MP Sheila Malcolmson Tables Bill C-352 to Force Federal Action on Abandoned Vessels

OTTAWA — Citing the Liberal’s failure to protect Canadian waterways from abandoned vessels, NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson tabled an enhanced bill on Thursday to force the federal government to take action.

“In the absence of federal leadership on this issue, I’m proposing a comprehensive solution to clean up abandoned vessels and protect our coasts,” said Malcolmson, MP for Nanaimo—Ladysmith.

For decades, Malcolmson says all three of Canada’s coasts have been experiencing recurring issues with abandoned vessels, and coastal communities have repeatedly called for federal action.

“Abandoned vessels are a serious environmental and navigational hazard. They’re a major source of oil spills, jeopardizing valuable aquaculture and commercial fishing jobs, and threatening tourism. Until now, gaps in jurisdiction have left coastal communities with nowhere to turn for help. ”

Malcolmson’s new legislation, Bill C-352, would designate the Canadian Coast Guard as the agency responsible for directing the removal and recycling of abandoned vessels. It builds on her previous bill, C-219, which was introduced in February of 2016.

Key points of Bill C-352:

  • End the run-around and finger-pointing by designating Coast Guard as the agency responsible for directing the removal & recycling of abandoned vessels
  • Build a coast-wide strategy in cooperation with local and provincial governments
  • Get taxpayers off the hook by fixing vessel registration and creating a fee to help cover the cost of vessel disposal
  • Prevent vessels from becoming hazards by piloting a turn-in program at safe recycling facilities
  • Create good green jobs by supporting local marine salvage businesses

“I updated my legislation based on consultations with more than 3,000 community members, marina operators, industry partners, First Nations and local governments," said Malcolmson. "I’m calling on the Liberals to support Bill C-352 to end the finger-pointing, improve vessel registration, pilot a vessel turn-in program, and create good green jobs by supporting local marine salvage businesses and vessel recycling.”

The bill has already been unanimously endorsed by the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities, following an emergency resolution in the final hours of the government convention on Sunday.