An Act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and to provide for the development of a national strategy (abandonment of vessels)


Sheila Malcolmson  NDP

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)


Dead, as of Dec. 6, 2017

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-352.


This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 to strengthen the requirements relating to wreck by ensuring that regulations are made to establish measures to be taken for its removal, disposal or destruction. It also designates the Canadian Coast Guard as a receiver of wreck for the purposes of Part 7 of the Act and requires receivers of wreck to take the necessary steps to identify and locate the owner of the wreck.

Finally, it provides for the development and implementation of a national strategy to address the abandonment of vessels.


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Motions in amendmentWrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels ActGovernment Orders

June 19th, 2018 / 1:25 p.m.
See context


Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a huge honour today to rise to speak to Bill C-64, an act respecting wrecks, abandoned, dilapidated or hazardous vessels and salvage operations.

Before I get started, I have to give a huge shout-out and thanks to my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith for her perseverance and commitment to this issue. Before she was in the House, she was the chair of the Islands Trust. She brought communities together on this issue, because it is so important. She followed the great work of Jean Crowder, who represented the riding of Nanaimo—Cowichan. These are Vancouver Islanders who understand these issues from the grassroots. They understand the impact abandoned and derelict vessels have on our coastal waters and the impact they have on the local economy, ecology, and way of life. I appreciate their efforts.

In my riding, there has been much support for Bill C-352 put forward by my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith. Qualicum Beach and Parksville have been very strong advocates for this bill, as has the Regional District of Nanaimo.

There was an incredible accident in our riding in Deep Bay. Three boats had been listing for over a decade. They were abandoned derelict vessels. The former member of Parliament for Vancouver Island North, a Conservative colleague, promised for 10 years to remove those vessels, but they sat there right through until the 2015 election. That same member voted against the bill Ms. Crowder put forward in the last Parliament. He said that he wanted more of a Washington state model. He was the party whip for the Conservative government and a previous cabinet minister, so he could have asked his government to pursue legislation based on the Washington state model. Ms. Crowder would have welcomed an amendment to support that model, because we know it works. He sat idle.

A boat sank, and when the divers went down, they found two more boats at the bottom. The communities desperately wanted the Silver King and the Sir Wilfrid Laurier removed, because they were threatening 60 jobs adjacent to that listing boat. They were threatening the Deep Bay Marine Field Station of Vancouver Island University, which has a centre for shellfish research they have invested $9 million in. We raised this concern with the federal government, and the Liberals sat idle, despite major storms going through.

We then decided to collectively come together: me; the MLA; Chief Recalma, of Qualicum First Nation; Bill Veenhof, from the Regional District of Nanaimo; and the adjacent shellfish company that was going to be immediately impacted. In fact, it would have been shut down for a year if any of the bunker fuel had been released from those derelict and abandoned boats, and the VIU research facility would have been shut down.

We decided to collectively come together with community members and go out on a boat and invite the media. I want to thank CHEK 6 news, CTV News Vancouver Island, and the Parksville Qualicum Beach News, because they came out, and it was their reporting that made the difference, with our community standing in solidarity. The former minister of fisheries and oceans, my friend from Nunavut, responded at that point, when he saw the pressure, and the Silver King was removed. The Liberals were still hesitant to deal with the Sir Wilfrid Laurier. This boat was a previous crown asset.

Again, my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith put forward amendments to strengthen the bill to protect our coasts. One of the amendments was to prevent crown assets and assets seized and resold by the government from becoming abandoned vessels by legislating terms and conditions of sale and disposal. It sounds reasonable, but the Liberals rejected it.

On the B.C. coast, there are abandoned vessels from all over the place that still bear a government logo, whether they are from BC Ferries or the Coast Guard, such as the Sir Wilfrid Laurier. The Atlantic coast has a number of people with great intentions who are still purchasing surplus navy vessels, but they become great liabilities. The communities of Shelburne and Bridgewater wanted those conditions in the bill as well, and they were rejected. We raised awareness about the Silver King and the Sir Wilfrid Laurier, and we are grateful that the government responded at that point. I want to thank it for that, but it took a lot of pressure.

This could have been avoided. We could not even figure out who was responsible, because in this bill, the government still had not identified the Coast Guard as the sole receiver of wrecks. We were running around speaking to the parliamentary secretary and the Minister of Transport, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and Environment Canada. We were getting turned around, and no one was taking responsibility. That still has not been resolved in this legislation.

I will turn to some of the opportunities. When I was first elected, my colleagues from Vancouver Island and I banded together and went to the Minister of Infrastructure and asked that BC Ferries be eligible for the Building Canada fund, because under the previous Conservative government, it was not eligible. BC Ferries made that loud and clear. Despite the Conservative member from Vancouver Island North saying that it was eligible, it had been rejected on every application, because, it was told, it was not eligible.

We were grateful to the Minister of Infrastructure for changing the requirements and allowing BC Ferries to be eligible for the Building Canada fund. That has resulted in $62 million for BC Ferries, which Mark Collins, the CEO, told me when I ran into him in Vancouver. He was so grateful. He told me that he wanted to come to our riding and listen to my thoughts and concerns with respect to BC Ferries and the way he can support our communities. He also wanted to express his gratitude for our going to Ottawa and working with the government to create the eligibility that has supported all ferry users in British Columbia.

While he was there, I was able to talk to him and showcase Port Alberni and the Alberni Valley as a great opportunity for the BC Ferries experience program so that they can promote each other and work collectively to support the tourism economy.

