Ladysmith council is supporting a private member’s bill by MP Jean Crowder to address the issue of derelict vessels such as this one in the Ladysmith Harbour. The bill will be debated in the House of Commons Feb. 26.

Ladysmith council is supporting a private member’s bill by MP Jean Crowder to address the issue of derelict vessels such as this one in the Ladysmith Harbour. The bill will be debated in the House of Commons Feb. 26.

MP Jean Crowder’s derelict vessel bill will be debated in Ottawa later this month

Nanaimo-Ladysmith NDP candidate Sheila Malcolmson was at Ladysmith council Feb. 2, asking for support for Bill C-368.

Later this month, Nanaimo-Cowichan MP Jean Crowder’s private member’s bill regarding derelict vessels will be debated in the House of Commons.

Crowder has been pushing for legislation that would offer a permanent solution to the question of who is responsible for taking care of abandoned vessels and docks, and she’ll take one step closer to reaching that solution when the bill is debated Feb. 26 in Ottawa.

Looking for support for the bill, Sheila Malcolmson, the Nanaimo-Ladysmith federal NDP candidate, addressed Ladysmith council Feb. 2.

Bill C-368 will designate the Coast Guard as a receiver of wrecks and require them to take reasonable steps to contact the owner and will also make regulations on the removal, disposition or destruction of derelict vessels, according to Malcolmson. It is intended to give the Coast Guard the regulatory power to take action before a derelict vessel becomes a hazard.

On her website, Crowder explains that “the current regulatory regime is not serving our communities, and this has been reflected in the complaints lodged with the constituency office of the Member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Cowichan. These communities depend on tourism, which is threatened by the growing number of derelict and abandoned vessels present in the water or beached in the intertidal zone. While major environmental dangers from derelict and abandoned vessels are dealt with swiftly by the Canadian Coast Guard, many are left to simply rot away and leach chemicals into the surrounding environment. If an abandoned and derelict vessel is not a major environmental concern and is not posing an obstacle to navigation, there is usually no action taken.”

She says the private member’s bill aims to obligate the government to act when derelict vessels are abandoned; strengthen the requirements relating to derelict vessels and wrecks by ensuring regulations are made to establish measures to be taken for their removal, disposition or destruction; and designate the Canadian Coast Guard as a receiver of wreck and require receivers of wreck to take reasonable steps to determine and locate the wreck’s owners.

Malcolmson was the chair of the Islands Trust Council for 12 years and worked with council to try to address this issue.

“We have worked together, and Ladysmith council has been a particular leader on this issue of no-man’s-land jurisdiction around derelict vessels,” she said.

Malcolmson told council that abandoned boats and docks are a problem all up and down B.C.’s coast.

“We’ve got an increasing number of fishing boats abandoned; we’ve got an increasing number of fiberglass vessels reaching their life’s end; we’ve got increasing intensity of storms that’s creating more boats washing up,” she said. “And it has become clear that the federal jurisdiction around this was designed more for a time of piracy where the laws are very protective of people’s boats and no one can kind of just move in and take one over.”

Malcolmson feels optimistic that the upcoming debate means this is a good opportunity to urge that there be support for a permanent solution.

“To me, the fact there is going to be debate in the House of Commons does mean some extra urgency and gives the issue still more of a highlight,” she said.

After hearing from Malcolmson, council voted to write a strongly-worded letter to Crowder and to Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt conveying support for Bill C-638 to resolve the environmental, economic and navigational hazards posed by derelict vessels.

“I want to thank you for your advocacy on this and bringing this not only to our table but the other municipalities,” said Coun. Rob Hutchins. “I’m really hopeful that this bill will see the light of day and be supported by the government and actually make a difference in our communities.”

Crowder introduced Bill C-368 in the House of Commons Dec. 1. She had previously introduced a private member’s bill to deal with derelict vessels in June 2011, but it stalled at first reading, so she re-introduced the bill late last year.


Just Posted

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Justine Keefer’s Cedar Elementary School Grade 6/7 class put together a student paper, as part of a school project. Pictured here Andrew Gregory, left, Felix Leduc, Addison Armstrong, Lucia Walker and Anise Dick. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Cedar Elementary School students create their own newspaper

Grade 6/7 class publishes Wolf Pack News as part of language arts and social studies

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements’ invention La Méduse (the Jellyfish) removes oil from the ocean. The invention was one of 15 out of 700 inventions submitted to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Little Inventors contest. (Cole Schisler photo)
‘Little Inventors’ from Ladysmith showcased in national science challenge

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements were one of 15 finalists in the Little Inventors Challenge

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read