Canadian Pleasure Craft Operators Card - Supreme Court Rules Its Unconstitutional
The Canadian Pleasure Craft Operator's Card - Conspiracy!
OK. The supreme court didn't rule against this card. I just wanted to get your attention.
If you live in Canada and enjoy boating in any way shape or form, then you should be aware by now that if you intend to enjoy boating in any way shape or form during this 2010 season and in the future, you will have to obtain a Canadian Pleasure Craft Operator's Card.
The stated intended purpose of this card is to make Canada's waterways safer for everyone using them...a noble and admirable goal. In actuality, the card's main purpose is obviously to generate a gazillion dollars for the Canadian government's coffers. Think about it...$50 for every boat on the water in Canada! According to our government in 2009 there were 9 million citizens involved in recreational boating. 9 Million times $50 ? $450,000,000! Half a billion. Nice!
The biggest problem I see with this card is that you have to know the rules, regulations and safety requirements for EVERY SINGLE KIND OF BOAT. Your "boating experience" may simply consist of puttering around on your local river on summer weekends (but NOT WITHOUT YOUR CARD! ) To get this card you must study and pass a test on seamanship, 90% of which is completely inapplicable to you.
Why should I have to know the required safety equipment and/or the minimum length of an anchor cable required for a 50' power boat, if I'm only ever going to use a 12' sailboat?
Why should I have to memorize the colours and meaning of cardinal beacons and buoys if I'm never going to encounter any of them on the river or pond I spend all my boating time on?
These questions unfortunately fall upon deaf or uncaring government doofus' ears.
Despite the insanity, since I want to boat this year, I was recently "forced" to take the online boater's card test. I found some of the questions to be insultingly stupid and obvious and other questions impossible to answer even if given unlimited resources and reference materials afterwards...but that's not the worst part of this fiasco. Last year, when only some boater's needed the card, we looked into it and found some local spots where we could go and take a course and a supervised test. This year, when all boaters need it, we discover a vast selection of online sites where you can register and get a card within 45 minutes. All you need is somebody to register as a supervisor.
ANYONE (its not supposed to be a relative) can register to be considered a "test supervisor" who must supervise you during your online test. (i.e. making sure you don't cheat). So if you really want to cheat, as long as you trust your buddy not to "rat you out", you pretty much can. Since you'll likely be the one supervising your buddy's test when its his turn...Do you get the point? To me this indicates our "government's" true colours. If they were concerned with honesty and the integrity of the tests they wouldn't let anybody/everybody and his best friend be a supervisor. The honour system is what the government believes is enough to keep the supervising and testing process legitimate. Making it so easy to be an official test supervisor compromises the integrity of the test system and makes it clear the MONEY is our government's main concern as opposed to our safety. Big Surprise Eh!
The other day my buddy at work came in smiling to tell me he got his boat card on the weekend. He told me the story of how he got his girlfriend to register as a supervisor, started taking the test, found it to be too hard (because he was so drunk) and so he got her to finish it. He passed! He got his card in the mail a few days later. So now we have a guy who knows next to nothing about the rules of boating with an operator's card good for life. Will this make you feel safer the next time you're out on the lake?
Fortunately, when I took the test, I didn't need to cheat....but I could have....because my friend did the supervising too...and then I supervised his test. We both passed! No surprise.
When I was a kid, I could hop on my bike anytime I wanted and drive, without a helmet, to the nearby lake and go fishing or canoeing. Today, if I did the same thing, I'd be fined for not wearing a helmet, fined for fishing without a license, and fined for canoeing without a card. Likely they confiscate my bike, fishing pole and canoe too.
What have we allowed to happen to our world?
End of rant.
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