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: Pacific Rim Whale Festival’s Chowder Chow Down winners announced in Ucluelet

The event serves as the largest annual fundraiser for the Food Bank on the Edge.

VIDEO: Ucluelet extinguishes Tofino at Spout Ball Challenge

The popular Pacific Rim Whale Festival event was a spectacular success for firefighters and fans.

WATCH: Annual art show opens at Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet

Visitors encouraged to vote for their favourite work of art from March 16-25.

Tla-o-qui-aht artist carving out conversation in Ucluelet

“When you’re creating together and making work together, those conversations really come naturally.”

VIDEO: Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail welcomes new feature

“It’s special. It’s something that people don’t see.”

VIDEO: Ucluelet extinguishes Tofino at Spout Ball Challenge

The popular Pacific Rim Whale Festival event was a spectacular success for firefighters and fans.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Spring snow melt uncovers dirty needles in B.C. city

Vernon residents are upset with number of needles being found around town with spring melt

US would host majority of games at 2026 World Cup

A decision on the winning bid will be made June 13 at the FIFA Congress in Mexico

Most people in B.C. too ‘lazy,’ ‘apathetic’ to prepare for disasters: poll

Less than half of those surveyed aren’t insured for earthquakes and wildfires

Chris Hemsworth goes surfing in Tofino

The Australian actor donned a full body wetsuit to catch some waves on Vancouver Island this weekend

B.C. hospitals receive boost for dental surgery

Disabled people needing general anesthetic wait too long, Adrian Dix says

BCHL Today: Wenatchee Wild on the ropes and Smoke Eaters reeling

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

A frustrated Trump lashes out at special counsel Mueller

In a series of weekend tweets naming Mueller for the first time, Trump criticized the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election

Most Read