Vancouver Port Authority proposes ban on recreational vessels
Published Sunday, October 8, 2017 6:56PM PDT
Last Updated Sunday, October 8, 2017 6:58PM PDT
For many, paddling a kayak around the northern tip of Stanley Park on a sunny day is the perfect way to take in the many breathtaking views Vancouver has to offer.
Under new rules proposed by the Vancouver Port Authority, however, taking such a trip could soon be illegal.
The authority plans to expand the areas near First and Second Narrows where recreational vessels such as kayaks, canoes, sailboats, and jet-skis are banned. The ban would apply in the designated areas, as well as the entire Vancouver Harbour in between.
Vancouver resident Peter Armstrong, who was walking along the seawall Sunday morning, said keeping such vessels out of the way of major shipping lanes is a worthwhile goal.
“This is extremely dangerous waters,” he told CTV News. “This is the main entrance way into one of the world’s biggest harbours.”
But critics of the port authority’s plan argue that kayaks and paddleboards hugging the shore of Stanley Park aren’t actually in the way of the large tankers making their way under the Lions Gate Bridge, and banning them from that area is unfair.
For its part, the port authority says these types of vessels are already prohibited in much of First Narrows, though the current rules are rarely enforced.
The proposed changes would tighten enforcement as well as expanding the area where the ban applies.
The new rules are not all bad news for paddlers, however. If passed, they would open up other areas, including Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver and Maplewood Flats in North Van, to recreational boating activities.