Ottawa – Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville – Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, today introduced Bill S-233, a bill to allow boaters who are merely transiting through Canadian waters with no intention to stop, to do so without reporting to Canadian Customs, into the House of Commons.
“This is the Bill that Senator Bob Runciman recently shepherded through the Senate,” says Brown. “I am pleased to be able to now take it and move it through the House.”
Brown has a Private Member’s Bill in line in the House that mirrors this Bill, but since Runciman’s Bill has already passed the Senate it is more expedient to support it in the House.
“I don’t yet know the timeline that we are looking at for passage in the House,” explains Brown, “but I will make every effort to get it passed as quickly as possible.”
The Bill, among other things, would allow people who are transiting Canadian waters, such as in the 1000 Islands, to do so without reporting to Customs.
Currently such boaters must call in to Customs which often delays their trip.
“It discourages people from even coming close to shore and in fact, many US boaters are afraid to be close to the border in case they cross over and are suddenly subject to Canadian rules,” explains Brown.
He notes that if boaters can transit our waters they may be encouraged to come to shore, at which point they will have to report.
The Bill will also assist companies such as whale watchers who can now enter international waters without leaving their vessel and return to Canada without having to check in with Customs.