Abandoned or wrecked vessels are a problem across Canada. The Government of Canada, through its Oceans Protection Plan, is taking action in response to the practice of vessel abandonment, and supporting communities in cleaning up vessels of immediate concern.
Today, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Terry Beech, announced the most recent applicants to receive funding under Transport Canada’s Abandoned Boats Program, which supports the assessment and removal of abandoned boats, as well as education and awareness initiatives.
A total of $1,273,045 is being provided to assess and remove abandoned boats in communities in British Columbia. The recipients are:
- Forrest Marine Limited (Burnaby, B.C.) – removal of one boat in the Fraser River ($8,220)
- 1184550 BC Ltd (Mission, B.C.) – assessment and removal of 15 boats in the Fraser River ($825,000)
- Salish Sea Industrial Services (Victoria, B.C.) – removal of 16 boats in Victoria Harbour ($364,150)
- Pender Harbour and Area Residents Association (Madeira Park, B.C.) – removal of two boats in Gerrans Bay ($75,675).
In addition, Parliamentary Secretary Beech congratulated the Boating BC Association on launching their public awareness campaign to reduce the harmful dumping of abandoned boats in British Columbia. This campaign is funded under the Abandoned Boats Program.
These announcements come on the eve of the coming-into-force of the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act, on July 30, 2019, which will make it illegal to abandon boats and increase vessel owner liability, and strengthen the Government’s response in cases where owners do not behave responsibly in disposing of their vessels at the end of their useful life.
The $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. This national plan is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines and clean water for generations to come. This work is being done in close collaboration with Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders and coastal communities.
“Abandoned and wrecked boats pollute the marine environment and can negatively affect tourism, fisheries, local infrastructure and navigation. Our Government funding to assess and remove these abandoned vessels will ensure that Canadians continue to enjoy our coastlines today and for generations to come.”
The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport
“I’m so pleased to see the Government of Canada, local communities and the Boating BC Association collaborating to further the aims of the Oceans Protection Plan. Together with our partners, we continue to build on our commitment to protect our oceans and waterways.”
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport
Launched in May 2017, Transport Canada’s Abandoned Boats Program is investing $6.85 million for abandoned boat assessment, removal and disposal, and for research and education initiatives. To date, $342,560 in funding has been approved to assess 102 boats and $1,796,038 to remove 78 boats. Eligible recipients may apply for funding under the current call for proposals until March 31, 2020.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Abandoned and Wrecked Vessels Removal Program is providing up to $1.325 million over five years to Harbour Authorities and other eligible recipients to remove and dispose of abandoned and wrecked vessels located in federal small craft harbours. To date, 23 vessels have been removed and disposed of across the country, and funding has been awarded to gain legal possession which could lead to the removal of an additional eight vessels, under the program.
In addition to these programs and the new legislation, other important measures undertaken by the Government of Canada include improving vessel owner identification; creating an inventory of abandoned, derelict, and wrecked vessels and assessing their risks; and establishing a polluter pays approach for vessel clean-up.