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Trent Severn User FeesThe lockage and moorage fees on two of Canada’s most popular recreational waterways, the Trent Severn and the Rideau have been bouncing up and down dramatically in the past little while as your Federal Government tries to cut costs.

If you have read Bob Eaton’s article on page 48 in this issue, you saw the headline, “...Trouble On Ontario’s Canal Systems” and hopefully followed the progression of Government efforts to cut costs by cutting hours, cutting manpower and cutting services on the Trent Severn and the Rideau. You would also have learned about the widespread backlash that stimulated and the public letters later released by Minister Peter Kent reinstating hours and continuing the open season until Thanksgiving 2012 as in past years, but you might not have picked up the subtle hint that user fees increases were in the works.

This issue of Canadian Yachting was almost at the printer’s Friday, January 11th (the day many marine industry stakeholders were setting up at the Toronto International Boat Show) when a notice quietly appeared on the Parks Canada website announcing fee increases.

It was a smallish righthand column button that said, “User Fees Proposal”. I read it Saturday, January 12th and was astonished at the numbers I saw. Seeking out some people more familiar than I was with previous costs, I learned the new proposal was dramatically different.

The old fees of so many cents per foot of boat were replaced by similar monetary amounts but these new fees were compounded by other factors and season passes were no longer offered. One chap calculated that these new fees, as applied to a mid-30 foot cruiser traveling from one end to the other (as many do) could end up paying something around $800 in fees!

On Friday January 11th the website notice also announced a public consultation period starting that day and ending February 18th! That is not much time for media outlets like Canadian Yachting to get the word out.

Andy Adams - Managing Editor

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Look for the full article on page 8 of the latest (March 2013) issue of Canadian Yachting magazine.

To give your feedback to the government prior to the February 18th deadline please contact your Member of Parliament.

To learn more visit:  www.pc.gc.ca