SWOA has been tracking the issues related to non-compliant buoys since the fall of 2017 when we first heard that Transport Canada, along with the CSRD, were tagging buoys along Shuswap Lake. Over the past two years, information reported in the Salmon Arm Observer documents that as many as 86 buoys have been removed in Shuswap and Mara Lakes, and this fall, a further 186 buoys have been tagged in the North Shuswap as being noncompliant with the Shipping Regulations and potentially subject to further action in the spring or summer of 2020.
Throughout this process, SWOA has been concerned with the tagging process as the notices have been left attached to the buoys enclosed in a Ziploc bag and zip tied to the buoys. We have corresponded with Transport Canada on the topic, specifically as the notices were easily detached from the buoy by wave action, leaving only the zip tie attached. This is especially problematic as many waterfront owners will have closed their cabins for the year and if the notices are lost (as we expect will be the case), how will the owner of the buoy know that their buoy had been tagged unless they had heard via the beach grape vine.
Transport Canada have been clear on identifying the criteria that a buoy needs to meet to satisfy the Canada shipping regulations (a copy of the notice they have been using which includes the specifications to be met is posted on SWOA’s website).
As well, in correspondence recently received from Transport Canada they have stated:
" Our (Transport Canada’s) goal is not to pull buoys from the water, it is to ensure compliance with the regulations…. There is no stipulation that Transport Canada is to provide notice prior to pulling a non-compliant buoy, however in the interest of procedural fairness, we provide the notices. ”
The SWOA Board will continue to track the Transport Canada activities on Shuswap and Mara Lakes, advocate for our members and keep our membership informed on this and related issues. Currently we are following up with the CSRD and hope to have a further discussion with Transport Canada.
Lastly, we encourage you to talk to your waterfront neighbours or anyone that may be monitoring your cabin for the winter to determine if your buoy has been tagged. If so, we encourage you to get in contact with Transport Canada to start the process of getting a replacement buoy that will meet the regulations.
A copy of the tag notice (Compliance of Buoys under the Private Buoy Regulations) can be found by clicking here.