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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!

About the OUC


The Ontario Underwater Council (OUC) was created in 1958 by Scuba Clubs, Commercial Interests and Individuals in Ontario.

These groups created the OUC to represent them to government and to support safe Scuba diving.

OUC exists to serve its members as well as the dive community. It does this through it's mission statement.

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OUC's Mission Statement

To promote the sport of scuba diving in Ontario through Safety, Advocacy, Cultural & Environmental Awareness, Self-governance,.....and Fun!


This page summarizes the various components of OUC's Mission Statement. As the "de-Facto" Provincial Sports Organization, OUC is the public facing organization representing all divers in Ontario.

Why is this important? If the sport is unable to show that they are self-governing and active, then there is a significant potential that the Provincial Government will put in their own regulatory body. We have seen this happen in Quebec (FQAS), in other countries and even close to home in municipal government.

For more information on PSOs please click here «

How OUC fulfills it's Mission Statement



Safety | Advocacy | Cultural & Environmental Awareness | Self-governance | Fun!


Safety

Year Description of OUC Action
2011 OUC invited by the Coroner's Office (Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services) to draft and communicate recommendations to prevent another scuba fatality like the one that occurred on the Birmingham Crane" in September of 2010
2010 OUC revamped the Risk Mitigation and Insurance Requirements document and all associated web pages, to pass on the safety message to all Ontario divers
2009 OUC worked with Transport Canada's "Transport of Dangerous Goods Act" to clarify the interpretation of the Act and its provincial counterpart as it relates to the transportation of scuba cylinders in Ontario
2007 - 2008 OUC worked with municipal and regional law enforcement agencies, OPG, and the Coroner's Office to help investigate, draft, and communicate recommendations to prevent scuba fatalities like the ones that occurred in the Niagara River in September of 2007
2006 OUC, working under a Ministry of Natural Resources, Land Management Branch mandate, conducted a diver safety and enjoyment inspection on the "Maitland Star", a vessel planned to be deliberately scuttled in lake Huron for the purposes of creating a scuba diving attraction, near the Town of Goderich.
2005 OUC spearheaded the development, and launched a "Scuba Diver Safety Awareness Program" for Parks Canada, specifically Fathom Five National Marine Park. Incidentally, since the launch of the SDSAP in 2005, the fatality rate has dropped to zero and stayed at zero for every year except one.
2003 OUC worked with Ontario Ministry of Health to secure the right for divers to use Ontario's "Criti-Call" hotline (1-800-668-4357) for diving-related emergencies.
2002 OUC worked successfully with Firefighters, Police, UHMS, and others to successfully keep open Toronto General Hospital's Hyperbaric Chamber facilities


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Advocacy (Voice of Ontario Divers)



At the Ontario Underwater Council we are committed to identifying, protecting, and promoting Ontario's Underwater Cultural Heritage as well as the rights and privileges of divers. This section is dedicated to keeping you up to date on the developments of the Government on diving issues.

Often the Council is asked to speak on behalf of divers in Ontario in response to proposed government regulations that may affect scuba diving, be it at the municipal, provincial or national level. The OUC endeavors to engage as many interested parties in the process as feasible, coordinating the effort and drafting the response. The OUC is committed to maintaining diver access to sites, promoting safe diving practices and training, as well as safeguarding the environment.

Municipal

Year Description of OUC Action
2011 OUC made a presentation to the Council of the Town of Innisfil. OUC's recommendations included posting of Aviva Barth signage at the 3 docks in Innisfil, washroom/change facilities at Big Bay point and as to how best to allow controlled diving from Town docks.
2011 OUC responded to invitation from Town of Innisfil as to how best to allow controlled diving from Town docks.
2011 OUC responded to the Town of Innisfil's Notice of By-Law to effectively ban scuba diving from Town docks.
2007 - 2008 OUC worked with municipal and regional law enforcement agencies, OPG, and the Coroner's Office to help investigate, draft, and communicate recommendations to prevent scuba fatalities like the ones that occurred in the Niagara River in September of 2007
2006 OUC, working under a Ministry of Natural Resources, Land Management Branch mandate, conducted a diver safety and enjoyment inspection on the "Maitland Star", a vessel planned to be deliberately scuttled in lake Huron for the purposes of creating a scuba diving attraction, near the Town of Goderich.
2002 OUC worked successfully with Firefighters, Police, UHMS, and others to successfully keep open Toronto General Hospital's Hyperbaric Chamber facilities


Provincial


Year Description of OUC Action
2011 OUC sent a letter to Minister of Culture and Tourism asking the government to reconsider its decision to close the position of Marine Heritage Advisor.
2011 OUC invited by the Coroner's Office (Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services) to draft and communicate recommendations to prevent another scuba fatality like the one that occurred on the Birmingham Crane" in September of 2010.
2011 OUC invited by OPHEA (Ontario Physical and Health Education Association) to assist in updating their Secondary Curricular Scuba Diving activity page. These are the minimum standard for risk management practice for school boards for curricular programs, interschool athletics and intramural programs in Ontario.
2009 OUC worked with Transport Canada's "Transport of Dangerous Goods Act" to clarify the interpretation of the Act and its provincial counterpart as it relates to the transportation of scuba cylinders in Ontario.
2007 - 2008 OUC worked with municipal and regional law enforcement agencies, OPG, and the Coroner's Office to help investigate, draft, and communicate recommendations to prevent scuba fatalities like the ones that occurred in the Niagara River in September of 2007
2006 OUC, working under a Ministry of Natural Resources, Land Management Branch mandate, conducted a diver safety and enjoyment inspection on the "Maitland Star", a vessel planned to be deliberately scuttled in lake Huron for the purposes of creating a scuba diving attraction, near the Town of Goderich.
2003 OUC worked with Ontario Ministry of Health to secure the right for divers to use Ontario's "Criti-Call" hotline (1-800-668-4357) for diving-related emergencies.


