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Ontario Underwater Council

Mission: to promote the sport of scuba diving in Ontario through safety, advocacy,
cultural & environmental awareness
, self-governance.....and fun!

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News and Events

AGM   |  Cell phone use   |  Ice Floe Race  |  Insurance  |  Scuba Swap   |  Shipwrecks


Ice Floe Race 

Good day fellow Ice Race Floer's,

The 2015, 51st Ice Floe Race planning has commenced. The Ontario Underwater Council will have Dorothy Tully-Petersen and Rick Le Blanc as Co-Chairs for this event. Two emails have been sent out to a wide range of past participants, Ontario divers and a few organizations. Initially this race was thought to be the 52nd. We have been informed by Terry Ethridge, long time organizer and volunteer, that in fact the race started 57 years ago and there have a few cancelled races along the way. Thus making this the 51st time the race has been run.

The Ice floe Race is scheduled for March 8th with chain sawing of the ice floes on March 7th. The theme is Outer Space. Divers, please dress accordingly and decorate your floes. NO ROCKET ENGINES PERMITTED - LOL.

OUC has blocked off 20 rooms at the Holiday Inn Waterfront. To book a room for Saturday night, March 7th, call the hotel directly, toll free at 1-866-258-5181. The price is $99.00 +HST and 3% marketing fee. There is a late checkout time of 4pm to allow divers and volunteers one last time in the hot tub and/or sauna. The Scarborough Underwater Club Inc. has arranged a dinner for 30-35 people on Saturday night at the King Crossings, a 2 minute walk from the hotel.

Deadline for submission of your team is February 13th. Click on the "Ice Floe Race" at the top for furher details. 


Annual General Meeting on February 15th

The AGM will be at 3 Concorde Place, Toronto in board room 3 and 4 at 10:15am to 2pm. Guest speaker is Nancy Olmsted. Nancy' topic is “The Importance of Fitness for Safe Diving”; Nancy is a registered physiotherapist and a former Olympic athlete (1984, 1988).  Nancy was the first woman athlete to win six gold medals at the Canadian Canoe Championships in Calgary in 1983. She is currently working on her Divemaster designation at SUCI. 

The Annual General Meeting Voting package, Run of Play and Minutes of the 2014 AGM have been sent to the clubs, Commercial and Gold members. There will be Board of Director and Regional Coordinator elections. I, Rick Le Blanc, will not stand for re-elecion.  The membership will need to elect at least 1 more Director in order to continue operating as it has been for the past 56 years. Should the membership not elect a quorum (3) of Directors, a plan will be voted on as recommended by the OUC Board. The plan will is to have Doug Rosser, of First Stage Enterprises Inc. as Trustee to “Freeze” the Council’s status as an operating corporation and transfer full management responsibility to First Stage Enterprises, essentially to maintain the liability insurance program and possibly some lesser event IN THE EVENT that the Membership fails to elect a quorum (3 Directors) to the Board of Directors, or if the Board of Directors falls below quorum between the 2015 and 2017 AGMs.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by phone or email.

Thank you
Rick Le Blanc
President, OUC
905 509-4674 (cell) or 416 426-7033 office                          


OUC liability insurance coverage and premiums for 2015

The OUC realizes that many of its member scuba clubs will be setting their budgets over the next few months for 2015. To that end, as discussed at the 2014 Annual General Meeting, the Board of Directors had a teleconference meeting on Oct 21st to vote on increasing the current insurance liability from $3 million to $5 million and the premims from $10/member to $20/member. The Club insurance fee would NOT increase. There were 523 members represented by proxy or were on the call. OUC has 749 members at the time of the vote.  404 voted in favor, 84 not in favor and 35 obstaining.

Effective January 1st, 2015, the OUC insurance liability will be $5M and the premium for Blue and Gold members will be $20.00 for the insurance for the entire fiscal year. OUC membership remains at $20.00 for Blue members and $37 for Gold members. Life members would only pay $20.00. Please see the Liability Insurance outline, http://www.underwatercouncil.com/downloads/insurance/OUC_Insurance_Summary_2015.pdf

OUC has always firmly believed in it's insurance liabilty program and it's many benefit over other policies in the market place. We continue to get great rates and support from Pearson Dunn, our broker, and Game Day the insurer. Averaging 800-1000 members gives us great bargaining leverage with Game Day through Pearson Dunn. The policy allows for Non club members, Non OUC members for volunteer for specific one time events.

