Government of Canada completes dismantling of Cormorant vessel

News release

July 7, 2021

Ottawa, Ontario - The Government of Canada is committed to removing wrecked, abandoned or hazardous vessels that pose a threat of pollution to the marine environment, impact coastal communities and pose a health and safety risk to Canadians.

Today, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced the operation to remove and safely dismantle the Cormorant vessel is complete.

The Cormorant was moored for approximately 20 years at the Port of Bridgewater, N.S. Following an assessment in 2019 that showed the vessel posed an imminent threat of pollution to the marine environment, the Coast Guard worked to secure the Cormorant, remove pollutants and stabilize the vessel.

In November 2020 the vessel was towed from the Port of Bridgewater to a shipyard in Sheet Harbour, N.S. to be dismantled. More than 1,000 metric tonnes of metal was recycled from the vessel during dismantling.

Protection of the marine environment is a top priority for the Canadian Coast Guard. Under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, it’s mandate includes protecting the marine environment and holding polluters responsible for the cost of response.

Quotes

“When I first ran to represent the people of South Shore-St. Margaret’s, I promised that the Cormorant would be removed from the LaHave River, safely and responsibly. As the Member of Parliament, but also as member of our community, I am so pleased to see this done. Canada’s ports and harbours are not dumping grounds for unwanted, hazardous vessels. They are places of gathering, and hubs of community and industry. Our government will continue to remove these hazards from Canadian waters, and to protect our beautiful coastlines and waterways for generations to come.”

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • The former HMCS Cormorant was built in 1963. It had been at the Port of Bridgewater since 2000.

  • In 2015, due to the threat posed by the vessel, the Canadian Coast Guard took necessary action to refloat and stabilize the Cormorant.

  • Following a fair and competitive bid process, in October 2020 a contract was awarded to RJ MacIsaac Construction Ltd. of Antigonish, N.S. for the safe dismantling and removal of the Cormorant from the Port of Bridgewater. RJ MacIsaac Construction Ltd. is a marine construction and demolition company that specializes in ship recycling and other marine contracting. The contract was valued at $1.8 million.

  • Wrecked, abandoned or hazardous vessels can pose any number of hazards to the environment, economy, as well as the health and safety of coasts and coastal communities. The Government of Canada is also working to reduce the number of vessels of concern in Canadian waters, and minimize their impact on coastal communities, the environment and the public.

  • Under the Oceans Protection Plan, the Canadian Coast Guard is developing a national inventory of problem vessels across Canada to better understand the full scope and scale of the situation and to track and report vessels. The Coast Guard is focusing on assessing the risks associated with each of the problem vessels reported to date, and any new ones that are reported, to prioritize actions on high risk vessels.

  • The Canadian Coast Guard Environmental Response group subsequently took measures under Part 8 of the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 to permanently address the threat of pollution posed by the vessel.

Associated links

Contacts

Olivia McMackin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
343-571-9193
Olivia.Mcmackin@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
613-990-7537
Media.xncr@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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