We also talked about the incredible opportunity we have as the deepest port on the west coast of Vancouver Island, which is heavily underutilized. He clearly expressed to me that shipyards are coming close to capacity and that he wants to find ways we can work together. He wrote a letter of support after visiting the port. He wrote:

BC Ferries is planning to invest $3.5 - $4 billion over the next 12 years in infrastructure and new vessels in addition to our anticipated $150 million annual spend on ship repair. The biggest constraint we face supporting our fleet is the scarcity of dry docking in British Columbia. Currently, two-thirds of our fleet of 35 vessels can be docked at just two facilities. Those facilities are busy and the opportunity for increased dry dock capacity in BC will be of great interest to BC Ferries and other coastal marine customers.

He supports the Port Alberni Port Authority and its hope for a new floating dry dock. The reason I bring that up is that it is an economic opportunity for people on the west coast to create more shipbuilding and maybe a place where we can work with abandoned and derelict boats. We would like to see the government work with all levels of government, the federal government and the federal Liberals, so that we can create those jobs and support a dry dock in our community.

After years of advocacy, the New Democrats are proud that our pressure is finally paying off and that we are seeing some movement on this bill, although it misses the mark on many things. It does not support a vessel turn-in program modelled on the cash-for-clunkers program for vehicles, which has been successful in many provinces. Without a turn-in program, we will not be able to deal with the backlog, which is hundreds of boats. We could create a dedicated fee to help cover the cost of vessel disposal, based on the Washington state model, which is an owner-financed fund dedicated to vessel removal that successfully took the costs off taxpayers, which is what we want.

Where I live, it is clear that most of these abandoned derelict vessels cannot be traced back. We do not know who the owners are. They change hands repeatedly. There is a housing issue where we live, and many people are living on derelict boats, in terrible conditions. These boats are being sold within the community, and people do not know who owns these boats. They live on them literally until they sink. We do not want to see a situation like in Deep Bay, where a boat is listing and threatening the environment and the local economy, and then when it does sink and we go to the bottom, we find three more.

Motions in amendmentWrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels ActGovernment Orders

June 19th, 2018 / 1:10 p.m.
See context


Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in the House to speak to Bill C-64, which addresses the issue of the thousands of wrecks littering Canada. I want to commend my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith for all the work she has done. She has been working for years to stop the abandonment of wrecks on our coasts and to help free coastal communities from the burden of dealing with wrecks.

My colleague proposed several amendments in committee. She originally had a private member's bill that targeted all wrecks. Her parliamentary privilege to debate Bill C-352 was denied by the Liberal government, which forced her to go through the special process of a secret ballot vote. Each member got to deposit a ballot in a box at the back of the House of Commons to decide whether my colleague would be allowed to debate her bill. The outcome, as anyone could guess, given the government's majority, was that she was blocked from speaking on her own bill. The government simply refused to grant her time to debate the bill in the House, on the pretext that the government's bill covered all the same ground as her own. However, the two bills could have been complementary, as I will explain today.

My B.C. colleague's bill addressed a number of issues. Now, at report stage, she is moving an amendment that reads as follows: “That Bill C-64 be amended by deleting Clause 5”.

This amendment would remove the exemption for state-owned ships. Bill C-64 does not currently apply to state property.

We want all vessels owned by the government, by all the departments, including military vessels and other assets belonging to the Canadian Coast Guard, to be governed by this bill. The fact that they are not is ridiculous. Washington State has similar legislation that includes abandoned state-owned vessels.

We hope the government will support the amendment moved by my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith.

I rise in the House today because the Kathryn Spirit ran aground in Lake Saint-Louis, a drinking water reservoir, seven years ago, and the people of Beauharnois and the greater Montreal area have been trying to get something done about it ever since.

Groupe Saint-Pierre, a private company, acquired the vessel and towed it to the shores of Lake Saint-Louis at Beauharnois to dismantle it and sell the scrap metal. The people of Beauharnois and the mayor at the time were extremely concerned about that.

The current mayor continues to work to ensure that the ship is dismantled by the end of the year. Seven years later, we are beginning to feel some relief, but as long as the ship is still there then we are no further ahead.

Managing this ship has been very complicated from the start. It was not clear who to talk to about it. We had to juggle between Environment Canada, Transport Canada, and the Canadian Coast Guard under Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Every department under the Conservative government at the time passed the buck. In 2015, the Liberals took over the government, but it is still the same story, six of one and half a dozen of the other. The two successive governments were unable to grab the bull by the horns to ensure the safety of the drinking water reservoir. The population was scared because for the seven years that the ship has been there, there have been a number of freeze-thaw cycles. The ship has taken on some water through the pipes and as a result of being trapped in the ice over the winter.

What is more, there have a number of alarming situations that required last-minute interventions to patch up the ship to ensure that the water in the ballasts did not infiltrate the engine room, which contains oil. We asked many times for the list of pollutants remaining on the ship and up until very recently we still did not have it. Even the fire department of Beauharnois, Châteauguay, and surrounding areas still did not have that list on April 10, 2018, when a fire broke out and six fire departments were called to deal with it. Though somewhat ironic, it is mostly very stressful for all those who live near this wreck.

The bill before us does not meet all of the demands of Beauharnois and the surrounding coastal municipalities. That is why the NDP has been fighting for years to get a bill that better manages shipwrecks.

This bill is definitely a step in the right direction, but there are still some problems that need to be addressed, particularly the backlog of thousands of wrecks abandoned off Canada's coastlines. On top of that, the bill fails to introduce a vessel registration system for accountability, nor does it establish a vessel turn-in and recycling program. I was very proud to support Bill C-352 introduced by my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith, which fills the gaps in the government legislation.

Getting back to the Kathryn Spirit, Groupe St-Pierre moved the vessel to the banks of Lac Saint-Louis in August 2011. Since the provincial and federal governments never authorized the company to dismantle the ship on the water for environmental reasons, it was never able to move forward, so it sold the wreck to a Mexican company a few months later.

