Gonna need more change by Robert Kernachan

Gonna need more change by Robert Kernachan

Freighters anchored on coastal waters offer no economic benefit

They park completely for free, damage the local environment, and do not bring any consumer goods

Recently, the CVRD sent a letter to the federal government requesting that coal and grain freighters not be allowed to anchor on CVRD’s coastal waters. In response, some took to social media to decry the move and claim that the freighters contribute to the local economy. The idea that these freighters bring economic benefit to Island community is a false narrative.

These freighters are not container shipping vessels, they are specifically grain and coal freighters. Container shipping vessels operate under strict rules known as “just in time berthing”. Just in time berthing rules allow container ships to dock at the Port of Vancouver for only seven days, enough time to unload their contents, then fill back up to be shipped anywhere in the world. This is an industry standard practice that keeps the flow of ships moving smoothly through the port, and prevents a backlog of ships waiting for work.

Freighters, on the other hand, have no such rules. They can show up on Canadian waters around the southern Gulf Islands and stay for an indefinite period of time. Some ships have stayed as long as six weeks. Transport Canada is responsible for regulating these ships, and ensuring that they do not discharge bilge water or other pollutants. Transport Canada is also responsible for monitoring the freighters for invasive species, as well as protecting the existing marine habitat. Those rules are not strictly enforced, and often times there is no oversight for these freighters.

So, what economic benefit do these ships offer? Other than the transport of coal and grain, (most of which is American,) none. They park completely for free, damage the local environment, and do not bring any consumer goods.

With this information in mind, the next logical question is: why are freighters allowed to anchor here if they don’t bring any benefits? Some have pointed to a slumping global market affected by international trade wars. This has resulted in ships waiting longer for contracts than normal. With a lack of available port space, Transport Canada has allowed the ships to anchor around south Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

The freighters that dot the coast line are not container shipping vessels. They do not pay for anchorage. They pollute the water and damage marine ecosystems. They bring no tangible benefit to the Island’s economy, they only put it at risk.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bhagwan Mayer. (Photo submitted)
Organizer of transporting the World’s Largest Hockey Stick to Cowichan remembered

Bhagwan Mayer a “hard-working fellow who cared about his community.”

Pnina Benyamini strikes a yoga pose. (Photo submitted)
Many facets to energetic woman’s legacy

Benyamini taught yoga, belly dancing and more to an adoring public

FILE – British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C.

Many retailers and businesses had voiced their frustration with a lack of mask mandate before

Island Health’s acting medical health officer for the central Island says schools are very safe, even after COVID-19 exposure at five schools in Nanaimo-Ladysmith this month. (File photo)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith and Qualicum superintendents ask Island Health about COVID-19 safety at schools

Central Island medical health officer answers questions parents have been asking

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Parksville’s French Creek Harbour experienced a diesel spill on Nov. 23 after a barge and fishing vessel collided. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Coast Guard cleans up diesel spill in Parksville’s French Creek Harbour

Barge carrying fuel truck collides with fishing vessel

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Stock photo
Senior from Gibsons caught viewing child porn sentenced to 10 months

74-year-old pleaded guilty after police seized 1,500-2,500 images

All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

B.C. Liberal interim leader Shirley Bond speaks to reporters from Prince George via Zoom conference, Nov. 24, 2020. MLAs are being sworn in for the legislature session this week, many of them also by video. (B.C. legislature)
B.C. Liberal leadership contest will wait for election post-mortem

Interim leader set to face NDP on payments for COVID-19

Most Read