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Federal government issues boating ban on parts of Ottawa River due to flooding

The federal government has issued a temporary boating ban on parts of the Ottawa River because of flooding.

Water levels on the river have been high this spring, leading to flooding all along the river. Whitewater Region issued a state of emergency and the city of Gatineau says more than 40 streets are flooded and 137 people have left their homes.

On Tuesday, Transport Canada said the temporary ban is meant to "ensure the safety of boaters and shoreline residents, to protect temporary infrastructure in place, to avoid damage to property, and to allow emergency responders to do their jobs."

Vessels are temporarily prohibited on the Ottawa River from the MacDonald-Cartier Bridge to Rockland, Ont. and from Carillon Dam to Pointe-Calumet, Que.

"My thoughts are with all those affected by the flooding. This navigation ban is necessary to ensure the safety of all and to facilitate emergency response," said transport minister Omar Alghabra in a statement.

Violators are subject to fines, the government said. The restrictions do not apply to emergency and support vessels. 

The city of Gatineau said in an update Tuesday that it expects water levels on the Ottawa River to drop by 30 to 40 cm over the next few days, but is still reminding residents to remain vigilant. As of Tuesday, 769 people had registered with the city as being affected by the flooding and the Red Cross is putting up the members of 64 households in hotels.

The federal government has issued a temporary navigation ban on two parts of the Ottawa River because of high floodwaters. May 9, 2023. (Joey Lavergne/CTV News Ottawa)


In addition to the boating ban on the Ottawa River, the government says it has issued a speed limit on parts of the St. Lawrence River.

A speed limit of 10 km/h (5.4 knots) is in effect for all recreational vessels in the following areas on the St. Lawrence River:

  • Lac des Deux-Montagnes, east of Pointe-Calumet
  • Lac Saint-Louis, in its entirety
  • Rivière des Prairies, in its entirety Top Stories

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