Transport Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada kept passing the buck back and forth between 2012 and 2015. The ministers responsible just wanted to wash their hands of the problem. Despite our repeated calls, the Mexican company was unable to answer our questions. There was a language barrier as well as the time difference. It eventually stopped answering our questions and our calls altogether.

Then there was dithering and continual delays in obtaining answers from the Ministers of Transport Canada and Environment Canada concerning hazardous substances still on board. It was never-ending. It took years to get answers even though such access to information requests usually take about two months. Then we asked that there be only one party responsible, the Canadian Coast Guard, but the Liberals refused.

Ultimately, we want to know the location and condition of all such ships in Canada. That is why we are asking that registration errors be corrected and, as my colleague proposed at the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, that the administration do more than just the bare minimum. Companies must fully respect the law and its spirit to ensure the protection of citizens, waters, and our environment.

In the case of the Kathryn Spirit, the lack of registration prevented us from having clear information about the Mexican company that had taken over the vessel. A minimum of information was enough to have senior officials say that the vessel had not been abandoned and that the company was still responsible for it. This matter was bungled from start to finish.

In 2013, it seemed that contaminants were discharged and citizens were worried. In the end, it was a real shemozzle and the government said that most of the fuel had been removed. In 2016, the vessel was listing and cables were added. The government is taking a wait-and-see approach in this matter.

The government took action when there was a fire and finally realized that there had never been a response plan, even though the government had offered $24 million to the private company working on the boat. There were a number of shortcomings.

The bill does not allocate enough money to manage a single vessel like the Kathryn Spirit. The government is allocating $1.25 million over four years, which is completely ridiculous.

I hope that the government will review this bill and accept amendments, including the one proposed today by my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith, in order to get this right and manage abandoned vessels in Canada.

Motions in amendmentWrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels ActGovernment Orders

June 19th, 2018 / 12:55 p.m.
See context


Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour for me to partake in today's debate, especially since I am speaking here today as a proud coastal member of Parliament who comes from a neck of the woods just south of the riding of the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith. My riding, Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, and my colleague's riding together formed what was known as the riding of Nanaimo—Cowichan.

This is a problem that coastal people have been dealing with for far too long, no matter what part of Canada they live in. Abandoned vessels not only pose threats to our environment, and in some cases threats to navigation, but they are an eyesore. They cause real harm to communities that are trying to build up an image of a sustainable community, a place tourists would want to visit.

I spent seven years working as a constituency assistant to former member of Parliament Jean Crowder in the riding of Nanaimo—Cowichan. As a constituency assistant, I was often on the phone with constituents who were outraged at the runaround they were getting and the jurisdictional finger pointing. They had gone to the municipality and to the regional district. They had gone to the port authority, to the province, and to the federal government. Every one of those agencies basically pointed at someone else, saying, “It's not our problem.” All those calls and the many years of problems building up prompted Jean Crowder to take action, and I will get to that in a moment.

I want to go over a bit of the history of how my particular community has experienced this problem. Right in the heart of my riding is lovely Cowichan Bay. I hope some members in the House get a chance to visit Cowichan Bay. It is a quaint, ideal little place on the coast. It has a great history of being a big industrial area that transformed itself into this great little community, which tourists come to every year by the droves.

We have had our ordeals with abandoned vessels. I will go back to the Dominion. The Dominion was a large Japanese fish-processing ship, which was towed to Cowichan Bay in 2007. The new owner of the vessel thought that he could buy it as an investment, sell it a few years later, and make a quick buck off it. Unfortunately, the Dominion stayed in Cowichan Bay from 2007 until 2013. It was filled with a variety of hazardous substances. It was subject to vandalism. There was the constant danger, whether from high tide or strong storms, of that gigantic ship coming loose off its mooring and plowing into other ships.

We had the SS Beaver, which was in such dilapidated condition that it sank in 2014. It still rests at the bottom of Cowichan Bay.

As a result of the lack of action, last year six derelict vessels were removed by the combined efforts of private companies. These companies were sick and tired of no government authority taking responsibility or having the resources to remove them. I want to recognize Western Forest Products, Western Stevedoring, and Pacific Industrial & Marine for taking on that initiative as responsible corporate citizens of the area. It affects their livelihoods, too, and they had the means to get it done. However, it should not have come to that.

I also want to give great recognition to Lori Iannidinardo. She serves as the area director for Cowichan Bay in the Cowichan Valley Regional District. A lot of individuals have been involved in this fight over the years, but as the area director, she has had the unique position locally of bringing so many stakeholders together, along with public and community forums, and pushing for action. Lori and Jean worked together hand in glove to try to address this problem.

Now let me turn to the efforts of Jean Crowder in the 41st Parliament. She introduced Bill C-231 in 2011. She saw a way to improve her bill, and it ultimately turned into Bill C-638, which had its opportunity for debate and a vote at second reading at the tail end of the 41st Parliament.

I will note that the Liberal Party at that time voted in favour of this bill, and among those members, there was the Prime Minister, the Minister of Transport, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and others. In fact, there are various ministers, parliamentary secretaries, and chairs of standing committees in the House today who back then supported this bill. We are happy to see Bill C-64 moving ahead, but as the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith has so clearly laid out, there are a lot of gaps that her private member's bill certainly could have filled.

I am happy to say that after years of advocacy, New Democrats and the coastal communities have really informed our work, and all that work is finally paying off. We are very proud that the action to clean up our coasts and waterways from abandoned vessels are finally under way.

