Transport Minister Marc Garneau views one of the derelict vessels at Ladysmith’s Slack Point on Monday afternoon. (Mike Gregory Photo).

B.C. receives federal funding to remove abandoned vessels

At least 21 vessels are slated to be removed from a number of harbours including in Ladysmith, Vancouver and Victoria

Transport Canada has announced funding to help coastal communities clear out abandoned boats and vessels that pose both as an eyesore and safety concern.

The department says $1.3 million is being made available to assess and remove abandoned boats from ports and harbours in British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as to support an education campaign to deter the practice.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau was in Ladysmith on Monday to make the announcement, saying at least 21 vessels will be removed from harbours in Victoria, Vancouver, Ladysmith and Port Saunders, N.L.

The funding provided through the Abandoned Boats Program will go towards removing seven vessels in Ladysmith Harbour, including three that are grounded off of Slack Point.

Making the announcement at the Ladysmith Community Marina, Garneau said first phase of funding will “get the ball rolling” in cleaning up the wrecks.

“In due course what we’re going to do is a complete inventory of all the abandoned vessels that exist in Canada – that’s never been done on all three coasts,” he said.

“One of the things we will be looking at is to create a fund that vessels owners contribute to, we do this in the oil business…. and we’re thinking of creating a similar fund in the case of abandoned vessel so that there will be a pool of money.”

Two vessels included in the Ladysmith’s original application were washed away in a recent storm.

Mayor Aaron Stone said the town is taking a phased approach to tackling the issue plaguing local waters.

“This is just an initial phase of some of the most egregious examples that we have in our harbour,” he said.

“We’ve taken a priority-based approach to this understanding that there is limited funding available. We are going to be making subsequent applications to move through that backlog but as we work through that we’ll hopefully be able to get to it through the next few years but we understand also that there are other communities who are going to be vying for that funding.”

The Capital Regional District of Victoria, the Pender Harbour Advisory Council, and the District of Sechelt will all split up to $90,000 to assess 26 abandoned boats and wrecks. Once completed, they will then be eligible to apply for federal funding to help in the removal of the boats.

CRD is also receiving $50,100 to deliver an outreach program to educate boat owners on recycling and disposal options in the hopes of addressing abandonment issues in the region. The not-for-profit Boating BC Association also will be provided with $150,000 for a campaign aimed at increasing awareness around owners of end of life boats.

As Transport Canada estimates there are possibly thousands of these abandoned vessels, Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson said the funding was a “drop in the bucket” compared to what’s actually needed to address the issue.

Just Posted

Preliminary inquiry set for man accused of killing Belgian tourist

Sean McKenzie charged with killing Amelie Sakkalis, 28 on Aug. 22 near Boston Bar

Are Chilliwack gas prices too high? Some say yes

The amount at the pumps has locals fuming over what they say are too-high gas prices

Around the BCHL: Chilliwack Chiefs snag spot in CJHL national rankings

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the BCHL and the junior A world.

Mental health first aid course comes to Chilliwack

The two-day course will take place at the Coast Hotel on Nov. 1 and 2 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Mental fitness questioned of man charged in Chilliwack River Valley shooting

Peter Kampos told his lawyer ‘his dreams are being stolen and turned into drugs’ at Surrey Pre-trial

‘She’s charging. Oh God’: Mama grizzly runs at B.C. man armed with shotgun

People online were quick to question – and defend – a man’s decision to shoot a grizzly bear charging him on a Bella Coola front yard

Lower Mainland boy has bike and prosthetic arm stolen

Bike has been recovered, but arm still missing

Canada announces $20M fund for women entrepreneurs

New federal program will provide up to $100,000 for female business owners to grow their operations

Vancouver Island man claims falling ice smashed his truck windshield

Man discovered volleyball-sized chunk ice on his truck Saturday, near Nanaimo, B.C.

B.C. veteran combats PTSD in the ring and on the farm

Cam Tetrault is a valuable contributor at Quesnel’s Two Rivers Boxing Club

B.C. vegan butcher to appear on Dragons’ Den

Victoria’s Very Good Butchers will star in Nov. 29 episode

Vancouver mom creates screen-free kids’ entertainment

Luna Cheng, who grew up in Langley, is one of the creators of BoredBox.

Fast ferries from B.C. spotted in Egypt

Controversial aluminum BC Ferries vessels ’big white elephants covered in dust,’ eyewitness says

Canadian troops, families take shelter in hotel after Florida hurricane

Most of the Canadians were evacuated from the military base before Hurricane Michael

Most Read