View topic - Canadian Judge to rule whether or not a canoe is a vessel

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PostPosted: November 22nd, 2018, 6:52 pm 
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recped wrote:
What would constitute probable cause giving authorities the right to demand a riverside sobriety test and saliva sample?

Will I be safe if I only paddle my canoe under the influence cannabis in locations more than 2 hours from the required facility that can obtain a blood sample for final determination

Probable Cause could include,
-smelling alcohol or cannabis
-seeing open alcohol or cannabis
-admitting to using alcohol or cannabis

But first they have to stop a boater, which may be different than stopping a driver.
Canoeing is a Right, Driving is a Priviledge.
They can't stop
-to check license, insurance, registration
-because a canoe is swerving

Police can & will stop boaters for random equipment checks, but they may have trouble turning that into a sobriety check.
If police wish to randomly stop canoeists to check for sobriety they'd have a better case with fixed position stops(R.I.D.E.), rather than random roving stops. And they won't benefit from any decision concerning the highway traffic act. My bet is that it'll be much harder to prosecute than vehicular impaired driving. That said, Beware in busy areas with access to a boat launch.

I'd rather of seen safety campaigns highlighting the dangers of alcohol & boating, the benefits of helmets in whitewater and the need for thermal protection in freezing water.


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PostPosted: November 28th, 2018, 6:20 pm 
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I don't think including none motorized vehicles is a god idea, it opens too many what ifs???
That guy was an idiot no doubt but we don't need the government imposing more rules on us!
Happy Paddling but not drunk paddling above a waterfall is good.


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PostPosted: June 28th, 2019, 6:41 am 
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Location: North Bay, Ontario, Canada
Judge issues verdict in historic Muskoka impaired canoeing case
Etobicoke resident found guilty in first-ever impaired operation of a canoe case

https://www.muskokaregion.com/news-stor ... gfodgn0zfy


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PostPosted: June 28th, 2019, 7:06 am 
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Sentencing will happen sometime in August according to last night's reports... charged with operation of a vessel with a blood-alcohol content over 80 milligrams causing death, dangerous operation of a vessel causing death, criminal negligence causing death, and impaired operation of a vessel. Waiting to see how hard the sentencing will be. Precedent-setting case in the news reports, downside might be politicians jumping on it and declaring that paddlers and canoes need licensing in order to stop this from happening again. Brings in votes, and the reporters.

:roll:

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PostPosted: June 28th, 2019, 9:36 am 
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This was a tragic event.It appears that the charges of criminal negligence causing death and impaired operation of a vessel causing death were 2 separate charges. If that is the correct, then the guilty verdict on the criminal negligence causing death charge could have been reached without getting into the question of whether or not a canoe fit the definition of a "vessel".

The further question that was brought up indirectly but not addressed by this cases was whether or not the same laws should be applied to the operation of human powered vessels while impaired as are applied to the operation of motorized vessels. For comparison human powered land vehicles are not treated the same as motorized land vehicles. Note that while the case determined that a canoe is a vessel, it then only applied current legislation and did not question whether the treatment of human powered vessels was reasonable.

What could have a more significant long term impact on paddle sports is this part of the written judgement (quoted from the Muskoka Region article):
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"West wrote it was in his view that canoeing is “an extremely dangerous activity even in favourable conditions” and the dangers and risks posed are far greater in a canoe as compared to driving a motor vehicle, in that impairment caused by alcohol and marijuana “can and often do cause serious bodily harm and death.”
____________________

According to the CDC the death rate per 100,000 participants from automobiles is 11.9 while according to the NCBI the death rate per 100,000 for canoeing is 0.92. That would indicate that canoeing is MORE than 10X SAFER than an automobile.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/injury.htm
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22824841

Canadian and US civil law is based on case law where prior cases set precedents for future cases. Having a case on record where the judge has made a written judgement that canoeing is "an extremely dangerous activity even in favourable conditions" can have huge impacts on the future for canoe camps, school outdoor programs, guides, outfitters, and more.

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PostPosted: June 28th, 2019, 10:45 am 
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What could have a more significant long term impact on paddle sports is this part of the written judgement (quoted from the Muskoka Region article):
___________________
"West wrote it was in his view that canoeing is “an extremely dangerous activity even in favourable conditions” and the dangers and risks posed are far greater in a canoe as compared to driving a motor vehicle, in that impairment caused by alcohol and marijuana “can and often do cause serious bodily harm and death.”

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Excellent point Splake, couldn't agree more heartily.
And having that incorrect statement, although obiter dicta and not really part of the reasons for the judgment, in a published decision is problematic.

Bruce


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PostPosted: June 28th, 2019, 2:01 pm 
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I guess he did not want his judgement to be tainted by facts!!

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PostPosted: June 29th, 2019, 4:21 am 
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Sometime the only reasonable thing to do is pound your head repeatedly against a hard object.


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