I will now turn to the 42nd Parliament, the one we are in now, and the efforts of the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith. The first version of her Bill C-219 very much built on Bill C-638, which was introduced in the previous Parliament. However, after a lot of consultation with different coastal organizations and coastal communities, she really took their feedback, which is evidence-based decision-making and evidence-informed policy-making. She incorporated their suggestions, because these are the people who are on the front lines, and introduced Bill C-352.

One of the greatest privileges we have in this place as private members is our ability to bring forward legislation on behalf of our communities. What is really unfortunate about last year is that the Liberals denied her the ability through the procedure and House affairs committee, and then the secret ballot that we had here in the House of Commons, to effectively advocate on behalf of her constituents and various coastal organizations in this place. We know it was the Liberals, because that is where the majority of the votes are coming from, who denied her the ability to at least bring this bill forward for debate and a vote. They deemed it to be non-votable, and argued that Bill C-64 covered all the conditions. In fact, we can see that her bill was actually filling in the gaps that are very apparent in Bill C-64.

However, New Democrats do not give up when they face set backs, and so the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith tried to work at committee. She brought forward a series of amendments to Bill C-64 to actually strengthen the bill and make it reflect the conversations that she had had. We wanted to implement a vessel turn-in program, create a dedicated fee to help the cost of vessel disposal, and we wanted to formalize the Coast Guard's role. The Coast Guard's main role is to guard our coast, but I would argue it is not only to guard against smugglers but also to make sure that our coastal environment is safe, sound, and environmentally secure. She tried to make sure that we could copy Washington state's model, because we do not need to reinvent the wheel. We have many other jurisdictions, one right in Washington state, and we could basically borrow the best elements from its program and transpose them here in Canada. She also wanted to try and give the receiver of wrecks the responsibility and accountability to determine the owner.

Every single one of those amendments was defeated by the Liberals in spite of all of the testimony that we had heard at committee. That is the real shame of this. The Liberals in the previous Parliament were fine to go along with the provisions that were included in this bill, but once they got into government, and flying in the face of the evidence they heard, they refused to go ahead with that.

The bill from the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith was endorsed by the Union of B.C. Municipalities, the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities, the City of Victoria, the City of Nanaimo, the Town of Ladysmith, over 20 more local governments, the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, Vancouver District Labour Council, and the BC Ferry & Marine Workers' Union. These are organizations and local governments that deal with this problem and confront it on a daily basis. To have those kinds of endorsements behind the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith really speaks to her perseverance, and it is sincerely unfortunate that the government did not allow those.

I will conclude by saying that we are not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater. We will support Bill C-64, but I hope the government will at least listen to us and accept our amendment at report stage so that we can at least have some accountability for federally owned vessels, because that is a major loophole that exists.

Motions in amendmentWrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels ActGovernment Orders

June 19th, 2018 / 12:20 p.m.
See context


Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my Conservative colleague, who chaired our discussion at the transport committee and chaired it well. We had a good debate, and fantastic witnesses, whom we were pleased to have learned from.

If my colleague is characterizing my legislation, Bill C-352, as the first model she described where the taxpayer would end up picking up the bill for abandoned vessels, that was absolutely not the intention of my legislation. It was to designate a single agency that would be the first point of contact. It was very much like the Washington state model, where the whole focus is based on user pay. However, the key piece is that we need to be able to find out who the vessel owners are if we are going to send them a bill.

My feeling is that if, in the 1990s, the Conservatives and Liberals had not done so much to undermine the vessel registration system with their successive cuts to front-line services, Canada would now have a way of tracking who the responsible owners of those vessels are. Now we have a huge backlog, which is the legacy of that time of supposed cost-cutting. It is a good reminder that cutting services and laying off public servants can actually do more harm than good.

This brings me to my question. Why did the Conservatives let the vessel registry fall into such disrepair, and why did they close the regional offices in B.C. that were doing the vessel data collection?

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActPrivate Members' Business

June 18th, 2018 / 11:15 a.m.
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Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Madam Speaker, after a nice quiet weekend in my riding, I want to take this opportunity to thank all the pages and all of the parliamentary precinct security folks who looked after us during our all-night voting on Thursday night.

I also want to say a special thanks to my riding staff, because I miss them, Lauren Semple, Hilary Eastmure, and Michael Snoddon, and all the people at home who have been holding down the fort while we have been here since the end of January.

I am really grateful to everybody who is keeping the community work going, NGOs, local governments, everybody who is working hard to support the work we are doing here in Parliament.

We really hope that this is our last week, and I cannot wait to be home. Because we are close to the end, I have to say I am a little impatient about giving this speech. Bill S-210 proposes to amend the title of a Harper-era piece of legislation, the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act.

It seems like a long time ago when that piece of legislation was passed. It was passed in what I would call a dark decade of parliamentary rule. The unveiling of that quite racist legislation was one of the low points in the Harper era. It was dog-whistle politics at its worst. It was racist and inflammatory. Ministers stood and said we need to eradicate barbaric cultural practices, when all they needed to say was that we are going to rule against female genital mutilation. We are all for that, but it does not need to be put in the frame of alienating anybody who is not white and born and raised in Canada. Canada is a diverse country. We all practice our culture in different ways. There are acts that should be criminalized, especially acts that are damaging to young girls.

The Conservatives campaigned on that Harper-framed legislation, and I like to think that was part of their downfall, because the citizens of this country said no to it.

I also want to give special thanks to This Hour Has 22 Minutes, which acted like a second official opposition alongside New Democrats in the previous Parliament. I still chuckle about the show's parody on the barbaric cultural practices act. It named things like wearing socks with sandals as a cultural barbaric practice, and kissing the cod in the wrong way. They had fun with it, but it was not funny.

Given all the damage that was done in 10 years of Conservative rule, the Liberal government received a strong mandate from the Canadian public.

