What is fee modernization?

    “Fee modernization” is a term for Transport Canada’s project to update existing service fees and introduce new ones. We’re doing this so we can:

    • make sure that those who benefit from our services pay a bigger share of the costs
    • continue to support innovation and modern technologies
    • provide excellent services for Canadian businesses, jobs and recreation

    Why is Transport Canada introducing fees for Pleasure Craft Operator Competency Program services?

    We haven’t been charging for the program’s services, so they’ve been paid for by taxpayers. We’d like to change things so that the people who benefit the most from the services, namely third party businesses that offer boating safety courses and test services, pay a share of the costs. To do this, we need to start charging fees.

    How much are the new fees?

    We’d like to set fees at:

    • $5,000 every five years, for course providers who want their courses accredited
    • $8.50 for maintenance and test materials, paid for each operator card issued by a course provider

    How was the fee design and pricing structure set?

    We set the fees design and pricing structure by looking at a number of things.

    First, we estimated all direct and indirect costs for delivering the Pleasure Craft Operator Competency Program’s services, including:

    • employee salaries
    • operating and maintenance costs
    • amortization of capital assets
    • program support
    • internal services
    • centrally managed costs like employee benefits
    • services provided by other departments, like office space

    The direct and indirect costs is upper limit of a service fee and were our starting point for fees.

    We then considered other factors, like what other countries charge for similar services and how these fees would impact the people and groups that use the services.

    When will Transport Canada start charging fees?

    We expect that the fees will come into effect in 2022.

    The new fees will only apply to the accredited course providers.

    Will there be new requirements to get a Pleasure Craft Operator Card?

    No. The requirements will stay the same as they are now.

    Why does Transport Canada want to change the Pleasure Craft Operator Competency Regulations?

    The current regulations came into force on April 1, 1999. We need to make changes to improve Transport Canada’s authority and ability to improve, oversee and manage the Program.

    For example, we want to make a change so that course providers need to renew their accreditation every five years. We also want to be able to suspend or cancel course accreditation if a course provider isn’t following the regulations. These changes will make sure that course providers continue to provide excellent training.

    How will these changes affect boaters?

    Transport Canada will be able to cancel a Pleasure Craft Operator Card in some situations.

    For the most part, the changes just improve the accreditation requirements for course providers. Most changes won’t affect the general public.

    How many Pleasure Craft Operator Cards are issued every year?

    Over 4.5 million people hold Pleasure Craft Operator cards in Canada. Cards are valid for life. Every year, we issue around 157,000 new cards.

    How can I submit feedback?

    As we begin introducing these fees, we want your feedback!

    You can read our fee proposal and submit your comments on the Let’s Talk Pleasure Craft website. We’ll record your comments and consider them as we develop the regulations. 

    We’ll also publish the proposed regulations in the Canada Gazette before they come into effect.

    Why consult now?

    Since it’s an outdoor activity, recreational boating is on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. This may also be why we’ve recently seen twice the normal number of people applying for a Pleasure Craft Operator Card.