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Boating Skills Virtual Trainers Help Canadians Improve Their Skills

From left to right: Cathy Bisbee, Cowan Insurance Group Industry Leader, Programs & Associations, John Hinksman, CPS Foundation Chair, Richard Pouliot, The Guarantee, National VP Operations and Distribution Management.
Thanks to a generous grant of $20,000 from the Cowan Foundation to the CPS Foundation, Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons will acquire additional Boating Skills Virtual Trainers (BSVT). This new equipment provides simulated events that a boater will encounter in real life, giving instructors the opportunity to enhance classroom and on line educational efforts. Support from The Cowan Foundation will assist in the provision of additional units for the use of our Squadron volunteers, at approximately 150 training facilities across the country. The program consists of nine preplanned lessons that cover basic manoeuvres and safe boating practices: Docking, Slalom Course, Crossing/Overtaking Other Vessels, Departing Dock, Manoeuvering in Fairways, Pivot Turn, Mooring, Emergency Stop, Trim Control, Night Manoeuvres, and controls to change wind and current direction and strength.
The BSVT embodies high-end technology featuring three computer screens with a selective rotating field of vision close to 360 degrees. It has a responsive steering wheel with console switches for horn and navigation lights and a Mercury Marine throttle. It reacts to variable settings for trim, current and wind. On the dashboard you see your compass, tach and speedometer. Students may manoeuvre through simulated exercises in a virtual environment, without the risks of a real boat on the water. The helm seat can be set up on a regular desk or conference table. Although developed in the United States as a single language trainer, the CPS Foundation funded the development of the first multi-lingual BSVT and the trainer can be switched between English and French. This year the BSVT won the Canadian Safe Boating Council Marine Industry Award.
The Boating Skills Virtual Trainers will be on tour this year for CPS-ECP students to gain hands-on experience and learn new manoeuvres, without the risk. Take the helm this weekend at the Port Credit Spring Boat Show. Visit the Port Credit Power and Sail Squadron at booth number 383.
More info and videos visit: http://bit.ly/1Fof8ZL
About the CPS Foundation
Since 1975, The CPS Foundation has acted as the charitable arm of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS-ECP), providing funding to enhance projects and programs that make Canadian waterways safer for all boaters. Through the support of The CPS Foundation, CPS-ECP’s network of trained volunteers provide quality education to its members, and the broader public, in safe boating practices. www.cpsfoundation.ca
About the Cowan Foundation
The Cowan Foundation was started in 1995 in honour of Frank Cowan, the founder of Cowan Insurance Group and Frank Cowan Company. The Foundation is sustained by the ongoing success of the Princeton Holdings group of companies including Cowan Insurance Group (and its subsidiary companies: The Williamson Group, Millennium CreditRisk Management, Wentworth Financial Services and Cowan Financial Solutions) , Frank Cowan Company, The Guarantee Company of North America, Cowan Asset Management and Fountain Street Finance. Together they provide insurance and risk management products and services for individuals, businesses, organizations and public entities as well as assist employers with their group benefits, retirement and health and disability management plans. The goal of The Cowan Foundation is to make a positive difference in the lives of Canadians and the broader well-being of our communities.
People in attendance: Cathy Bisbee, Cowan Insurance Group Industry Leader, Programs & Associations, Richard Pouliot, The Guarantee, National VP Operations and Distribution Management, John Hinksman, CPS Foundation Chair, Walter Kowalchuk CPS-ECP Executive Director and members of Port Credit Power and Sail Squadron.