However, here we are today with legislation before us which would simply amend the title of the legislation. It would do nothing else. I am going to vote in favour of Bill S-210, because who would not vote in favour of it? Language matters, but actions also matters. There is so much work to do. Here we are, two and a half years into this term, and we still are not getting it done.

Some time this week, we will be tabling a report on what the Liberal government could do to end the atrocious rate of incarceration of indigenous women in Canadian jails and how badly they are treated. The report also talks about the barriers they face in the justice system that results in them being imprisoned at a higher rate.

Another Conservative law repealed the mandatory minium sentencing. It removed judicial discretion. The Liberal Party campaigned in 2015 that it would repeal mandatory minimum sentencing, but it has not done it.

Of all the things that would make a difference in people's lives, I wish that this legislation had more oomph behind it. Of course, language matters, but attendant action is so important. Voting yes to the bill, which I will be doing, will not change anyone's life. There is still a lot of legislative damage that has yet to be undone, and I do not believe that Bill S-210 would have been at the top of anybody's list.

I also have a bit of a bad attitude about this because of my private member's bill on abandoned vessels, Bill C-352. I worked on my bill with local government partners for about eight years before coming to this place. I tabled it in February 2016, and I updated it in April 2017.

Three days after it went on the Order Paper in October of this year, the government introduced its own bill, which I had wanted to see. I had hoped the government would have plagiarized and incorporated my private member's bill into it. However, then it used a couple of almost never used parliamentary manoeuvres to prevent my bill from being heard or voted on at all.

Obviously, it was a great disappointment. It was a piece of legislation, whether one agreed with it or not, that had some substance and some heft. It would have made a difference on the ground. It would have changed legislation that would have prevented oil spills and marine plastics and pollution on our beaches in the form of fibreglass boats. That is a long-standing problem that local governments have been calling the alarm on. However, that was killed, and here we are taking the time to debate legislation that is only going to amend a legislative title.

I urge all my colleagues to hunker down and get the real work done that would actually change lives on the ground. We have tremendous privilege being in this place. We have tremendous power. We have a huge mandate, and we have a lot of work to do. Let us do the hard work that really matters and get on with the work that Canadians sent us to do here in this place.

Fisheries and OceansAdjournment Proceedings

May 7th, 2018 / 6 p.m.
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Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is coming up to the middle of May. The boating season in British Columbia has already begun. Therefore, I am here to encourage the government to move forward on its legislation to deal with the long-standing problem of abandoned vessels. These problems are well enumerated.

I know the government has said repeatedly that it shares my commitment to finding a long-standing resolution, a comprehensive, country-wide solution, as most other maritime countries have, in some cases decades ago.

My question is not about the level of the government's commitment. Rather, I am seeking a very specific update on when the government will return Bill C-64 to the House for further debate. It was two months ago that it was returned by committee to the House.

I will also indicate my hope that the reason for the delay in returning the bill to the House is that the minister himself is considering the amendments I proposed at committee, which the Liberal members of the committee voted down. The government is maybe still considering the fine details of those amendments. That is the only reason I can imagine for why the government would not already have the bill back to the House and be moving forward with the next stages of debate and reading stages. We could finally see some resolution, especially for the boaters this summer, who could be out there saying it is great that an abandoned vessel solution was legislated by their federal government. It would build some faith and trust.

Members will remember that the bill was fast tracked by the NDP. It was quite rare to get the unanimous consent of the House to move it to committee so quickly. I was very glad to have been able to initiate that. I was glad that the House agreed, that the transport committee decided to switch its focus from its other business to focus on the study, and that we had so many witnesses who spoke so clearly about the solutions that coastal communities have been advocating. They were in my legislation, Bill C-352, which was blocked by the Liberal-dominated procedure and House affairs committee, and then voted down by Liberal members. It was not even heard in the House. Nevertheless, I tried to transport the elements of that legislation into the minister's bill, Bill C-64.

Therefore, as a reminder on some of those pieces that I hope maybe the minister is considering now, it being the only explanation for why Bill C-64 would be so delayed, is the government now considering bringing into its bill a vessel turn-in program, modelled on the cash for clunkers program? Is it considering creating a dedicated fee to put a fund aside to deal with the backlog of abandoned vessels, since Bill C-64 does not address that backlog? Is the government planning to legislate to formalize the Coast Guard's role in dealing with abandoned vessels? When that was in former MP Jean Crowder's legislation three years ago, in a previous parliament, all of the Liberal Party voted in support of it, including the now transport minister, fisheries minister, and the Prime Minister. Is the government delaying Bill C-64 so that it can incorporate those coastal solutions into the abandoned vessel legislation?

February 26th, 2018 / 4:55 p.m.
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Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

This is a piece imported from my private member's bill, Bill C-352, which was stopped in the House back in the fall. It would require the minister, every five years, to review the operation of this bill, Bill C-64, and report to the House about the efficacy of the act, and the resulting review that had happened.

We had a number of witnesses talk about the serious backlog. Andrew Kendrick, from Vard Marine, for example, talked about “starting from a bad place.” We need to address the backlog of abandoned vessels. They are a growing number. Having some transparency and accountability, and reporting to Parliament on how well this legislation worked, would certainly help with future amendments or regulatory changes as we modify.

There's very good precedent for this. The Aeronautics Act has a requirement “within two years after the day on which this subsection comes into force and every five years thereafter, commence a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this section”. The Canadian Environmental Protection Act has an “every five year” review, and then several acts in this Parliament require periodic re-evaluations. That includes the Employment Equity Act, the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act, the Lobbying Act, the Canada Small Business Financing Act, the Business Development Bank of Canada Act, the Export Development Act, and the Canada Infrastructure Bank Act. Washington state again has a very good legislative model, and we heard directly from.... Their legislation has been in place for 15 years and they use this period review.

