Region’s boating safety office closing

CSRD voices opposition to planned closure of regional federal office.

  • Wed Sep 26th, 2012 3:00pm
  • News

Columbia Shuswap Regional District directors intend to stir up the waters with a letter to Ottawa after receiving the news that the federal government has pulled the plug on Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety in Kelowna.

“They’re consistently wanting local government to do a job that is their mandate,” said Area E Rural Sicamous director Rhona Martin, who noted that, through a great deal of effort to patrol the lake from all levels of government, behaviour on the lake is changing for the better. “If one of the players leave, it will change. I am disappointed to see this and I want to write a letter encouraging the federal government to stay in Kelowna.”

Regional district Parks and Recreation team leader Marcin Pachcinski concurred.

“I think the biggest impact on the lake is a show of force working with the RCMP that obviously will no longer happen,” he said.

Added Martin, “I think this is the first time we’ve seen the boat – since SLIPP (Shuswap Lake Integrated Planning Process) stepped up enforcement. I think it would be sad to go back.”

The regional district was advised of the boating safety office closure in a Sept. 11 letter, which read: “Effective immediately, all Pacific Region recreational boating safety programs and services are centralized to Vancouver and will be handled by four remaining boating safety officers there.”

All marine safety inquiries should now be directed to 604-666-5300 or obs-pac-bsn@tc.gc.ca.