Government of Canada works with local communities to remove abandoned boats across Canada through the Oceans Protection Plan
February 13, 2019 Richmond, British Columbia Transport Canada
Abandoned boats are a problem for many communities across Canada. The Government of Canada, through its Oceans Protection Plan, is taking meaningful action to curb this irresponsible practice. Today, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced the most recent applicants to receive funding under Transport Canada’s Abandoned Boats Program. He also announced, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the most recent applicants to receive funding under Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Abandoned and Wrecked Vessels Removal Program.
Under Transport Canada’s Abandoned Boats Program, a total of $51,272 will be provided to remove five boats in British Columbia and one in Ontario. The recipients are:
- Bowen Island Municipality (B.C.) – removal of two boats ($11,330)
- Salish Sea Industrial Services (Victoria, B.C.) – removal of three boats in Cadboro Bay, B.C. ($34,915)
- Township of Carling (Ontario) – removal of one boat ($5,027)
Under Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Abandoned and Wrecked Vessels Removal Program, a total of $138,839 will be provided to remove 14 vessels, and to gain legal possession of an additional 11 vessels with the goal of removing them in the future. The recipients are:
- British Columbia (Steveston, Alert Bay, Port Edward, and Pender) – removal of eight boats, and another three funded to obtain legal possession ($95,425)
- Quebec (Pointe Basse, Havre Aubert, and Newport) – removal of one boat, and another three funded to obtain legal possession ($25,334)
- Newfoundland and Labrador (Musgrave, Codroy, Burgeo, and Branch) – removal of five boats ($18,080)
Launched in November 2016, the five-year, $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. Over the past two years, the Government of Canada has invested in hundreds of projects that are making the marine safety system stronger, and protecting coastal environments and marine species more than ever. Based on the latest science and technology, Indigenous partnerships and collaboration, these projects bring us closer to healthier, cleaner and safer oceans.
“The removal of abandoned boats from our coastlines is another way the Oceans Protection Plan is having a positive impact across the country. Our Government has been investing in our coasts and waterways to ensure that future generations will enjoy and benefit from Canada’s incredible heritage.”
The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport
"We know the negative impacts abandoned and wrecked boats can have on coastal, rural and Indigenous communities, especially those who rely on fishing for their livelihoods. Thanks to investments under the historic Oceans Protection Plan, we are taking action so that our oceans and our coasts can continue to sustain industries like fishing and tourism that are so important to local economies. We are making sure our oceans, waterways and coastal areas remain safe, clean and healthy for all Canadians."
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
"On all of our coasts, harbours are an important part of the local economy, and community life. I am glad to see communities and Government working together, in southern B.C. and in the rest of the country, to protect our environment under the Oceans Protection Plan.”
Member of Parliament for Steveston-Richmond East
Transport Canada’s Abandoned Boats Program is investing $6.85 million for abandoned boat assessment, removal and disposal, and for research and education initiatives. Since May 31, 2017, the program has launched three calls for proposals for projects to be funded through grants and contributions, the most recent of which remains open until March 31, 2019. To date, funding has been approved to assess 87 boats for a total of $267,560, and to remove 44 boats for a total of $597,993.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Abandoned and Wrecked Vessels Removal Program is providing up to $1.325 million over five years to Harbour Authorities and other eligible recipients to remove and dispose of abandoned and wrecked vessels located in federal small craft harbours. To date, 23 vessels have been removed and disposed of across the country, and funding has been awarded to gain legal possession which could lead to the removal of an additional 11 vessels, under the program.
To help reduce the number of problem vessels, the Government of Canada has also proposed new legislation. The Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act (Bill C-64) would increase vessel owner liability, and strengthen the Government’s response in cases where owners do not behave responsibly with regards to disposal of their boats.
Other important measures undertaken by the Government of Canada include improving vessel owner identification, creating an inventory of vessels and assessing their risks, and establishing a polluter pays approach for vessel clean-up.
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
Transport Canada, Ottawa
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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