Derelict vessel bill needs friendly wind to push it to shore

Sticks ‘N’ Stones land and sea transport hauls an abandoned 18-foot speed boat out of the water Monday at the Cowichan Bay boat launch. - Doug Hamilton
Sticks ‘N’ Stones land and sea transport hauls an abandoned 18-foot speed boat out of the water Monday at the Cowichan Bay boat launch.
— image credit: Doug Hamilton

Nanaimo-Cowichan MP Jean Crowder  will be trying to ramp up her campaign against derelict vessels.

Crowder’s private member’s bill proposes amending the Canada Shipping Act to establish measures to be taken for the removal, disposition or destruction of derelict vessels or wrecks.

She wants supporters to put more public pressure on the minister of transport.

“What I would like the minister to do is actually take that legislation and make it the government’s legislation; that’s the best way to make it happen because as a private member’s bill, even if it gets passed in parliament, it doesn’t necessarily get implemented in the way it’s intended,” she said.

Another example of the issue surfaced — literally — Monday in Cowichan Bay.

Sticks ‘N’ Stones land and sea transport and construction company was hired by the CVRD to haul out the abandoned 18-foot speed boat.

Sticks’ Jon McVittie, who’s called on several occasions to haul out sunken marine craft, wasn’t impressed with the situation, especially the amount of oil already leaking in the bay.

“Hopefully someone will recognize the boat and it will stop people from doing it. They just don’t think and they abandon them,” he said.

Crowder encouraged local citizens and authorities to approach Minister of Transport Denis Lebel and indicate the severity of the problem.

“We know how serious the problem, so if people could emphasize that with the minister, it may make him shift into moving forward with the bill,” she said.

Crowder said her bill is pretty conservative and simply a regulatory change because she couldn’t tell the government to spend money. There is some question whether the bill is even legal because it would designate the Canadian Coast Guard as a receiver of wrecks.

— Ladysmith-Chemainus Chronicle

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