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Brown and Owens work to restore peace of mind for area boaters

Media Release
Gord Brown, MP (Leeds-Grenville)

Brown and Owens work to restore peace of mind for area boaters
Congressman Bill Owens (NY-23) and Canadian Member of Parliament Gordon Brown (Leeds-Grenville) provided an update today on their continuing action to work within their respective governments to address concerns of boaters who do not anchor or dock in shared waters between Canada and the United States.
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Washington - Jul. 28, 2011 - Congressman Bill Owens (NY-23) and Canadian Member of Parliament Gordon Brown (Leeds-Grenville) provided an update today on their continuing action to work within their respective governments to address concerns of boaters who do not anchor or dock in shared waters between Canada and the United States.

“For more than a century, the economic development of our border communities has depended on a common sense relationship between the United States and Canada,” Owens said.

“It is critical to the continued economic recovery of the region that the reporting requirements for boaters and fishermen on both sides of the border are clear and easy to understand, allowing boaters from both nations to enjoy shared waterways.

“I would like to thank MP Brown for his work on this issue and for his understanding of the economic implications involved here.”

“Since the end of May, I have been working with our officials and the Minister’s office to try to find a solution to the confusion that exists between our two country’s rules,” said Brown.

“Though some changes were made to simplify the opportunities for reporting in Canada, I am pleased to note that Public Safety Minister Vic Toews just announced that the department will be reviewing the current regulations.

“For my part I will continue to encourage the department and the Minister to harmonize the regulations with that of our US friends so that boaters will face the same rules on both sides of the border.”

The legislation being crafted by Congressman Owens is in reaction to a May 30th incident that has created confusion regarding the Canadian government’s enforcement of a policy that requires boaters - even those who do not anchor or dock -- to report their presence to Canadian law enforcement.

The incident involved a seasonal resident of Thousand Island Park who had his vessel boarded by a Canadian Border Services Agency officer and was issued a $1,000 fine for not first reporting his entry into Canadian waters to the Canadian authorities.

As the situation developed in the following weeks, confusion built among American boaters, threatening tourism in the region.

To date, the Canadian Government has reduced the fine for the American citizen involved in the incident from $1,000 to $1 and now allows American boaters to report to Canadian law enforcement from their cell phones. Additionally, policies are being evaluated to see if improvements can be made.

Congressman Bill Owens introduced his legislation Tuesday that would waive this reporting requirement for Canadian boaters that do not anchor or dock in American waters.


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