Canada - Ottawa bans ‘pleasure craft’ in Arctic coastal waters, will reopen some national parks as of June 1

In an effort to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in remote and vulnerable Arctic communities with few medical facilities, Ottawa announced that “pleasure craft” will be prohibited from operating within Canada’s Arctic coastal waters (north of the 60th parallel), as well as in the coastal areas of northern Quebec and Labrador.

The new measures begin June 1, and will remain in place until “at least” Oct. 31, 2020, according to a May 14 announcement from Transport Canada.

Transport Canada defines a “pleasure craft” as a boat, a ship, or any other watercraft that is used exclusively for pleasure and does not carry passengers or goods for payment. Canoes, kayaks, sailboats and motorboats are also included in this definition.

The federal government said the new restrictions will not apply to pleasure craft used by local communities, or used “for essential transportation, for subsistence fishing, harvesting and hunting, or for exercising Treaty Rights.”

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