CPS-ECP Wins Four Canadian Safe Boating Awards

From Left to Right. Mike Smith, Bob Brandenstein, John Hinksman, Gavin England and Joseph Gatfield
The Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBAs) are like the Golden Globe awards of safe boating. On January 11th the Canadian Safe BoatingCouncil hosted the annual CASBA gala to recognize the efforts of the general public, volunteers, professionals, companies, agencies and organizations that have distinguished themselves in the fields of boating safetyand environmental stewardship duringthe 2014 boating season. The winners were selected from a host of nominations received from the public at large, covering boating safety stories from British Columbia to Quebec. Canadian Power and Sail Squadron members, volunteers and safety partners won four awards! Bravo, Zulu, details here:

Stearns Rescue of the Year: Gavin England
, Victoria Power and Sail Squadron Gavin England, is a 13 year old boy who was prawning in BC with his 77 year old grandfather. Their boat sank and Gavin, refusing to let his diabetic grandfather give up, started pulling him to shore. After reaching shore, Gavin walked over an hour on gravel trails, finding a stick shift truck, (never having driven before) drove to get help to save his grandfather. Accepting the award was Gavin England of Victoria Power and Sail Squadron.

Special Recognition Award for Media Outreach: Brent and Sara Morrison, Burnaby Power and Sail Squadron Brent and Sara are being recognized for leveraging local television program, Breakfast Television in July 2014 to do a spot on boating safety. They solicited the interest of City to create the feature for Breakfast Television, then developed the content, recruited spokespeople from their squadron and secured the vessels needed for on camera presence. The result was more than 8 minutes of compelling boating safety information delivered to thousands of Canadians. More information and the video is available here. C/C Joseph Gatfield accepted the award on the their behalf.

Ontario Power Generation Best Boating Safety Initiative: Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons CPS-ECP Emergency Equipment Education and Pyrotechnic Disposal Program An ongoing challenge is what to do with expired pyrotechnics (flares). CPS-ECP developed a disposal program and leveraged that activity into safe handling courses. The program was rolled out during the summer of 2014 across Canada, almost 10 thousand flares were collected (some dating back to 1965) and numerous boaters trained. The program is expected to continue in future years. Chair of the program, Mike Smith of Windsor Power and Sail Squadron accepted the award. Program details here.

Marine Industry Award: United States Power Squadron (USPS), and Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS-ECP) The USPS in conjunction with US Coast Guard created a boating simulator to teach boaters docking, working lines, open water operation and more and provide the opportunity to practice those skills before getting out on the water. CPS-ECP took the base virtual trainer, modified it for Canadian to be multi lingual (French and Chinese) and are now putting it into training across Canada. USPS Educational Officer Bob Brandenstein and CPS Foundation Chair, John Hinksman. More information on the Boating Skills Virtual Training is available here.

The safety and enjoyment of some 15 million Canadians on our waterways every year is due in large part to individuals and organizations like these. Recognizing them is important, and telling their stories will inspire others. The Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) is a registered charity, and its members and partners from all areas of the marine community include boat and marine product manufacturers, boating education organizations, water safety and marine law enforcement sectors. The Council’s goal isto work to ensure that the millions of Canadians who head out on the waters in canoes and kayaks, sailboards and sailboats, fishing boats, personal watercraft, power boats and cruisers are equipped with the knowledge they need for a safe day on the water. Visit http://www.csbc.ca for a complete list of winners. Congratulations!

In Memory of Past Chief Commander Arthur G. Charles, SN

Just 3 days shy of his 90th birthday, Art passed away on August 4th. He, and Olive his wife of 68 years, lived at the Champlain Manor Retirement Residence in Orillia.

Art will be remembered by many people in many different ways. Always a strong proponent of volunteerism, several organizations included him in their membership, not as part of the sustaining group, but as a worker, doing whatever he could to enhance their goals. He was a founding member of the Orillia Squadron, and through many positions held throughout our organization, eventually lead CPS-ECP as Chief Commander in 1987/1989. After stepping down as Chief, Art Chaired the National Planning Committee for several years, and served on the National Nominating Committee. He also represented CPS-ECP as an Officer/Director of the United Safe Boating Institute, whose Board is made up of members of the premier recreational boating organizations in Canada and the US.

Born in England, Art saw service as a Flight Lt. with the Royal Navy, and was a WWII veteran. His ‘paid job’ was with Proctor & Gamble, and after retirement from his 40 years there, his ‘unpaid jobs’ took up all his time! Often seen boating on Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay, he and Olive enjoyed several years on the water.