I urge my fellow committee members, for the sake of transparency and accountability, to vote yes to requiring a five-year reporting and review.

February 26th, 2018 / 4:10 p.m.
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Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

This one must be easy for everybody to say yes to, because the minister already said yes to it. Whether the witnesses were from the West Coast Environmental Law Association, the Sunshine Coast Regional District board, the Islands Trust council, or Ladysmith Maritime Society, we've heard all of them ask why we cannot have one lead agency that is the filter through which any abandoned vessel complaint or concern goes through, understanding that in many cases there will be different government departments that would internally take responsibility, but there would be one-stop shopping. As an example, one of our witnesses asked why they can't just phone 1-800-receive-a-wreck.

This was the legislation that my predecessor, Jean Crowder, brought forward in the House. The Liberal government, when they were the third party, unanimously voted in support of it. The Conservatives, unfortunately, defeated it. I brought it into my legislation, Bill C-352, and then the the minister said, yes, if you go to the website now, if you look at our new organization tables, in fact you will see that the Coast Guard now is going to be the public interface.

I think that's a win for coastal communities. I'd love to see it reflected in this legislation. Again, it doesn't mean that the Coast Guard is the cleanup crew, but it is the single point of contact: if you think there's a concern with an abandoned vessel, you go through the legislation. That's what we heard from the minister in his testimony before the committee. If we could get this reflected in this bill, that would be an even better win for coastal communities.

The EnvironmentAdjournment Proceedings

February 13th, 2018 / 7:15 p.m.
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Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise again to describe the abandoned vessel that sank in Ladysmith Harbour, the 90-foot, 100-year-old Anapaya. It has been on Transport Canada's vessel inventory of concern since 2014. It had been identified as a risk to sink. When it went down, after being overwhelmed by rain and the bilge pumps could not keep it up, the Coast Guard, bless it, took action. It boomed the wreck and contained the oil spill. That was so important for Ladysmith Harbour, because there are shellfish jobs at risk from even the smallest oil spill. The Coast Guard acted, which we are very grateful for. It lifted this 90-foot-long, beautiful old wooden boat from the bottom of the harbour, with everyone saying the whole way along that it would have been much easier to have prevented the boat from sinking in the first place.

A significant take-away for me afterward was that the previous owners, in fact the people who had been living on the Anapaya, knew that she was nearing the end of her life. She was an abandoned boat by the time she sank. The previous owners said they did not have the economic means to prevent her from sinking, but if there had been a vessel turn-in program, the same that Oregon and Washington states have very successfully used to get at the backlog of abandoned vessels, it would have prevented it from sinking and becoming a problem in the first place. This was a significant element of my abandoned vessel legislation, Bill C-352, which was famously blocked in the House. It was the first time that had ever happened to a bill. I went through all the appeals and was told that it was the Liberal majority that squashed it in the end.

The interesting thing is that now that we are studying the transport minister's bill, Bill C-64, at committee, I have been able to ask all kinds of witnesses if they wish that a vessel turn-in program were still part of the legislative offer for Canadians. It makes sense. It has been proposed by local governments in British Columbia for many years, and it was on that basis that I included it in my legislation, Bill C-352.

In the last few days, there has been testimony from Troy Wood, the manager of the derelict vessel removal program in Washington state, saying that the vessel turn-in program was the prevention arm of their very successful derelict vessel removal program. Sara Anghel, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, said there is no place to take boats before they become a hazard for her industry, which is significantly made up of vessel manufacturers and marine operators. She said they would welcome the opportunity to create a viable recycling program and there needs to be a place to take them.

The committee also heard from Kyle Murphy from Washington state, Peter Luckham, chair of Islands Trust Council, and Anna Johnston from West Coast Environmental Law. Georgia Strait Alliance said very clearly that in the transport minister's bill, it is left wondering about the absence of a voluntary turn-in program that could deal with this backlog and help vessel owners, who do not have the means to dispose of them responsibly and do the right thing.

I ask the government why it did not include a vessel turn-in program in its legislation to resolve abandoned vessels.

February 12th, 2018 / 4 p.m.
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Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Thank you, Chair.

It's good to see some allies in the room here. I see John Weston, the only Conservative to support my predecessor Jean Crowder's version of this bill. Thank you for that.

I also see Frank Mauro; at local government, we've been lobbying the province and federal government a bunch of times over the years, when I was elected locally, so it's great to have your voice here.

Also John Weston endorsed my bill, C-352, which unfortunately was stopped in its tracks back in the fall.

It's so rich that we've got the Washington State program here, and I hope the other members will shoot as many questions their way as we can, because these guys have been doing it for all this time. I'm going to focus my questions on you. I'll just let you know that last week, when we had the Minister of Transport here, he was saying one of the programs that the federal government here has been looking at is Washington State's, so you're coming in with some good credibility.

One of the pieces in my bill that wasn't able to advance and is missing from the government's bill is the vessel turn-in program that you described as your prevention program, so here are my questions to you. Do you wish that you'd waited to bring that in? To what extent was it an integral and vital part of your overall abandoned vessel program? Also, tell us a little bit more about the results that accrue when the government decides to legislate and fund a vessel's end of life.

Abandoned VesselsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

February 9th, 2018 / 12:05 p.m.
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Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, to protect our coast and fill a big hole in federal leadership that has existed for decades, petitioners call on the government to deal with the long-standing problem of abandoned vessels, and in particular, to legislate improving vessel registration; to put a fee on vessel registration to deal with the cost of vessel disposal, to get the cost off the backs of taxpayers; and to pilot a vessel turn-in program. These are all elements of my bill, Bill C-352, which was blocked by the government. They are now being raised in testimony at the transport committee by repeated witnesses. It is very good reinforcement for the voices here from Prince Rupert, White Rock, Surrey, Delta, Abbotsford, Bella Coola, and Williams Lake, B.C.

