Update: Boating ban extended to 400 km stretch of flooded Ottawa River

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By Blair Crawford, Ottawa Citizen, May 15, 2019

Transport Minister Marc Garneau has vastly expanded the interim ban on boating on the Ottawa River to a more than 400-kilometre stretch from the Otto Holden Dam, northwest of Mattawa to Lake of Two Mountains near Hudson, Que.

The interim order, issued Tuesday night, also includes the Mattawa River between the Hurdman Dam and where it enters the Ottawa River. It includes all pleasure craft, including human-powered boats such as canoes and kayaks.

(...)The amendment lets the minister issue the ban “if immediate action is required to deal with a direct or indirect risk to marine safety or the marine environment, including on a precautionary basis,” Rivet said.

With the Ottawa River at record high levels, sometimes within a few centimetres of the top of dikes, sandbag barriers and building foundations, there is a worry that wakes from passing boats could overwhelm the flood defences. Emergency responders worry, too, about having to stage a water rescue at a time when emergency resources are already spread thin.

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