Art took over as Chair of the CPS Foundation in 1991, serving in that capacity for 10 years. He never stopped promoting it at every opportunity. He brought in some unique ways of raising funds, and those who saw his ‘Chinese auction’ or the auction of the ‘Golden Cock’, and even the circulation of the famous ‘Rubber Chicken’ will never forget any of them! Those of us who saw him in the persona of the ‘King of Siam’, at the National Conference Revival Parties, will have these memories of a fun loving, cheeky humorous, friend of everyone.

P/C/C Art leaves a gap in the lives of those who knew him. He believed passionately in CPS-ECP, and never held back from giving an opinion, good or not-so-good, on issues affecting it. Both he and Olive enjoyed being with our organization and its members to the fullest. One saying of his many memorable ones, said many times in speeches for CPS-ECP was ‘If it ain’t fun, don’t do it!’. Art – it was sure fun knowing you.


P/C/C Doreen Hinksman, AP

CPS Members Receive Lifesaving Society Award

Chinese Operator Card Course Wins Best Boating Safety Initiative

Rick Easthom, Jack Tang

Richmond, BC is home to a growing number of Chinese Canadians with a passion for boating, but a lack of English language skills has brought a large number of them into harm's way on local waterways. Being unable to read and understand a marine chart, the tides and marine weather often gets boaters in trouble.

Thanks to Rick Easthom and Jack Tang of Richmond, Chinese-speaking boaters in their community are learning to enjoy boating in greater safety. Rick is Commander of the Fraser Power and Sail Squadron and an experienced boater and instructor. Jack is founder of the West Bay Boating Club and very active in the Chinese-Canadian community.

Jack felt that having training materials in their own language would help Chinese-Canadian students improve their safety and competence on the water and approached Rick with the idea. Rick agreed to deliver the training under the auspices of CPS and Jack proceeded to recruit five bilingual Chinese-Canadian boaters who were then trained to become instructors in their native language. Jack provided resources to translate the lesson plans into Chinese characters.

Since the new program was launched in June 2012, 3 Chinese courses have been held in Richmond combining to train 33 participants. Complementing this project, they have developed a workshop to coach participants to manage an emergency call.

The Canadian Safe Boating Council honours Rick Easthom and Jack Tang with the 2012 award for Best Boating Safety Initiative for their valuable resource to improve the safety on the water.
Visit frasersquadron.ca and cpstoronto.ca for upcoming classes.

Three CPS winners of Canadian Safe Boating Council Awards

The Canadian Safe Boating Awards (CASBAs) are like the Golden Globe awards of safe boating. On January 13 the Canadian Safe Boating Council hosted the annual CASBA ceremony to recognize the efforts of the general public, volunteers, professionals, companies, agencies and organizations that have distinguished themselves in the fields of boating safety and environmental stewardship during the 2012 boating season.
Top Volunteer Dedicated to Safe Boating – Joseph Gatfield of Windsor, ON for his lifetime volunteer role with the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons.

Best Boating Safety Initiative (Sponsored by Ontario Power Generation) – Rick Easthom (Fraser Power and Sail Squadron) and Jack Tang (West Bay Boating Club) of Richmond, BC for helping Chinese-speaking boaters in their community boat more safely.

See the Spring issue of The Port Hole for full coverage of this year’s CASBA awards

Happy Anniversary, CPS-ECP!

Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons/Escadrilles canadiennes de plaisance is 75 years old – Happy Anniversary, CPS-ECP!

CPS-ECP is recognized as the largest organization of its kind in the world, the foremost educational boating authority in Canada, a consultant with Canadian Coast Guard, and an advisor of aids to navigation for the Canadian Hydrographic Service.

In 1938, three members of the Windsor Yacht Club crossed the Ambassador Bridge into Detroit, Michigan. Under the direction of the Detroit Power Squadron, Fred Dane, George Ruel, and G. William Bowman passed the United States Power Squadron’s Junior Piloting Course. They soon formed the first Squadron in Canada, Windsor Power Squadron, with G. William Bowman as its first Commander. He later became the first Chief Commander of Canadian Power Squadrons, the organization that later became known as Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons/Escadrilles canadiennes de plaisance, or CPS-ECP, with over 26,000 members in 155 squadrons across Canada.

