An initiative from local MP Gord Brown is gaining traction.

This week MP Brown received a letter from the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transportation for the Government of Canada, acknowledging that Transport Canada is looking at amending the regulations surrounding flares and boats. In June MP Brown introduced a motion to the House of Commons suggesting a review of how necessary pyrotechnic emergency signalling devices are. He pointed to advances in technology and how dangerous, costly and difficult to dispose of flares can be as reasons to consider a change to electronic devices.

MP Brown says they have indicated they are working to obtain standards for electronic flares. The Minister notes that up-to-date performance standards for electronic flares do not exist, and they want to be sure the electronic flares are as effective as the pyrotechnic ones in all possible rescue conditions. He adds that the industry is developing standards based on on-going testing by the United States Coast Guard and that Canadian authorities on the subject will consider the acceptability of electronic flares.

According to MP Brown this means that while there is no time-line available right now, Transport Canada will permit them as emergency signaling devices at some point in the future.