May 13th, 2020
MP Pierre Poilievre presented a petition to the House of Commons made to Transport Minister Marc Garneau today in support of making lifejackets and personal flotation devices mandatory for children under 14 years of age.
The proposed change would apply to kids when passengers on or drivers of most recreational vessels. The current law is for a properly sized lifejacket or PFD to be on board a vessel, but it stops short of requiring that they be worn, even by children.
“I support Cara’s efforts and I am honoured to table this petition on her behalf,”
The Petition was started by Cara McNulty as a part of an initiative “Lifejackets for Life” to address this apparent gap in child safety regulation in Canada following the death of her son Joshua Steinburg, aged 11 in a boating accident on the St. Lawrence River. All of the appropriately sized PFDs were on board the vessel at the time of the accident but inaccessible as result of the boat having capsized.
Canada is behind the United States and other Western countries on this issue and changes to the Small Vessel Regulation to reduce the number of boating related deaths in Canada have been recommended by drowning prevention organizations and advocates for many years. Lifejackets for Life will continue to work towards making these long overdue regulatory changes a reality so that kids can be safe on Canada’s waterways.
“I support Cara’s efforts and I am honoured to table this petition on her behalf,” said MP Poilievre following his presentation to the House.