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BOATING

Restrictions on navigation

Hundreds of lakes throughout Quebec are specifically named in federal restrictions regarding motor boats and water skiing. Lac des Becs-Scie is not one of them.

Our Association has worked for years to try to serve the needs of all residents and seek a voluntary consensus which will favour safety, sharing, and protection of the natural environment. Our efforts have included surveys, membership consultations, working with government at all levels and with the Office of Boating Safety, culminating in numerous sessions of negotiations and mediation among various interest groups in 2004-6.

When a final mediation effort failed in spring of 2006, the Ville de Saint-Sauveur took the initiative. The municipal council organized a public meeting in June, attended by more than 100 residents. It also invited written submissions, to seek broad input from citizens. In July 2006, Ville de Saint-Sauveur asked the federal Office of Boating Safety (Québec Region) for an expert opinion. The Office issued a report in August recommending the following rules in the interest of safety and equitable sharing by all users of the lake:

  1. Speed limit of 10 km/hr except between 10h00 and 13h00, and between 16h00 and 19h00.
  2. Speed limit of 10 km/hr within 40 metres from the shoreline at all times.

(The full report of the OBS can be consulted here.)

Finally, in August 2006, the municipal council of Saint-Sauveur unanimously approved the proposed regulation and decided to submit it to Transport Canada for adoption.

After a long and complex process, the federal Transport Minister announced the proposed amendments in July 2008 and they were duly published in the Canada Gazette Part I.

In August 2008, the former mayor of Mille-Isles wrote to Transport Canada objecting to the proposal, alleging that its implementation for Saint-Sauveur would cause a dangerous situation on the 14% of the lake falling within Mille-Isles. No technical or expert evidence was provided in support of this assertion.

In September 2008, Saint-Sauveur municipal council unanimously re-confirmed its position of 2006 and called on Transport Canada to implement the regulations.

In February 2009, however, Transport Canada wrote to Ville de Saint-Sauveur advising that because of the concern raised by the ex-mayor of Mille-Isles, the government would hold the proposed restrictions in abeyance until the problem could be resolved.

Despite many efforts on the part of the Association and our members, and continued support by Saint-Sauveur, nothing has changed to date. We sought to have the Mille-Isles ex-mayor’s allegation submitted to the Office of Boating Safety for expert validation. We have met with the mayors of both municipalities in a quest for a collaborative solution. We remain open to creative ideas based on respect for the rights of all, boaters and non-boaters alike.

No matter how this file evolves, we pledge to keep listening to residents and to serve your needs for a safe, healthy, enjoyable, and environmentally friendly community.

Permanent link to this article: http://becsscie.com/en/our-lake/boating/