February 5th, 2018 / 4:15 p.m.
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Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Thank you, Chair, and I want to take the opportunity to give a big thanks to the Coast Guard. Ladysmith harbour has had a huge concentration of abandoned vessels through no fault of its own. Bylaw enforcement by bigger port authorities pushed the boats into our harbour, and the Coast Guard has really gone above and beyond.

The Viki Lyne II is a poster child example. After the marine survey said that the vessel was an imminent risk to sink and it might only be held together by corrosion on the hull, it still took us four years to have the previous fisheries minister order removal, which we are very grateful for.

When I got into local government, one of the pieces about abandoned vessels was the runaround, and here's an old chart of what to do if you find an abandoned vessel. I think I've got a copy of this for you, Minister, and for the other committee members. Some ratepayers' groups, for 10 years, got the runaround, being told there wasn't a hazard to navigation, or it's provincial or it's federal....

This flow chart is not tenable, and I know that you know this. Is this the new flow chart? Can you assure me that this legislation really ends the runaround? That's one of the prime pieces that I was trying to achieve in my Bill C-352.

The EnvironmentAdjournment Proceedings

December 12th, 2017 / 6:15 p.m.
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Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, this evening's debate is following on the eve of the Union of BC Municipalities convention in Vancouver, in September, where my legislation on the issue of a solution for abandoned vessels was finally, after decades of pushing, especially by coastal communities, on the convention floor. Eighteen-hundred delegates endorsed my legislation, Bill C-352, which I had built in co-operation with coastal communities. It included all the solutions they had asked for over 15 years of advocating both to the B.C. Liberal government and federal governments, both Liberal and Conservative.

As we know, two weeks ago, a number of Liberal majority manoeuvres killed the bill, sank it, so to speak. It did not even come to the floor for a debate and a vote, which is quite unusual. My question now to the government is how it will incorporate into its legislation, Bill C-64, the transport minister's bill, all that advice from coastal communities.

As a reminder, fixing vessel registration was a major part of my bill. Piloting a vessel turn-in program, kind of like what we have done successfully in many provinces with old abandoned automobiles by finding incentives and programs to encourage people to turn them in so they can be recycled and dealt with responsibly, would be a good way to deal with the backlog. Second would be creating good green jobs by supporting local marine salvage industries and co-operating with recycling organizations to find new markets for fibreglass and other difficult to recycle material. That links to the previous idea as well. A vessel turn-in program or a boat amnesty would help create the critical mass that might cause some economies of scale to deal with abandoned vessels.

Finally, to end the jurisdictional runaround, would be making one agency the go-to on dealing with abandoned vessels. What we proposed was the Coast Guard. The government's bill continues to have responsibility apportioned out over a number of different ministries, so one would need to have an org chart to figure out who was responsible. That is not tenable for coastal communities.

Since we last talked about this, I have had dozens of endorsements from local governments. I very much want to know how the Liberal government, having sunk my legislation, will still recycle and use the material in it in a way that reflects the multitude of asks from local governments. The Islands Trust Council, the City of Nanaimo, the Town of Ladysmith, the City of Campbell River, and the Regional District of Nanaimo all endorsed my bill. There was the City of Parksville; the City of Victoria; the Village of Queen Charlotte, in Haida Gwaii; the District of Tofino; the District of Oak Bay; the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District; the Powell River Regional District; the Village of Tahsis; the District of Ucluelet; Sooke; Sechelt; Metchosin; the City of Powell River; the Township of Esquimalt; the District of Kitimat; the District of Fort St. James; the town of Burlington, in Newfoundland; the Township of Nipigon, in Ontario; the Town of View Royal; the District of North Saanich; and the list goes on.

The call is clear. Local governments need their solutions inserted into this bill. How will the government respond?

Fisheries and OceansAdjournment Proceedings

December 6th, 2017 / 7:10 p.m.
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Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Madam Speaker, last month a 90-foot vessel, the Anapaya, sank in Ladysmith Harbour while leaking fuel into the ocean. In 2014, Transport Canada had identified this 100-year old boat as a vessel of concern. The government knew it posed a threat, but took no action until it sank. We are grateful for the Coast Guard's swift action. However, this is yet another example of the failed Liberal boat-by-boat approach to abandoned vessels.

For too long, jurisdictional gaps have left coastal communities with nowhere to turn when an abandoned vessel presents an emergency situation in their communities. Oil spills and marine debris from thousands of abandoned vessels pollute our waterways and put local fishing and tourism jobs at risk. We have raised this in Parliament, I think now, 86 times since the 2015 election.

I built 15 years of coastal community solutions into my legislation, Bill C-352, to fix vessel registration, to pilot a vessel turn-in program, to support good green jobs and vessel recycling, and to end the run-around by making the Coast Guard the first-responder and the receiver of wrecks, with a one-stop shopping approach for coastal communities.

Over 50 coastal organizations across the country supported my bill, from Tofino, B.C. to Fogo Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, to the Union of B.C. Municipalities, the City of Victoria, the Town of Ladysmith, and the BC Ferry and Marine Workers Union. There has been so much support from all sectors.

On November 9, the Liberal majority on the procedure and House affairs committee blocked my bill, which was an unprecedented interference. The government's new legislation, Bill C-64, tabled on October 30, complemented my bill. However, I do not believe the transport minister's bill will succeed without mine. For example, how can a penalty be imposed on an abandoned vessel owner, as the minister proposes in his legislation, without his being able to find the owner? That is where the element in my bill to fix vessel registration was so vital. Moreover, the transport minister's bill does not deal with the backlog or specifically support vessel recycling.

