Transport Canada thinking of making the wearing of lifejackets/PFDs mandatory on recreational craft

Cottage Life is reporting that Transport Canada is considering making it mandatory for anyone on board a recreational craft to wear a lifejacket or PFD. The idea, it says, has been kicking around since 2018. Transport Canada has asked the Canadian Marine Advisory Council membership to give its opinions on if and where the mandatory wear could apply, by vessel size and propulsion. “After February 20, when Transport Canada has received feedback from CMAC members, the agency will open the proposed lifejacket regulations to public review and comment through its Let’s Talk Transportation website.”

Something the Cottage Life story overlooks is that PFDs are already mandatory to wear—if they’re inflatable. Conventional PFDs and lifejackets meet carrying requirements if they’re readily accessible, but inflatable PFDs need to be worn for a vessel to be considered properly equipped. Any new regs would extend the mandatory wear beyond inflatable PFDs.

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