Quebec mandates more training for snowmobile, adventure tourism guides after deadly Lac St-Jean incident
MONTREAL -- Quebec's tourism minister has tightened the rules for snowmobile and other "adventure tourism" guides.
Tourism minister Caroline Proulx announced the new regulations at a press conference on Thursday, noting that the rule changes had been planned prior to one man dying and five others--French tourists--going missing after their snowmobiles crashed through thin ice on Lac St-Jean this week.
Under the new rules, guides, as well as those who want to rent a snowmobile or any other off-road vehicle, will have to complete a training course.
Tour operators who don't take the course, and aren't certified, won't get government subsidies.
"This is like an initiative from our government to make sure everyone plays by the same rules and makes sure when you come and play here in Quebec, which is an international destination, you will have that seal of quality," Proulx said.
Former Olympic diver Sylvie Bernier has been urging the minister to bring in this kind of rule. On a guided canoe trip 18 years ago, her 5-year-old nephew died. The guides weren't certified, she said.
More training, she believes, will lead to fewer lost lives.