CPS-ECP’s mandate is to increase awareness and knowledge of safe boating by educating and training members and the general public, by fostering fellowship among members, and by establishing partnerships and alliances with organizations and agencies interested in boating. To this end, many local law enforcement agencies and municipal authorities consult CPS-ECP on matters of training and navigational hazards. Training has been given by CPS-ECP’s members across Canada to such organizations as the Boy Scouts, Sea Cadets, and law enforcement agencies, to name but a few. Whenever requested, our members are available to teach, lecture, or advise on boating safety.

To celebrate this milestone, CPS-ECP has several activities planned throughout the year, beginning with the launch at the Toronto International Boat Show January 12-23, 2013 where visitors can participate in the games and contests in CPS-ECP’s Midway.

With planned participation of various levels of government officials, the celebrations will culminate at the CPS-ECP National Conference in Toronto October 2013.

Check out our history, awards, and events as we mark the occasion by visiting our website at http://www.cps-ecp.ca/ or by contacting:

Walter Kowalchuk, Executive Director
Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons/Escadrilles canadiennes de plaisance
National Headquarters
Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons
26 Golden Gate Court
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M1P 3A5
Phone: (416) 293-2438 or 1-888-CPS-BOAT (277-2628)
Fax: (416) 293-2445

Wear Your Lifejacket to Work Day

In support of Wear Your Lifejacket to Work Day (May 18) Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons (CPS) members and staff are encouraged to wear their lifejackets to work.

As the first long weekend of the summer approaches CPS would like to remind boaters to be safe on our waterways. Wearing your lifejacket is one of the easiest ways to ensure your safety on the water.

Across Canada, 89% of recreational boaters who drown each and every year were not wearing a lifejacket. Most of these drownings occur in small open power boats, accounting for 60% of these preventable deaths. A majority of these victims were males between the ages of 19 and 35, out for a day of fishing. An average of 140 unnecessary drownings occur every year.

Many boaters who drown believe they are good swimmers, so they feel that having a lifejacket on board and within easy reach is good enough. But what good is a lifejacket that is stored under a seat or under the bow going to be when the unexpected happens? Most drownings happen unexpectedly when small boats capsize or someone falls overboard. The lifejacket that you leave behind is not much use, especially in cold water.

When choosing a lifejacket follow these simple guidelines: Choose one that is suitable for the activity you are involved in and check the label to make sure that it is Canadian approved and is of the correct size. Finally, make sure it fits snugly.

If you don't wear your lifejacket, it won't work.

-Stats courtesy of the Canadian Safe Boating Council

Executive Director Search

We are pleased to announce the launch of our search for the recruitment of our new Executive Director. We have engaged Knightsbridge Executive Search to ensure a national and transparent search to find the best candidate possible. Please see the Position Profile posted below. If you know of any suitable candidate, please contact the recruitment team identified on the posting.

C/C Richard Bee AP

National Volunteer Week

Canadian volunteers step into the spotlight as we celebrate National Volunteer Week. A heartfelt thank you goes out to the volunteers of Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons for the work they do – helping out, giving back and having fun!

Two CPS Members to receive National Awards

Catherine McLeod, AP National Administrative Officer has been selected as the 2012 Power Boater of the Year and Kevin Jones, N Chair, Environmental Committee, has been selected for the 2012 Natural Marine Environment Award. Kevin is currently serving with the Canadian Coast Guard, based in Newfoundland.

These are annual awards presented each year as part of the Yachtsman’s Spring Thaw event in Toronto, which this year will be part of the 9th annual Toronto Brigantine’s annual fundraising “Pirates Ball”.

