr. Meisner: In most cases, we have arrangements with the provinces to conduct consultations on our behalf because they are closer to the municipalities and associations making the claim for a restriction on regulations. So far, this process has worked very well. The provinces, in most cases, are pleased with it. Does it take a long time? Yes, it does. There is no doubt about that, but I think it is a way of ensuring that we can consult with as wide an audience as possible on those particular regulations when restrictions are to be made.

Senator Spivak: Are you considering beefing up those regulations? The way you have the provinces involved is fine, but I have heard a great many objections to the way that works. I would never have known that, except for unusual circumstances. There is a feeling that this is arbitrary, lengthy and that local people are not being listened to.

After all, it is the federal government that is responsible. It is your responsibility, even if the provinces are delegated, to enforce it. Will you be receptive to flexibility in those regulations if you hear that word across the country? In other words, will you "capitulate" to that extent?

Mr. Streeter: The other part of the answer to the question is how I would define "capitulate." To me, capitulate is violating a basic principle relative to the maintenance of safety.

Senator Spivak: It is a democratic country.

Mr. Streeter: One of the basic and oldest affirmed rights appears to be the right to navigate. We have arguments from people who want to restrict navigation - versus those who want to maintain freedom of navigation. We hear from different stakeholders and then it becomes a major public policy argument.

Certainly, what the consultations will tell us, senator, is the number of areas for which the policy has to be reviewed and decisions made by elected representatives.

Senator Spivak: I understand that the right to navigation cuts both ways. If there are powerboats circling around, it means little kids cannot go in canoes and paddleboats. They have as much right to navigate as the powerboats. It seems to depend on whose ox is being gored. It seems to some people that their rights are not being considered sufficiently, and certainly, not through the process of the boating restrictions.

Will you examine flexibility in boating restrictions?

Mr. Streeter: Neither of us could commit to a yes or no answer. Please do not think I am being flippant, but we have to share and educate. Part of the answer is education. The obnoxious boat owner in many cases is not educated. Both agencies are focusing on that.

Having said that, I repeat what I said earlier. As we consult on issues, in what we think is a focused consultation, someone will present us with an issue from left field. We will evaluate it and decide how policy decisions have to be made. That is all that we can commit to.

Senator Gustafson: This is most interesting. Are you in charge of all enforcement, which you delegate, across the country?

Mr. Streeter: The Canada Shipping Act sets out a set of regulations that must be enforced. We delegate that to partner agencies, yes, sir.

Senator Gustafson: In your opinion, are we proceeding in a direction that gives this country good security?

Mr. Streeter: The issue of marine security is certainly under major scrutiny at this moment. We have a number of systems in place that are really not impacted by this legislation to ensure and assure the security of the country.

Of course, we are all aware of areas where breakdowns occur, but we have been trying to address that specifically. Again, because there are a number of departments involved in marine security, we have a solid, effective interdepartmental working group to address that.

Senator Gustafson: In Saskatchewan where there may be one lake within 50 miles, an individual may have the chance to go fishing twice in the summer. If he has mislaid his equipment, he will be the easiest guy in the world to catch - the minute you see him heading for the lake, you know he has a problem and you can get $100 out of him. If I get nailed for running a stop sign that is fine, but the guy who steals my gas is never caught.

I know there is probably no simple answer to this, but there is quite a difference between someone running a boat to smuggle cigarettes and someone who just forgets to put his suit on.

Mr. Streeter: I am the guy who gets nicked at the stop sign and they never catch you.

It is important that we work with agencies that already have an enforcement mandate to put as many different regulations under that mandate as possible. If you look at the Contraventions Act, you will find that there is a fairly low level of fines. That is not necessarily suitable for a commercial operation. Thus, we need a different tool, but we do not necessarily need a different enforcer.

In my opinion, if we were to put ourselves in uniform, we would really confuse the enforcement mandate. We must ensure that somehow we address that through different risks, or through rotating patrols, so that there is an increased risk of being caught, first and foremost.

Second, in the case of smuggling or other illegal activities, we must count on good intelligence. I would not want one of my inspectors or Coast Guard boating safety personnel in situations like that. We are accustomed to dealing with the person who may have left his life jacket at home, but not with someone who has criminal intent and who may well take different action. That is another reason for not confusing the enforcement mandate with that of police agencies. Enforcement officers are trained to deal with situations ranging from the life jacket to the armed smuggler. I do not want people who are not specially trained to be involved in that.

