Transport Minister Marc Garneau views one of the derelict vessels at Ladysmith’s Slack Point on Monday afternoon. (Mike Gregory Photo).

B.C. receives federal funding to remove abandoned vessels

At least 21 vessels are slated to be removed from a number of harbours including in Ladysmith, Vancouver and Victoria

Transport Canada has announced funding to help coastal communities clear out abandoned boats and vessels that pose both as an eyesore and safety concern.

The department says $1.3 million is being made available to assess and remove abandoned boats from ports and harbours in British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as to support an education campaign to deter the practice.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau was in Ladysmith on Monday to make the announcement, saying at least 21 vessels will be removed from harbours in Victoria, Vancouver, Ladysmith and Port Saunders, N.L.

The funding provided through the Abandoned Boats Program will go towards removing seven vessels in Ladysmith Harbour, including three that are grounded off of Slack Point.

Making the announcement at the Ladysmith Community Marina, Garneau said first phase of funding will “get the ball rolling” in cleaning up the wrecks.

“In due course what we’re going to do is a complete inventory of all the abandoned vessels that exist in Canada – that’s never been done on all three coasts,” he said.

“One of the things we will be looking at is to create a fund that vessels owners contribute to, we do this in the oil business…. and we’re thinking of creating a similar fund in the case of abandoned vessel so that there will be a pool of money.”

Two vessels included in the Ladysmith’s original application were washed away in a recent storm.

Mayor Aaron Stone said the town is taking a phased approach to tackling the issue plaguing local waters.

“This is just an initial phase of some of the most egregious examples that we have in our harbour,” he said.

“We’ve taken a priority-based approach to this understanding that there is limited funding available. We are going to be making subsequent applications to move through that backlog but as we work through that we’ll hopefully be able to get to it through the next few years but we understand also that there are other communities who are going to be vying for that funding.”

The Capital Regional District of Victoria, the Pender Harbour Advisory Council, and the District of Sechelt will all split up to $90,000 to assess 26 abandoned boats and wrecks. Once completed, they will then be eligible to apply for federal funding to help in the removal of the boats.

CRD is also receiving $50,100 to deliver an outreach program to educate boat owners on recycling and disposal options in the hopes of addressing abandonment issues in the region. The not-for-profit Boating BC Association also will be provided with $150,000 for a campaign aimed at increasing awareness around owners of end of life boats.

As Transport Canada estimates there are possibly thousands of these abandoned vessels, Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson said the funding was a “drop in the bucket” compared to what’s actually needed to address the issue.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Sea of Lights parade sparkles in Tofino

Tofino Resort and Marina’s Sea of Lights provided a breathtaking holiday experience on Friday night.

Winds of up to 90 km/hr predicted to hit Vancouver Island

Environment Canada is warning that loose objects may cause damage

Trapped humpback whale freed from salmon farm near Tofino

“All of these problems could be solved by the farms moving onto land and getting out of the ocean.”

Ucluelet police searching for missing man

Ucluelet police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating a missing 29-year-old.

VIDEO: Santa visits Tofino

The event included a hearty breakfast, highland dancing and a Purple Dragon demonstration.

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

Mental health issue suspected after spike belts end Island Highway car chase

Woman in her 30s detained after Tuesday afternoon incident in Lantzville

UPDATE: B.C. judge grants $10M bail for Huawei executive wanted by U.S.

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Prosecution in Colin John murder trial wrapping up in Duncan

John on trial for stabbing death in Chemainus in 2016

Most Read