June 13th, 2017

NDP: give muncipalities the ability to regulate water sport activities

OTTAWA – Today, many New Democrat MPs from Québec, namely Anne Minh-Thu Quach (Salaberry—Suroît), Robert Aubin (Trois-Rivières) and Brigitte Sansoucy (Saint-Hyacinthe – Bagot) are calling on the federal government to re-examine the legislation connected to water sports and recreational boating, and give more regulating powers to municipalities. Joined by the mayor of Saint-Stanislas-de-Kostka, these MPs held a press conference to remind the Minister of Transportation that municipalities have been demanding this for many years now.

“Many ridings in Quebec, and across Canada, are affected by this problem. Warm days mean the beginning of the tourism season, and municipalities don’t always have the means to tighten regulations regarding nautical activities," says M.P. Anne Minh-Thu Quach. "Municipalities cannot place speed limits on boats or on sound pollution. The FCM and the UMQ are also backing this demand.”

A change would be beneficial, not only for the environment, but also in maintaining economic vitality with more efficient water management.

“I am disappointed by the lack of support municipalities receive from Minister Marc Garneau. He is responsible for this file and I hope he will see to bringing the necessary changes, so that municipalities can regulate the activities that can accelerate riverbank erosion” explains Robert Aubin, the NDP critic for Transportation.

Nautical activities and recreational boating contribute to problems like riverbank erosion, and poor relations between shoreline property owners and boaters.

“My municipality of Saint-Stanislas-de-Kostka has been battling this problem for three years. It’s time for the federal government to help us so that we can preserve our quality of life while also maintaining tourism activities. It is a very important issue for our region”, explains Caroline Huot, mayor of the town.

“Municipalities need to be able to regulate nautical activities in their area. In my riding, the cities of Saint-Hyacinthe and Saint Pie are dealing with many challenges connected to navigation. In particular, the relationships between shoreline property owners and people who practice water sports. Towns must have the ability to legislate, so they can offer a harmonious quality of life to property owners, while also ensuring the safety of leisure boaters” adds Brigitte Sansoucy.