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Anorak | Canadian Parliament scuppers moves to permit drunk canoeing

Canadian Parliament scuppers moves to permit drunk canoeing

by | 17th, October 2017

canoe beer canadaCanada has rules governing drinking in “vessels”, including those “propelled exclusively by means of muscular power”. Get caught over the limit in a kayak or on an inflatable raft and you could lose your driving licence.

Now the Canadian Safe Boating Council has countered moves to end this rule, telling Liberal MP Colin Fraser, “it would send the wrong message to the public to exclude drunk canoeing”. You can be drunk in charge of a bicycle. But you must be sober in a canoe.

The Canadian Criminal Code says only motorized road vehicles are covered by impaired driving laws – but all water-going “vessels,” whether they’re motorized or not, are included:

But the definition may soon be tested in court. Earlier this year, Ontario Provincial Police laid charges against David Sillars, a 37-year-old who tipped a canoe on the Muskoka River. An eight-year-old in the canoe was swept over a waterfall and died.

Sillars is charged with impaired operation of a vessel causing death and operating a vessel with a blood-alcohol level over 80 milligrams causing death, among other counts.

During the committee meeting, Conservative MP Rob Nicholson — a former Conservative justice minister — appeared to cite that case in asking for clarification on what the amendment would do.

In the UK, the law on drunk-boating tells us:

Boaters may be prosecuted under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 if their actions on the water are seen to be endangering other vessels, structures or individuals and they are under the influence of alcohol.

But there is no law covering being smashed in charge of a canoe, or pedlo.

Spotter: National Post

 



Posted: 17th, October 2017 | In: News, Politicians, Strange But True Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink