April 30, 2019 Ottawa Transport Canada
Today, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, issued a new Interim Order expanding areas in which navigation is prohibited in specific areas of flooding in order to protect the safety of people and vessels, and to help first responders do their jobs in flooding conditions.
In addition, the public is urged to stay off all flooded waterways in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick (including those not currently subject to restrictions) to ensure navigational safety, and prevent damage to infrastructure and the environment.
Due to the magnitude of the flooding and following consultations with local authorities and law enforcement, Minister Garneau has extended the areas covered by the navigation restrictions. To ensure vessel movements do not pose a risk to the safety of individuals or cause damage to the environment, properties and infrastructure, communities in Muskoka Region are now part of the Interim Order Respecting Flooded Areas, where navigation by non-emergency vessels is strictly prohibited.
This new Interim Order builds on one issued April 27 and now applies to the following waterways:
- the part of the Ottawa River, in the province of Ontario or in the province of Québec, between the City of Gatineau and the Barrage de Carillon;
- Des Deux Montagnes Lake in the Province of Québec;
- the Mille Îles River in the Province of Québec;
- the Des Prairies River in the Province of Québec;
- Lake Muskoka in the Province of Ontario;
- North Branch Muskoka River in the Province of Ontario;
- South Branch Muskoka River in the Province of Ontario; and
- Moon River in the Province of Ontario.
In addition, a speed restriction of 9 knots for upriver traffic and 11 knots for downriver traffic has been put in place between Ile des Barques and Batiscan, Quebec.
Individuals who can only access their property by boat are exempted from the Interim Order and other restrictions for the purpose of going to and from their property. If citizens must use a waterway to access a property, they are urged to navigate at as slow a speed as possible.
Any violations of these provisions are subject to fines. Speed violations between Ile des Barques and Batiscan can go up to $1 million and/or up to 18 months in prison, or the seizure of the vessel.
“‘In light of the deteriorating situation, part of Muskoka region has been added to the interim order to better protect residents as well as to prevent damage. My department continues to closely monitor the situation across all flooded regions, and I will not hesitate to take any additional actions as required.”
The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport