Derelict and abandoned vessels are a problem that coastal communities like Ladysmith want to see solved

Malcolmson takes aim at derelict vessels

Private member’s bill that would make the Canadian Coast Guard the ‘receiver’ of abandoned and derelict vessels.

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson (NDP) introduced a private member’s bill in the House of Commons Thursday, Feb. 4, that would make the Canadian Coast Guard the ‘receiver’ of abandoned and derelict vessels.

“This is a signal to coastal communities that there is something on the books,” Malcolmson said.

Getting the bill debated will take time though. Malcolmson estimated it could take a year for it to come up for debate. And she said, as a private member’s bill the initiative can’t go as far as she would like.

Private member’s bills cannot include funding, so they cannot direct specific actions on the part of government. They raise an issue as a priority, however.

Right now there is no clear line of authority or responsibility when it comes to dealing with abandoned and derelict vessels. That means hazards like the Viki Lyne II in Ladysmith Harbour can sit for years while government departments avoid responsibility.

“What it changes is the runaround and the finger pointing that we see from one ministry to the next,” Malcolmson said.

If the Coast Guard were named receiver of wrecks, she thinks it would have to take action on boats like the Viki Lyne II. “I believe it would be compelled to take action,” she said.

She stopped short of saying the government would have to provide funding, but said it would give the Coast Guard a stronger case at budget time.

The initiative comes as good news to communities like Ladysmith, which was identified in a Transport Canada study as having the highest concentration of derelict vessels on the West Coast.

Her’s is the third private member’s bill to be floated on the derelict and abandoned vessels issue. Her predecessor, Nanaimo-Cowichan MP Jean Crowder’s  (NDP) motion was defeated by the Conservative government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper; a subsequent bill was introduced by West Vancouver-Squamish-Sea to Sky MP John Weston (Conservative), who was defeated in the Oct. 19 federal election.

“This absolutely carries Jean Crowder’s work forward,” Malcolmson said.

Although her bill would be a step in the right direction, Malcolmson said she hopes the Liberal government will look south of the border for a more comprehensive solution.

Boats in Washington State have to be registered, and  a portion of the registration fee is used to pay for the removal of derelict and abandoned vessels .

“The Washington model, as a coastal MP, is something I will continue to advance,” Malcolmson said.


Just Posted

Ladysmith marijuana producer bought by Aphria in $230M deal

Ontario licensed marijuana producer Aphria has reached an agreement to acquire Ladysmith-based… Continue reading

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

CVRD hikes fire protection requisition limit for rural Ladysmith by 25 per cent

Cowichan Valley Regional District is increasing the annual requisition limit for fire… Continue reading

Ladysmith runner reaches podium on new Pioneer 8K course

Meg Lewis-Schneider with CeeVacs Roadrunners Club sets event record

B.C. boy denied $19,000-per-month drug to ease ‘crippling pain’ for 3rd time

Sooke mom Jillian Lanthier says son Landen Alexa has been forgotten about by Premier John Horgan

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

UPDATE: City of Nanaimo senior manager dismissed

Chief operations officer Brad McRae no longer employed by the city

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

Premier offers condolences to family of boy, 15, killed in Vancouver crossfire

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Former communications director Brian Bonney’s sentencing hearing for breach of trust is underway

Island passengers say Sunwing left them stranded in Abbotsford

Company says late arrival led to difficulties securing accommodation, transportation

Most Read