FOG: Call cops if you see dangerous river activity
In response to the article FOG: Cops agree to step up river patrols, June 23 edition
There are two corrections we would like to make to this article.
First, this article seemed to imply that we were abandoning the Transport Canada process. To the contrary, we are following it closely. Part of the Transport Canada process is to ensure that every possible non-regulatory solution has been tried before asking for any regulatory changes. This is why the public consultation focused on problem definition and non-regulatory solutions. As well this summer, Friends of the Gatineau volunteers will be supporting the MRC des Collines by focusing on an awareness campaign and collecting data about river usage and incidents. In fact, the campaign has started, and we have already received lots of interesting feedback. The information brochure will evolve based on the feedback.
Second, enforcement of existing laws is also an important facet. We did, indeed, have discussions with the MRC des Collines Police. We made them aware of the survey results and testimonials that were received via the Gatineau River Vision 2030 and our AGM. They have agreed to pay attention to the boating safety issues highlighted (over and above the easy to spot security violations such as lack of security equipment) whether it be through prevention or enforcement. They have one boat and much territory to cover.
Also, they said that they had not received many complaints of this nature, which contradicts the data that was collected during the survey. Is it because the incidents are happening too fast and there is no time to call? They do encourage citizens to call them when encountering dangerous situations on the river. Also, we have agreed to share data in order to assess the level of safety on the river.
River users can also submit information, observations, etc., via the FOG website on the boating safety page: www.fog-arg.org/ boating-safety-consultations/
See you on the river. Let’s make sure it's enjoyable for all.
President of the Friends of the Gatineau River Chelsea