This fun, boating season kickoff and fundraiser, takes place at the Steam Whistle Brewing, Toronto, 255 Bremner Blvd. Toronto ON M5V 3M9 (Historic engine round house, across from Rogers Centre stadium) February 25, 2012 starting at 8PM and all boaters and CPS members are encouraged to enjoy this award event. Good chance to dust off your favorite eye patch and join in some fun with fellow CPS boaters.

Door Prizes • Silent Auction • Raffle • Music • Dancing • Sea Shanties

Pirate costumes encouraged...

*All ages are welcome*

Tickets will be sold at the door.
$20 for Adults (18+)
$10 for Students (17 & under)

All proceeds go to the Toronto Brigantine youth program

For More Information:
Bill Milne

PCOC online

Toronto, ON (January 14, 2012) – Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS) is pleased to announce the launch of its online self study version of the Boating Basics course. This comprehensive CPS Boating Safety online study guide is approved by Transport Canada for candidates to the online version of the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) Boating Safety exam. Upon successful completion of the online course, candidates are invited to proceed to the Transport Canada online Boating Safety Exam. Boating Basics will continue to be offered by CPS through its Squadrons and Recognized Providers across Canada as a stand alone classroom course or as part of the CPS Boating Course, both leading to obtaining a PCOC. Candidates who want to challenge the exam and classroom students can only write the classroom exam. more...

CPS and CYA Partnership for PCOC Courses

Scarborough, ON (August 8, 2011) – Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS) and Canadian Yachting Association (CYA) announce a new partnership to grant CYA, in conjunction with the Provincial Associations and its qualified affiliated instructors, permission to offer the Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) classroom education using the CPS Boating Basics Transport Canada approved manual and related materials. The agreement was signed in Kingston on June 8, 2011.

Transport Canada Recognizes CPS Boating Safety Courses

CPS Staff Decked Out in Lifejackets


CPS Canadian Safe Boating Awareness Week

Toronto - The Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons 2011 Canadian Safe Boating Awareness Week will take place from Coast to Coast to Coast in Canada from May 28 to June 3, 2011.

Ottawa to Toughen Standards for Operator Card Testing

Due to recent media reports regarding new standards for Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) testing we have asked our Just Ask John columnist John Gullick for response.

SALUS Marine Wear Announces Partnership with CPS

Kitchener, Ontario – SALUS Marine Wear – a Canadian based manufacturer of Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) – announced today that they have partnered with Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons (CPS) in their efforts towards educating and promoting boating safety across Canada.

CPS and Canadian Red Cross PCOC Agreement

CPS Awarded Safety Class Contribution Program

John Baird, Canada's Transport Minister, officially launched Safe Boating Awareness Week 2009 with an announcement of $280,000 for six projects under the Boating Safety Class Contribution Program. CPS was .

New Member Benefit

BoatCan Computer Boat Sales joins the ranks of CPS partners.

Toronto Squadron Commader wins CASBA award

CPS Toronto Squadron Commander, Tony Cook was awarded the CASBA award for Top Volunteer Dedicated to Safe Boating.

New CPS Partner & Member Benefit

Satellite Communications Source

New CPS Forums

Discover the new CPS Forums. Log in and chat with CPS members from across Canada. http://forums.cps-ecp.ca/

CPS wins CASBA award

CPS's Deputy Executive Director, John Gullick wins CASBA award.

CPS and CYA join forces to deliver the Maritime Radio program

Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons and Canadian Yachting Association Partner to Teach Maritime Radio Course Training and Testing for Industry Canada’s Maritime Radio Operator’s Certificates - ROC(M)

CPS and MariTech Industries become partners in safe boating

For Immediate Release – Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons and MariTech Industries Become Partners in Safe Boating

CPS and Weems & Plath become partners in safe boating

For Immediate Release – Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons and Weems & Plath Become Partners in Safe Boating

CPS and ICOM Canada become partners in safe boating

For Immediate Release – Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons and ICOM Canada Become Partners in Safe Boating.

New Study Guide for the PCOC

July 2007

New Electronic Courses and Seminars

April 2007

Wither the Weather Network channel?

March 1, 2007  

Pre 2007 news