Senator Gustafson: You talked about education of the public. Do you also educate the police or is that a police responsibility?

Mr. Streeter: No, sir, we train police on what the rules say. Specifically, for example, we will examine the new powers for pleasure craft inspectors. Police are interested in doing equipment checks and assessments, but we will teach them to determine whether a vessel is seaworthy and to call us if necessary. We will react and tie the vessel up.

Senator Adams: In our community, we are dealing with an area of 700 miles across Hudson Bay.

In our community, when someone buys a pleasure craft, it is not really for pleasure; it is usually for hunting.

Sometimes we have difficulty with communication in the community. When people travel to other communities, which can be up to 60 or 100 hundred miles, sometimes they use the telephone to indicate departure and expected arrival times. Is there a regulation in place with Transport Canada or with the Canadian Coast Guard to indicate that a radio is required if travel exceeds a certain number of kilometres? Now we use small CB radio communication. Sometimes I go to my cabin and I can hear and talk to someone 25 miles away.

Some communities have people without communications systems, but we do not have anyone from Transport Canada in the community. Now there are only people from Fisheries and Oceans in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. Will that stay the same?

Mr. Streeter: Safety issues, particularly in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, are a challenge for us because there are significant historical and cultural issues so that if we were to apply our test, we would fail.

We are currently working with and hiring people from those communities and educating them in small vessel safety in particular. We are working with the new provincial government in Nunavut and the government of the Northwest Territories to put programs in place to get standards up there.

With regard to issues of subsistence hunting and fishing, in particular, we will not interfere with a lot of safety requirements. For us, those are pleasure craft and they should stay that way, but like all pleasure craft, there may well be safety requirements that are needed because of geography or because of use or duty. That is an area we are working on now. We are producing material in Innu and Inuktitut. The last thing I saw was in about nine different Aboriginal languages.

It is a significant statement that in spite of the difficulties that you know we have with licencing issues in the some of the Aboriginal fisheries, they have not been manifested in the safety side of the business.

Senator Adams: Now on bigger craft there are depth sounders, Global Positioning Satellite system, GPS, and such things. Would that kind of thing be licensed? I had a friend who was asked by Fisheries and Oceans whether he had a licence to operate those.

Mr. Desparois: For the utilization of GPS, there is no requirement to hold a licence. This is a broadcast type transmission, which is available free to Canadians. This service is being provided by the Canadian Coast Guard.

To operate radios, there is no requirement to hold a radio licence. However, you must hold a restricted operator's certificate from the Department of Communications.

Senator Adams: Do you have to have a licence to operate a marine radio?

Mr. Streeter: You must have a restricted radio operator's certificate. All that requires is knowledge of how to use the equipment, some of the phonetic alphabets and the terms that are used, so that the communication is clear and concise when you are using channels that may well be used for distress call purposes.

The Chairman: If you we require your help while we consider the bill, clause-by-clause, we will get back to you. Thank you very much for being here.

Mr. Streeter: Thank you very much.

The Chairman: Is it agreed that the committee move to clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-14?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Shall the title stand postponed?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Shall clause 1 stand postponed?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Shall clauses 2 to 4 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Carried. Shall clauses 5 to 40 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Carried. Shall clauses 41 to 79 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Carried. Shall clauses 80 to 103 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Carried. Shall clauses 104 to 124 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Carried. Shall clauses 125 to 139 carry, that being navigation services?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Carried. Shall clauses 140 to 152 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Carried. Shall clauses 153 to 164 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Carried. Shall clauses 165 to 184 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Carried. Shall clauses 185 to 193 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Carried. Shall clauses 194 to 209 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Carried. Shall clauses 210 to 246 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Carried. Shall clauses 247 to 269 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Carried. Shall clauses 270 to 274 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Carried. Shall clauses 275 to 324 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Carried. Shall clauses 325 to 330 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Carried. Shall clauses 331 to 334 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Carried. Shall schedules 1 to 3 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Carried. Shall clause 1 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Carried. Shall the title carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Carried. Is it agreed that this bill be adopted without amendment?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Agreed.

We should proceed in camera to discuss some possible observations to append to this bill. Is that greed?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The committee continued in camera.