A tendering process for the removal and ‘deconstruction’ of the Viki Lyne II has been commenced by the federal government.
“The tender process is the beginning of the end for the Viki Lyne II and shows that putting pressure on the federal government works,” said Sheila Malcolmson, MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith.
“This is a win for our region but it also highlights the need for a comprehensive coast-wide abandoned vessel solution so we can move beyond these boat-by-boat emergency measures.”
Local governments, environmental groups and concerned citizens have held protests and written letters urging action on the Viki Lyne II, which was towed into Ladysmith Harbour in 2012 by the Canadian Coast Guard.
The vessel contains an estimated 13,000 liters of oil and solvents, and a Coast Guard commissioned survey has said she is at imminent risk of sinking.
A tender notice on the Government of Canada web site says, “The requirement includes removing the vessel from the marine environment, deconstructing the vessel, and disposing of all pollutants and debris in a manner compliant with all Federal and Provincial law, act, regulations and policies.”
It says the work is to begin “as soon as possible,” and to be completed “ten weeks from the date of removal from harbour location.”
While the posting is cause for celebration, Malcolmson said it’s time to start dealing with the issue of abandoned and derelict vessels differently.
A member’s bill by Malcolmson “to make the federal government responsible for dealing with abandoned vessels country-wide” will be debated in parliament next year.
The bill would designate the Canadian Coast Guard as the ‘receiver off wreck’ and stipulate that “regulations are made to establish measures to be taken for their removal, disposition or destruction.”