Government of Canada announces funding to support safe boating during North American Safe Boating Awareness Week

News release

May 26, 2022                    Ottawa                    Transport Canada

As more Canadian boaters are out on our waters, increased traffic is leading to more boating-related incidents. In 80% of fatalities, a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD) was not worn. This is a simple step that, in many cases, can be the difference between life and death.

The Government of Canada is committed to raising awareness about safe boating practices and continuing to support the work of organizations who help foster safety on the water. With North American Safe Boating Awareness Week underway, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Annie Koutrakis, announced $1.4 million in funding for recreational boating safety projects under Canada’s Boating Safety Contribution Program.

These projects aim to help Canadians and Indigenous Peoples stay safe on the water by raising public awareness about recreational boating safety, advancing knowledge of boating safety issues, practices and behaviours, and conducting research on the most effective ways to change boating behaviour in Canada.

North American Safe Boating Awareness Week, which is May 21-27, is an opportunity to reflect on how boaters can enjoy being out on the water in a safe and responsible way. Boating is an activity enjoyed by Canadians across the country and, for many, the boating season began May long weekend. In anticipation of the warmest months of the year, when boating-related fatalities occur the most in Canada, it is important to keep boating safety top of mind.

The full list of 2022-23 recipients under Canada’s Boating Safety Contribution Program is available online. Further, Transport Canada is now accepting applications under the Recreational Boating Safety Component for projects that will begin in 2023-24.

Additional multimedia

Safe Boating Awareness Week (Transcript)

Practice safe boating (Transcript)


“Thank you to the Boating Safety Contribution Program recipients for their commitments to keeping Canadians safe on the water. We are proud to support the work of organizations that equip Canadians with lifesaving information. It’s every boater’s responsibility to boat safely and we hope everyone enjoys a safe boating season exploring Canadian waters.”

The Honourable Annie Koutrakis
Parliamentary Secretary

“North American Safe Boating Awareness Week reminds us to be safe on the water, for ourselves and others. The Government of Canada takes the safety of boaters seriously by supporting the recipients of this year’s Boating Safety Contribution Program in their efforts to prevent drownings and build awareness around boating safety. We will continue to take action in support of boaters so that they can safely enjoy the boating season.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

Quick facts

  • Boaters: always wear a lifejacket that fits and is in good condition when on or near the water. Along with wearing your life jacket, safe boating practices including being prepared, making a plan, and boating sober can save your life. It’s for your own safety, the guests on your boat, as well as those around you.

  • Since 2009, the Boating Safety Contribution Program has funded 117 recreational boating safety projects across Canada totalling $16.3 million.

  • According to the Drowning Prevention Research Centre (DPRC), Canada sees an average of 500 drownings per year, with approximately 100 of those drownings related to recreational boating. In 80% of these fatalities, a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD) was not worn. Over one-third of those fatally injured in recreational boating had consumed alcohol.

  • Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety supports prevention-based programs and encourages safe boating practices and compliance with safety regulations.

  • The Recreational Boating Safety component of the Boating Safety Contribution Program funds up to 75% of total eligible project expenditures, up to a maximum of $300,000 per recipient. A total of $1 million is available annually.

Associated links


Laurel Lennox
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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