With the help of members of Parliament, both of the bills could have proceeded. No one had used the appeal tool before that we used in the House to have a secret ballot vote, in this case on the question of whether my bill should be deemed votable. It was a really historic moment and I am grateful to the Conservative, Bloc, Green, and New Democrat caucuses for saying that they planned to support making my bill votable.

Had the majority of members voted yes, it would have meant yes to over 50 coastal organizations who had endorsed the bill, yes to the 27,000 letters that were sent from Canadians to Liberal MPs that week, yes to standing with local governments and having their solutions brought into this House, yes to filling gaps in the transport minister's bill, yes to cooperation across party lines to solve intractable problems like the oil spill risks that come from abandoned vessels, and yes to restoring the one chance I had as an MP to have my community's legislation heard in this House.

Why would the transport representative not support hearing my bill?

An Act to change the name of the electoral district of Châteauguay—LacolleGovernment Orders

December 6th, 2017 / 6:25 p.m.
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Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Madam Speaker, as has been said, we are beginning our study of Bill C-377, which was introduced by my colleague from Châteauguay—Lacolle.

I am very familiar with the western part of her riding, which used to be part of Beauharnois—Salaberry, the riding I represented before the boundary changes of 2015.

Like the current riding of Salaberry—Suroît, Châteauguay—Lacolle includes a city that contains half the constituency's population, as well as several rural areas. Montérégie-Ouest is a fantastic agricultural region that is also facing some challenges.

I fully understand my colleague's need to change the name of the riding to Châteauguay—Les Jardins-de-Napierville. As my other Conservative and NDP colleagues said, we understand and commend the initiative shown by the member in consulting her constituents, doing historical research, and keeping an election promise. That is why we are going to vote in favour of her bill.

However, I am wondering, and everyone else is too, why my colleague chose to go with this process and this tool, namely, a private member's bill, given the economic, social, and environmental issues affecting our region and the fact that the government has a process in place to handle riding name changes. Members mentioned an omnibus bill where all members had the opportunity to participate and propose new riding names. We are still able to do that.

The party leaders have already agreed on the process to allow all members of the House to propose new riding names and change the names of their ridings before the 2019 election.

We must first tell our House leader about the name change. Then, the staff of the House leaders will compile a list of the members whose ridings names need to be changed. A member is chosen to draft the omnibus bill that will encompass all of the riding name changes of all the MPs who submitted proposals.

Elections Canada will then be consulted to make sure that everything is in order with regard to the riding names and the time allocated to make the necessary changes. The member will then amend the bill as required, introduce it in the House of Commons, and seek the unanimous consent of the House to change the names of all of the ridings in question at the same time.

That process was used in 2014 with Bill C-37, which enabled all those name changes.

Why did my colleague from Châteauguay—Lacolle use a member's privilege, the privilege to introduce a private member's bill? We know that just over half the MPs will have the privilege of debating their bill in this Parliament. Our names are drawn out of a hat, and chance alone determines where our bill ends up on the list and whether we get to debate it right away.

For example, I am 194th on the list, and I may have the opportunity to debate my private member's bill. That means I have to choose my bill carefully. The bill my colleague chose to debate has to do with changing her riding's name. She could have done that and also chosen another issue altogether. She could have done both to have a positive impact and make life better for the people of her riding and all ridings in Canada, but that is not what she did.

I am quite surprised that she chose to use this tool to promote a name change that we all agree on and will vote in favour of.

I consider introducing a private member's bill on this topic a lost opportunity because a private member's bill can be life-changing for thousands or even millions of Canadians. For example, in Montérégie-Ouest, there are a lot of issues that would benefit from a private member's bill to bring about economic, social, or environmental change.

Les Jardins-de-Napierville is part of what is known as the “Jardin du Québec”. Many agricultural producers are located in this region and they need the support of their local MP.

First, we might consider the challenge of seasonal workers. We know that the vegetable farms need hundreds of foreign workers in their fields between March and October or November. There should be protections for these workers when the government negotiates free trade agreements.

If we look at NAFTA, there are no guarantees that supply management will still be there tomorrow. We have talked about this and raised the issue many times. Why not create a bill on one of these agricultural issues in order to help the agri-food sector, especially since it employs one in eight Canadians?

Our region needs to be more attractive to small and medium-sized businesses. Our rural regions have a dire need for things like high-speed Internet, 4G service, and infrastructure to help young entrepreneurs and to secure businesses that are already established in the region. Back home, a common joke is that when it rains, there is no Internet. When it is windy, there is no Internet. Could the hon. member have worked on a bill to improve that situation for our schools, hospitals, workers, and students?

An economic bill would also have been useful, especially from a government member, who may have the inside track on getting her bill passed.

The environment is another critically important issue. Protecting our waterways is as important for my colleague's riding as it is for mine and for every riding in Canada. In fact, my colleague was invited to the announcement on dismantling the Kathyrn Spirit, which is a threat to a drinking water supply in Beauharnois, on Lake Saint-Louis. That shipwreck has been rusting away for six years. I would have liked to get more support from my colleague from Châteauguay—Lacolle on this subject and to see her work with the hon. member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith.

It is rather ironic that both bills were debated today. Bill C-352, introduced by my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith has been muzzled. We cannot vote on her bill because the government decided to declare it non-votable in order to make room for the Minister of Transport's bill, which would actually have complemented C-352. The 50 coastal communities that helped develop this bill for the past 15 years will not get to see members of the House vote on it.