First, they were closed - as of May 2, many of the Canada Border Services Small Vessel Reporting Stations were not scheduled to be open to serve cross-border boaters during our short and critically important summer.
This was a situation from earlier in the Government’s response to the COVID pandemic. In just over two weeks, working together, Canada’s marine trade associations and their associated tourism associations had managed to bring the situation to the attention of the government and get most of the Small Vessel Reporting Stations to open. On May 19, the Hon. Marco Mendicino, Federal Minister of Public Safety, announced ‘that services will resume at over 300 marine ports of entry’ and that this will happen ‘this week’.
While all the marine trade associations were active on this, the Great Lakes share a huge stretch of border with the United States and Boating Ontario was front and centre. Also critical was the effort of Joe Gatfield, Commodore of the Windsor Yacht Club, for his efforts on this fight and a very special word of thanks to MP Dave Epp who stood up for the boating industry and on Tuesday, May 17, walked Boating Ontario’s letter across the floor in the House of Commons to place our concerns directly into the Minister’s hands.
The list of open border sites is (or soon will be) here.