Nanaimo & Ladysmith Chambers of Commerce Bring Abandoned Vessel Solutions to BC Chamber of Commerce 2018 Conference

Sheila Malcolmson, New Democrat Member of Parliament for Nanaimo—Ladysmith applauds the Nanaimo and Ladysmith Chambers of Commerce for their leadership by pushing for abandoned vessels solutions at the BC Chamber of Commerce Annual Conference. The resolution urges the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia to implement coastal community solutions to solve the longstanding problem of abandoned vessels.

There remains no comprehensive strategy and jurisdiction that requires the removal and/or recycling of abandoned vessels before they become serious environmental or navigational hazards.” The Transport Minister’s “Bill C-64 does not adequately address jurisdictional gaps and may continue to leave coastal communities and taxpayers with the burden of dealing with abandoned vessels.[ …]To date, local governments, First Nations, marinas, port operators, taxpayers, and businesses are still calling for action.

-excerpt from BC Chamber of Commerce background on abandoned vessel resolution.

The abandoned vessel resolution is one of 52 to be considered by the Chamber’s membership of 125 Chambers of Commerce and 36,000 businesses at its annual conference from May 24 to May 26 in Kamloops.

“I’m grateful the Nanaimo and the Ladysmith Chambers of Commerce are bringing coastal community expertise to grow support on this vital issue, by pressing for abandoned vessel solutions that protect coastal ecology, jobs, and recycling innovation,” said Malcolmson “Coastal communities in British Columbia have been sounding the alarm for decades, but after years of neglect, the Trudeau government hasn’t legislated the solutions needed to deal with the backlog of abandoned boats.”

Malcolmson had proposed the same solutions in federal legislation over a year ago, which she built based on repeated policy resolutions from coastal communities and the Union of BC Municipalities. Her bill was blocked by the majority Liberal government in December 2017.

The resolution is supported by the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce, Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and the Saanich Chamber of Commerce. The submitted resolution calls on:

The Federal government:

  1. Designate Coast Guard as the agency responsible for directing the removal and recycling of abandoned vessels;
  2. Improve vessel registration so that owners can be held accountable;
  3. Fund a study of the Washington State model of fee collection for the costs of disposal of abandoned and wrecked vessels on the West Coast; and
  4. Create a pilot “turn-in” program for safe disposal and recycling of abandoned vessels.

The Provincial governrment:

  1. Work with the Federal Government in the development of a West Coast wide strategy in cooperation with First Nations and local governments to build a comprehensive strategy and regulatory framework for addressing the financial and environmental risks of abandoned vessels.

Additional Quote:

“The Nanaimo Chamber is reaching out to other coastal community Chambers of Commerce to gain wide support in advance of presenting the policy resolution to the Provincial Convention for adoption by all Chambers in BC.” -Kim Smythe, CEO of the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce