Issues & Causes

SISKA Issues

The following are some local issues that SISKA is interested in and is looking to foster support for.

North Saanich Beach Access

Continued access to North Saanich beaches and improved access to enable canoe and kayak launching is an important consideration for all paddlers.

Central Saanich Beach Access

Central Saanich Water Access. Central Saanich Municipality has completed a Water Access Report. An open house was held in Brentwood Bay on Wed. May 7 to discuss their draft Official Community Plan. Duncan Brooks was there representing SISKA. It was suggested that the Water Access Report be added to the Official Community Plan and that they revert back to completing two water accesses per year (which was in the previous O.C.P.). The main reason for cutting back on the water access was financial. It was suggested that Council establish standards for water access and seek assistance from service clubs and paddling clubs like SISKA to find ways and means to bring the beach access to completion. It was recommended that we provide a written proposal to Council. Duncan has offered to do that. Contact Duncan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for more information

Victoria Mega-Yacht Marina proposal

Developers are proposing to build a marina for mega-yachts on the north shore of Victoria Harbour, in the vicinity of Paul Kane and Cooperage streets. Plans include commercial buildings on pilings and 48 marina slips for large yachts. These are waters currently used by sea kayakers and other paddlers. The Port of Victoria Traffic Scheme (a chart published by Transport Canada) currently designates these navigable waters as "recommended for the use of non-powered vessels". According to Transport Canada, the developers (operating as Community Marine Concepts) have submitted an application for approval of the proposed development under the Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA). This application is referred to as the Victoria International Marina Development Proposal.

Transport Canada’s Navigable Waters Protection Division administers the Act ­ legislation that is intended to preserve the public right to navigation. The NWPA review and approval process requires the applicant to invite public comments on the project by posting legal notice of the project in local newspapers and the Canada Gazette. Paddlers may have a vested interest in ensuring that during the approval process the public right to navigation is preserved, including continued access to these waters for non-powered vessels. If you would like to know more about the plans for the Victoria International Marina Development Proposal, please check out the applicant’s website at For information on Transport Canada’s role in the review and approval process please contact the Navigable Waters Protection Division of Transport Canada’s Marine Branch in Vancouver at 604 ­ 775-8896, citing file # NWPD 8200-06-8949.

Gary Allen, SISKA president, recently sent the linked document toTransport Canada.

There is now a special website dedicated to concerns about the proposed mega-yacht marina :

 Decemver 21, 2010 update:

A letter from the club was sent to Transport Canada - a copy of the letter can be found here.

BC Marine Trails Initiative

The BC Marine Trail Network is a series of strategically located safe beach landing sites with associated uplands large enough to facilitate small camping areas. These sites are positioned along the entire British Columbia coastline. Together with frequent and well maintained access points, this series of sites allows for the safe and enjoyable navigation of our coastal waters by kayaks and canoes and other small, beachable water craft.

The above is an extract from the project concept statement describing the BC Marne Trail. The BC Marine Trail project is an ongoing project that addresses the issue, well articulated below by John Kimantas, in his article in the June 2008 Sea Kayaker magazine. This is an excellent article on the subject.

“Kayakers have long enjoyed nearly unlimited access to the wilderness coast of British Columbia. Issues of land ownership and use make it clear that access to campsites cannot be taken for granted”.

The BC Marne Trail is a joint project of the Ministry of Tourism, Sports and the Arts (TSA) and many of the kayaking clubs in BC. Charlie Cornwell, a Regional Recreation Director for TSA has done a great job providing government support for this project and in contacting First Nations bands, private land holders and other federal and provincial agencies, e.g. Parks, Forestry, to obtain their support for the project. The BC kayaking clubs have been totally committed participants in discussions to-date, in providing landing and camping site reports, and in recommending routes that link sites into preferred paddling routes and destinations.

SISKA is actively involved in the BC Marine Trail project. We perceive the BC Marine Trail project, as do the other BC kayaking clubs, to be a critical process in protecting access by kayakers into the future, to the wonderful variety of destinations and routes that we have enjoyed in the past

For more information, read the article in Sea Kayaker, or contact Tony Copping

Here is a link to the Marine trails website