Runciman’s boating bill to become law next week

Retired Senator Bob Runciman. (Runciman Office via Newswatch Group)

BROCKVILLE – Senator Bob Runciman’s bill to ease red tape for American boaters who venture into Canadian water has passed the Senate and will become law shortly.

The bill – adopted Monday and voted on Tuesday – is expected to become law next week after receiving Royal Assent.

“This is great news for boaters and for the tourism industry of border communities across Canada,” Runciman said. “It will help Americans and Canadians alike and I could not be happier that it will become law in time for the boating season.”

Under the new law, Americans who enter Canadian water won’t have to report to customs as long as they remain on board and they don’t land, anchor to come into contact with another vessel.

The law is expected to ease headaches for fishers and pleasure cruisers, who happen to stray into foreign water.

Runciman said the current requirement to report under these circumstances was “impractical…in areas such as the Thousand Islands, where it sometimes isn’t even clear which side of the border you are on.”

Canada Border Services Agency officials can still compel boaters to report in order to protect border security.

This is Runciman’s third bill to become law.