Emergency Resolution on MP Malcolmson’s Abandoned Vessels Legislation Unanimously Endorsed at AVICC Convention

An emergency resolution in the final hours of a Vancouver Island local government convention this weekend unanimously endorsed NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson's legislation to solve the long-standing abandoned vessels problem.

"Since 2008, with the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities, I've been calling for provincial and federal action to get these polluting wrecks out of our coastal waters, and I built all that local government advice into my legislation,” said Malcolmson, MP for Nanaimo—Ladysmith. “Returning to Parliament with AVICC's endorsement, I feel even more strongly that the government must act now on this united call for action on abandoned vessels, after decades of waiting."

Malcolmson’s legislation would designate the Canadian Coast Guard as the agency responsible for directing the removal and recycling of abandoned vessels, and spur the creation of a comprehensive national strategy to prevent them from becoming serious environmental and navigational hazards.

The unanimous endorsement of the emergency resolution on Sunday at the AVICC Convention in Campbell River followed a filled-to-capacity workshop on abandoned vessels, headed by Stz’uminus Chief John Elliot, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, Malcolmson, and Ladysmith Maritime Society Managing Director Rod Smith.

"From major cities like Victoria to small towns on Vancouver Island and the coast, abandoned vessels are having a significant and negative impact on our natural ecosystems and local emergency response services," said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, who co-sponsored the emergency resolution alongside the District of Oak Bay and Town of Ladysmith. "We support the legislation being introduced by MP Malcolmson and hope that the federal government will act swiftly."

"I'm very pleased with the strong support of the resolution by the AVICC membership,” said Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone “Abandoned vessels hurt our communities and environment daily. The cumulative impacts continually set coastal communities back as we strive for environmental and economic sustainability. The federal government needs to act now".

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(Photo 1: Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps introduces emergency resolution on MP Sheila's Malcolmson's abandoned vessels legislation at 2017 AVICC Convention in Campbell River.)

(Photo 2: Stz’uminus Chief John Elliot, Nanaimo—Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson, Ladysmith Maritime Society Managing Director Rod Smith and Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone presented a workshop on abandoned vessels at the 2017 AVICC Convention in Campbell River.)