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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

Ice Floe Race 

Good day fellow Ice Race Floers,
The 2015 Ice Floe Race planning has commenced. The Ontario Underwater Council is looking for 1-2 Chairperson(s) to organize this long running event. There are plenty of experienced volunteers that can help in any way, including myself.
The Ice floe Race is scheduled for March 8th. Outlined below are some basic steps that I have followed over the past 4 years. The planning is involved BUT pretty much straight forward. Click "Ice Floe Race" above for more information 
1- Find a Chairperson(s)
2- Pick a date - March 8th with March 7th as the ice floe cutting day
3- Chairperson can decide on format change if he/she wishes
4- Send emails asking for volunteers and team participation
5- Teleconference meetings to key volunteers reviewing their roles and responsibility
6- Contact media, sponsors, benefactor etc…
7- Keep track of river conditions in person or have a contact that lives nearby. Arrange for “Go, No Go day” 3-4 days prior to March 8th.
8- Race weekend - Communicate with all volunteers. Safety and fun are paramount
9- Organize start, finish and cooking areas
10- Present awards and prizes 


Very Important Upcoming Vote - Your participation is needed

Good morning to all,

As many of you know the Board has had 3 Directors for the past 3 years with a brief time period of 4 Directors earlier this year. The Board is comprised of 5 Directors, President, Sport Safety, Finance, Communication and Membership. Currently, OUC has 3 Directors BUT has not been able to contact one of the Directors for several months, thus leaving OUC with 2 active Directors. According to OUC bylaws we need 3 of 5 Directors to conduct business outside of the Annual General Meeting which is a meeting of the membership facilitated by the Board of Directors. Only quorum of the membership is needed to conduct business. Quorum is currently about 380 Blue, Gold and Commercial members represented through a delegate or in person as a Gold member and Commercial member.

I, Rick Le Blanc, will not stand for re-elecion at the February, 2015 AGM.

We are currently preparing the OUC AGM Voting package. Doug Rosser, David Taylor and I are currently working on an additional plan to be presented in the Voting package and emailed to the Clubs and Commercial members. The plan will include the steps on either how to continue the running of OUC at its bare minimum or the dissolution of OUC and its assets SHOULD THE MEMBERSHIP NOT VOTE IN A MINIMUM OF 2 MORE DIRECTORS. The time commitment will vary from 3-10 hours per month for each Director and Regional Coordinator.

A very important vote will be held at the next AGM on February 15th, 2015. The membership will be asked to vote for a President, a Director of Sport Safety, a Director of Communication, a Director of Membership and 7 Regional Coordinators, of which 2 positions are vacant. The 2 year terms for all but 1 of the Directors have either expired or the position has been or will be vacated. The 1 year terms for regional coordinators have also expired but incumbents can be re-elected. Bylaw #3 “Board of Directors” states:

The affairs of the Corporation shall be managed by a Board of Directors consisting of five (5) members.  Each member shall be a member of the Corporation throughout his term of office.

Five Directors shall be elected by the Delegates-at-large and shall hold office until the second annual Meeting after he shall have been elected or until his successor shall have been duly elected and qualified.  The retiring members of the Board shall retire at each Annual Meeting but shall be eligible for re-election if otherwise eligible.

The members of the Corporation may, by resolution passed by at least two-thirds of the votes at a general meeting specifying the intention to pass such resolution, and for which written notice has been given 30 days in advance of such meeting, remove any Director before the expiration of his term of office, and may, by a majority of votes cast at that meeting, elect any duly-nominated person in his stead for the remainder of this term.

To that end I have emailed the an OUC Nominating form and the Responsibilities for said positions to your club President and Vice President in advance of the OUC Voting package. Please take the time to search through your clubs or commercial member for possible candidates.

OUC has been in existence since 1958, 54 years, and wishes to continue for another 50+ years.

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. 

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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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.

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: December 17, 2014

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