Canadian sailors of small boats cheer for removal of red tape

Small sailing boats will benefit too
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Owners of small sailing boats are overjoyed in Canada, but will other sailing countries take heed? Owners of thousands of small sailing boats will be spared paperwork and government fees by the changing of the law that required registration.

A law that required club and organisational owners of canoes, kayaks and small sailboats to register with Transport Canada has been changed. Transport Minister Chuck Strahl announced in a press conference that owners of canoes, kayaks and small sailing vessels, as well as any small vessels with motors less than 7.5kW (10hp), will not have to register their vessels.

'We do not believe Canadian boaters should face onerous regulations to go canoeing and kayaking,' Strahl said in a statement.

The government last year had changed the regulations to include registration of any boats used for 'guided excursions'.

Community groups like the Scouts and Girl Guides were worried that the new regulation would force them to face heavy paperwork and fees to register thousands of canoes used in summer camps.

Strahl said Transport Canada would still require registration for 'commercial river-rafts, government vessels and any vessels where registration is necessary for safety reasons'. But he said that the department has introduced a streamlined registration process.

'We’re ecstatic . . . We’re in the clear for the summer,' Graham Ketcheson, executive director of Paddle Canada, told the Toronto Star. Paddle Canada had been one of the groups that had petitioned the government to change the regulations, but owners of all smaller sailing boats will also reap the benefit.