Dianne Watts seconds Private Member’s Bill that lifts customs requirement for transiting foreign vessels

May 17, 2016

Ottawa – Dianne Watts, Member of Parliament for South Surrey-White Rock, seconded a private member’s bill introduced by Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville – Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes. This bill would permit foreign owned pleasure crafts to transit Canadian waters without reporting to Canadian customs.

“I was pleased to second Bill C-273 introduced by my colleague, MP Gord Brown, today. Allowing foreign boaters, and US boaters in particular, to transit Canadian waterways without having to call into customs will help bolster our relationship with our neighbours to the South,” says Watts. “Furthermore, this would allow US boaters the same privileges that Canadian boaters already have in US waters.”

The Bill will allow boaters who do not plan to stop or anchor in Canada, to navigate through Canadian waters without reporting to customs.

MP Brown stated that this has been an issue in the summer time in his riding, and he has heard from marina owners, several local associations, and private citizens about this rule. South Surrey – White Rock borders the USA at Washington State, and faces very similar issues.

“It affects us here along the St. Lawrence River, in the Great Lakes and along the coasts,” Brown explains. “Who knows how many of those boaters would stop in and visit while they are on such a cruise? Currently they are being discouraged from even attempting such a tour just because of an awkward rule.”

It will also prevent confusion on the part of those who are drifting or fishing if they accidently cross into Canada from the US while enjoying a leisure activity and eliminate confusion for those using narrow water routes such as the International Rift.

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Media Contact:
Alla Drigola
Office of Dianne Watts, MP (South Surrey – White Rock)
Dianne.watts.a1@parl.gc.ca
613-299-2982