Federal

Year Description of OUC Action
2009 OUC worked with Transport Canada's "Transport of Dangerous Goods Act" to clarify the interpretation of the Act and its provincial counterpart as it relates to the transportation of scuba cylinders in Ontario.
2005 OUC spearheaded the development, and launched a "Scuba Diver Safety Awareness Program" for Parks Canada, specifically Fathom Five National Marine Park.
2004 OUC responded to Transport Canada's invitation to the UNESCO-driven changes to Canada Shipping Act 2001.


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Cultural & Environmental Awareness


Ontario Logo
MTC Header

What we can do to protect our underwater archaeological resources

  OUC supports the Ministry's site conservation philosophy. The policy is simple: "no artifact removal or disturbance". The Ministry of Tourism and Culture considers marine archaeological assessments and mitigation of negative impacts to marine archaeological resources as necessities.
 
  The Ministry of Tourism and Culture works closely with volunteer organizations such as the Ontario Underwater Council and Save Ontario Shipwrecks to stop the destruction of Ontario's underwater cultural heritage sites through a balanced strategy of education and awareness, outreach and training programs and legislative regulation.
 
  For more information about Ontario's programs to protect Ontario's marine heritage, please see the Ministry's Marine Archaeology website or contact Ontario's Marine Heritage Advisor.


Year Description of OUC Action
2006 OUC, working under a Ministry of Natural Resources, Land Management Branch mandate, conducted a diver safety and enjoyment inspection on the "Maitland Star", a vessel planned to be deliberately scuttled in lake Huron for the purposes of creating a scuba diving attraction, near the Town of Goderich.
2005 OUC spearheaded the development, and launched a "Scuba Diver Safety Awareness Program" for Parks Canada, specifically Fathom Five National Marine Park.
2004 OUC responded to Transport Canada's invitation to the UNESCO-driven changes to Canada Shipping Act 2001.


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Self-governance




Year Description of OUC Action
2011 OUC responded to invitation from Town of Innisfil as to how best to allow controlled diving from Town docks.
2011 OUC invited by the Coroner's Office (Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services) to draft and communicate recommendations to prevent another scuba fatality like the one that occurred on the Birmingham Crane" in September of 2010
2011 2010 OUC responded to the Town of Innisfil's Notice of By-Law to effectively ban scuba diving from Town docks.
2009 OUC worked with Transport Canada's "Transport of Dangerous Goods Act" to clarify the interpretation of the Act and its provincial counterpart as it relates to the transportation of scuba cylinders in Ontario
2007 - 2008 OUC worked with municipal and regional law enforcement agencies, OPG, and the Coroner's Office to help investigate, draft, and communicate recommendations to prevent scuba fatalities like the ones that occurred in the Niagara River in September of 2007
2006 OUC, working under a Ministry of Natural Resources, Land Management Branch mandate, conducted a diver safety and enjoyment inspection on the "Maitland Star", a vessel planned to be deliberately scuttled in lake Huron for the purposes of creating a scuba diving attraction, near the Town of Goderich.
2005 OUC spearheaded the development, and launched a "Scuba Diver Safety Awareness Program" for Parks Canada, specifically Fathom Five National Marine Park. Incidentally, since the launch of the SDSAP in 2005, the fatality rate has dropped to zero and stayed at zero for every year except one.
2004 OUC responded to Transport Canada's invitation to the UNESCO-driven changes to Canada Shipping Act 2001.
2003 OUC worked with Ontario Ministry of Health to secure the right for divers to use Ontario's "Criti-Call" hotline (1-800-668-4357) for diving-related emergencies.
2002 OUC worked successfully with Firefighters, Police, UHMS, and others to successfully keep open Toronto General Hospital's Hyperbaric Chamber facilities


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Fun




Year Description of OUC Action
Annual OUC organizes the Ice Floe Races on the Ottanbee River in Peterborough. This was originally hosted by Trident Underwater Club.
2010 OUC organized an "Evening for Divers by Divers".
2000 - 2009 OUC organized a "Treasure Hunt" weekend in Presqu'ile Provincial Park.
1970 - 2001 OUC organized "Underwater Canada" as a symposium, conference and film show which also provided a venue for training by various agencies.


These validate that OUC is recognized as representative body for the sport of scuba diving in Ontario. As you can see, many of the things OUC does encompass more than one area of our mission statement.

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Provincial Sports Organizations




What is a PSO?

Provincial Sport Organizations (PSO) are autonomous, not-for profit societies responsible for the regulation of all areas and levels of their sport's participation within the province and for the governance of the province-wide development of the sport. A PSO is the provincial voice on behalf of its members: clubs, affiliated recreation and education members.

This organization ensures the safe development of the sport within the province. The PSO will have a listing of all clubs or associations in the province in their sport.

What A PSO does:
  • Regulates all areas of the sport within the province
  • Acts as a liaison with the National Sport Organization
  • Provides professional development opportunities
  • Provides resources for clubs and members
  • Hosts clinics and courses for its members
  • Provides insurance coverage to full members of the organization
  • Selects and manages any provincial activities.
  • A PSO may also be responsible for administering any sport specific grants or scholarships
  • there are several other items which refer to the organizing of Games and Competitions, coaching.


Why does OUC refer to itself as a "de-facto" PSO?

The real key to being an official "PSO" and equally important, to receive funding, is that the "sport" must be recognized on one of the major "Games" programs, i.e. Olympics, PanAm Games, or Commonwealth Games. That is one of the real fundamental criteria.




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