Press Release: 90 FOOT ‘VESSEL OF CONCERN’ SINKS IN LADYSMITH HARBOUR, LEAKS OIL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 24, 2017

90 FOOT ‘VESSEL OF CONCERN’ SINKS IN LADYSMITH HARBOUR, LEAKS OIL

OTTAWA –  On Saturday, a 90 foot wooden vessel built in 1918, named the Anapaya, sank and leaked fuel in Ladysmith Harbour. Transport Canada was aware of the vessel’s risk, but failed to take any action until after the sinking and resulting oil spill.

“The government knew this vessel posed a significant threat but took no action until after it was too late,” Sheila Malcolmson, NDP MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, said in Question Period in the House of Commons on Tuesday. “We’re grateful for the Coast Guard’s swift action, but this is just the latest example of the Liberal’s failed boat-by-boat approach on abandoned vessels.”

The Coast Guard quickly deployed an oil containment boom to limit the damage and began cleanup efforts after the owner walked away. However, Transport Canada identified the Anapaya as a ‘Vessel of Concern’ back in 2014.

“We need a robust system to deal with these vessels before they harm our environment and community,” said Malcolmson who has tabled legislation to create a national program to address abandoned vessels. “My legislation would put the tools and programs in place to clean up our coasts.”

Malcolmson’s Bill C-352 will fix vessel registration, pilot a vessel turn-in program, create good green jobs by supporting local marine salvage businesses and vessel recycling, and end jurisdictional disputes by making the Coast Guard responsible for directing the removal of abandoned vessels. Debate on the bill will take place in the coming weeks.
For more information, please contact: 
NDP Media Centre: 613-222-2351 or media@ndp.ca