Liberals Defeat Final Attempt to Mend Abandoned Vessels Bill


June 19, 2018


OTTAWA – Sheila Malcolmson, NDP Member of Parliament for Nanaimo—Ladysmith’s final attempt to close a loophole in the federal government’s legislation on abandoned vessels was defeated in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon. The Liberals’ legislation Bill C-64 hopes to prevent additional abandoned vessels but completely fails to address vessels that are already abandoned.

“The Liberals and Conservatives voted together to defeat real solutions for coastal communities and the longstanding problem of abandoned vessels," Malcolmson said. "Voting yes would have also closed a loophole, so that old Coast Guard, BC Ferries and Navy boats would have to pay the same penalties that the Liberals are charging private boat owners."

Last month, the BC Chamber of Commerce joined over 50 coastal organizations urging the Government of Canada to implement coastal community solutions to solve the longstanding problem of abandoned vessels. The NDP tried to add elements of Malcolmson’s bill into the government's legislation but Liberals voted down 12 out of the 13 amendments.

“The Liberals have taken some baby steps but missed a major opportunity to address the needs of coastal communities and the thousands of abandoned vessels that litter our coasts," said Malcolmson.