You may soon be able to enjoy as many Labatt Blues as your heart contents on your next paddle up in the Great White North. National Post is reporting that Canada is cleaning up its Criminal Code ahead of the legalization of marijuana. Part of the clean up will take a deeper look at a grey area that allows police to hand out drunk driving charges to boozy canoeists.
The change to the Code would changes the definition of a vessel so that it “does not include a vessel that is propelled exclusively by means of muscular power.” The legislation could still be amended before it becomes law.
In 2011, a Waterloo canoeist who’d allegedly been drinking and paddling on Belwood Lake had his driver’s licence suspended for 90 days, leaving him unable to drive his pregnant wife to the hospital for medical checkups (though he could have still paddled her there, as canoes don’t need a licence).
Not everyone is happy about the change. The Canadian Safe Boating Council testified before the House of Commons committee studying the bill on Monday. They feel that this would be the wrong move for Canada.