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What are the rules regarding life-jacket use?

I was confused when I read the July 15 Advocate article Exercise caution while floating down the Red Deer River.

In the picture, the Bartlett family are not wearing life-jackets, however a life-jacket can be seen attached to the dinghy.

Red Deer County Patrol Senior Patrol Officer Bob Marsh is quoted saying that “people have to understand that little boats and inner tubes, they’re still considered pleasure craft by Transport Canada so they have to have a life-jacket for every rider and if they don’t wear them when floating, then they have to have a bailer, whistle, rope, stuff like that.”

Then it says that the fine for not wearing a life-jacket starts at $250.

My question is: Does a person have to wear a life-jacket at all times when on the river?

This is not clear in the article.

Margaret Hueppelsheuser

Red Deer

Editor’s note: Life-jackets do not have to be worn at all times but one approved life-jacket for every person in the boat or inflatable device must be accessible at all times. “We prefer they wear them at all times,” said Bob Dixon, Red Deer County senior patrol officer. “It’s like a seatbelt; if something happens, you may not have time to put it on so it’s better to already have it on.”

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