OUC’s policy is “occurrence based” whereas many others are “claims based”. The benefit of occurrence based policies is that as long as you are insured at the time of the incident, you will be covered when the lawsuits are brought forth EVEN IF YOU LEFT THE POLICY. In Ontario the statutory of limitations is 2 years from the date of the incident unless the victim is a minor. In this case the law suit can be brought forth 2 years from the age of majority (18). This could be 6-10 years if your club has 10- 14 year old members or individuals that you trained. For claims based policies you must be insured by the policy when the law suit is brought forth. This is important because as time marches on, so do the payouts.


OUC, Trident Scuba Club and CHEX TV from Peterborough "Flashback" Series

CHEX TV and Graham Hart has featured the history of the Ice Floe Race. Graham, as part of CHEX TV's "Flashback" series, featured the 1991 Ice Floe Race and some historical information. The feature was aired on Thusday, March 13th around 6:30pm. It is an excellent 3 minute video as can be seen from the attachment below.


We look forward to resuming the race in 2015. Please stay tuned for a Fall Event. See you then. 


Twitter coming to OUC

In the coming days and weeks, OUC will introduce a Twitter program to members, clubs and commercial accounts. Our goal is help divers communicate with each other in order to increase the number of members participating in diving and non diving activities. In doing so, clubs and commercial members can maximize their profits on any given event.

Stay tuned 



Cell Phone Use

on or around the St Lawrence

Here's a helpful tip for Divers - - In the area near the US / Canada border, it is possible to place a call and be connected to a US cell provider. While annoying, this can be avoided by turning off your phone's "Roaming" option.

However when dialing 911 for emergency services, the roaming option is ignored and the strongest cell site is connected. This causes extreme confusion as the US 911 operator will likely not know where you are in Canada. Lives could be lost due to delays in reaching local EMS.

Make Note of these special cell numbers which can place you directly to your EMS service. (Not all cell providers may have these activated - check with yours first)

*OPP (*677) is direct to the OPP
*16 is direct to Canada Coast Guard

and just in case you need it while driving to the dive site . . .

*CAA (*222) for CAA Road Services

Please be sure to add these to your phone and to your Emergency Plans.




CAA Benefit

OUC Member Benefit

All OUC members and families may benefit from our CAA Corporate Membership Program.

There are updated benefits available to new members.

If you are not currently a CAA member but you are considering purchasing a CAA membership, you should review our Member Benefits Page (click here)




Combined Event Calendar

OUC Clubs can now share events

The new Club Combined Events Calendar has been implemented. To see how it works please click on the button to the right.

If your club would like to participate, please read the notes on the page.




OUC welcomes Member Clubs to supply a liaison to attend our monthly board meetings

If your club would like to have better insight into how we are working for you, we would be pleased to have your club appoint a person to act as a liaison and attend our monthly teleconference.

please e-mail ouc<"@">underwatercouncil.com and ouc.president<"@">un derwatercouncil.com for details

OUC News and Events

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Member Events Banner

If you are an OUC Member Club and you have an event that you wish to post on this board, please email the OUC Director of Communications at ouc.communications<"@">underwatercouncil.com* with the details.
All requests must be submitted at least 3 weeks prior to the date of the event.


 The Scuba Swap is at the Etobicoke Olympium. For details go to http://www.scubaswap.org.


Other Events

Shipwrecks/2015 logo

NDA's Shipwrecks 2015

The Niagara Divers' Association will present its

21st Annual Shipwrecks Symposium

on May 2, 2015 - 9am to 5pm at

Centennial High School,
240 Thorold Road,
Welland, Ontario.

Shipwrecks 2015 Website - click here


OUC would like to welcome to our newest Commercial Members:

R & M Enterprises
116 Huyck`s Bay Road
Wellington, ON
K0K 3L0
613 885 3688

R & M Enterprises is the group that is organizing the Marmora Outdoor and Dive Festival on June 20-22, 2014.


*Please note: To help in the global fight against e-mail spamming, all e-mail addresses on OUC's website are displayed in a scrape-resistant format. Unfortunately this format creates extra effort for legitimate users, and for this OUC would like to apologize and ask for your understanding.


Last Website Update: January 22 2015

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