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.

Oceans ActGovernment Orders

September 29th, 2017 / 10:05 a.m.
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Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for North Island—Powell River.

I want to thank the government for presenting the proposed legislation to the House for debate.

No one on our planet has officially declared them an enemy but, make no mistake, our oceans are under attack. Canada has pledged to the international community to protect 5% of Canada's marine areas by 2017 and 10% by 2020, with the aim of halting the destruction of habitats and ecosystems to protect our oceans.

To date, Canada has only protected 1.5% of its oceans with marine protected areas, and we are falling behind. China is at 1.6% and Japan at 5.6%. Australia and the United States are much further ahead, with 33.2% and 30.4% protected respectfully. Canada needs to set strong protection standards in line with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and set legislated protected targets, if it is to meet its international commitments.

While Bill C-55 is unquestionably a step forward, it is a small one, with many glaring weaknesses. Two glaring weakness I would like to address directly are its failure to address the specific threats posed by marine debris and plastics in our oceans, and that it does not acknowledge the need for direct, permanent, and easily accessible funding for marine and coastal debris cleanup.

One of the greatest threats to the health of our oceans is the disposal of plastics into these beautiful bodies of water, be it accidental or purposeful disposal by cargo ships, so-called “ghost gear” lost by fishers, derelict fishing and pleasure craft, human waste from tourism and recreation, or the careless disposal of single-use consumer plastics. We are rapidly destroying our ocean and coastal ecosystem with plastics.

A study conducted by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in Great Britain found that plastic production has increased twentyfold since 1964, reaching 311 million tonnes in 2014. It is expected to double again in the next 20 years, and almost quadruple by 2050. If humanity continues down this path, the ocean is expected to contain one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050 plastics will outweigh fish. Therefore, by 2050, there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish.

While Bill C-55 and the ocean protection plan has some good measures, I find it baffling that there is no mention of either the word “plastic” or “debris” in the proposed legislation. Therefore, to illustrate the threat posed to our oceans and coastline with debris and plastics, I would like to highlight two local cases from Courtenay—Alberni: the Denman Island and Baynes Sound industrial debris epidemic, and the Hanjin debris field between Tofino and Ucluelet on the west side of Vancouver Island.

The Denman Island and Baynes Sound debris epidemic is caused by the local shellfish industry activity, although other sources have contributed to this problem.

Baynes Sound is home to 50% of all the shellfish aquaculture produced in British Columbia. In fact, 38% of the herring spawn on the west coast runs through Baynes Sound. Herring is critical. It is critical to our salmon, which is also critical to our orcas. Everything is interconnected when it comes to our sensitive marine ecosystems on the west coast.

Since the onset of DFO-regulated aquaculture, Denman Islanders have cleaned up between four and five tonnes of aquaculture debris each year in their annual cleanup initiative. The shellfish industry is a vital local economic driver, and it has made a serious effort to reduce its waste. However, it is the dedicated volunteers, local residents, who have engaged in these cleanup initiatives on many days and weekends each year, and they receive no official support or funding from the federal government.

The Hanjin debris field between Tofino and Ucluelet on the west side of Vancouver Island is well documented in the House. However, it bears mention, given the nature of the bill and the government's continued inaction on marine debris.

The Hanjin debris field was caused when 35 large shipping containers fell off an international cargo ship last November. It was the locals who came to the rescue as huge metal pieces of cargo spread along our coast. There were large swaths of styrofoam connected to those metal pieces that spread out. However, government inaction has actually increased the cost of cleaning up the spill.

This spill occurred in November. We were in the House raising this concern, calling on the federal government to take action, but it did not support this call to action. It was the government's negligence that allowed this spill to spread, and now it is costing local communities thousands of dollars to clean it up.

I have to applaud Pacific Rim National Park Reserve staff, because they appealed to the bankruptcy court of the shipping company, Hanjin, and they received $76,600 from the estate. That money went back to Ottawa within a month of this incident, yet Ottawa sat on that money until May before it started releasing it to the community to do the job. It is unbelievable to see how inept the government was at getting the money back to the community to do its work. This tripled the cost to the community.

The government itself has contributed nothing to this cleanup effort, which was one of the largest marine debris spills on the west coast. This is the government that takes pride in saying that it has a great ocean protection plan. It claims to be looking out for us and protecting our coast, but we on the ground know what it looks like.

It is volunteer groups like the Pacific Rim chapter of Surfrider that came to the government's rescue. These are great Canadians, who have put aside their own time in the community to protect the environment.

The Denman Island and Baynes Sound debris epidemic and the Hanjin debris field were the result of a massive amount of debris and plastic washing ashore along our beautiful coastline. That threatened our ecosystems. This debris was left there until volunteers engaged in tedious and lengthy cleanup efforts at their own expense.

I want to thank local groups like the Pacific Rim chapter of Surfrider. Clayoquot Action raised $90,000. People went out in barges and helicopters to remove this debris on their own, because they could not wait any longer. Denman Island Marine Stewards, CPOC, the Wild Pacific Trail Society, and Tla-O-Qui-Aht First Nation tribal parks are groups in my riding alone that stepped up to the plate because of government inaction.

Nationally, we see there are groups like the World Wildlife Foundation and West Coast Environmental Law. Ocean Legacy is a group that goes up and down the coast collecting marine debris. It has received nothing from the federal government today, except for $25,000 for the Japanese tsunami debris. It took eight months for that money to get back to the communities after Ottawa sat on it while debris lined up along our coast.

The Vancouver Aquarium and University of Victoria environmental law centre are also doing great work to raise awareness about the need for federal action on marine debris.

I want to compliment these groups. These are great Canadians, and the government has not had their backs. Instead of empowering them, it has disempowered them by leaving them hanging out to dry.

It has been local governments, like the District of Tofino and District of Ucluelet and the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, that recently came to save the day after local volunteers collected tonnes of marine debris and trash and put it together in super sacks. The Pacific National Park promised to pick up the debris and remove it, but it ran out of money. The local communities were told that they could not finish the job. It was the local government that stepped up to the plate, because it was not going to betray local communities like the federal government has done so far.

Again, I want to compliment those local leaders for making sure that they have the local people's backs. They are truly committed to keeping our marine and coastal ecosystems clean. They want the government to feel the same way and to be partners in their efforts, directly and permanently, with accessible funding to support their work.

The government keeps talking about its ocean protection plan. I will tell the House what it looks like so far. The government made an announcement on derelict vessels and committed $6.8 million over five years, roughly about two boats a year, despite the fact that it has identified 600 abandoned and derelict boats. It will take about 300 years to clean up the abandoned and derelict boats with the way that the Liberals are going.

Washington state is a great model. My colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith has presented her Bill C-352, which contains a comprehensive coastal-wide strategy to clean up abandoned vessels. The government could adopt this legislation, but it has decided not to.

There is the coastal restoration fund on salmon. The government has not given money to communities like mine, which desperately needs it.

We have seen how the Liberals have handled marine debris. We have seen how they have failed to deliver marine training, as they promised, to indigenous communities. The Liberals are falling well short of delivering on their ocean protection plan to coastal communities.

I want to close my remarks by thanking the government for tabling the bill. We will support Bill C-55 at second reading, but the government needs to set minimum protection standards and targets for zoning for marine protected areas. It renders the designation inconsistent at best and meaningless at worst, if they do not do something to deal with the ramifications of everything and have everything interconnected.

Abandoned VesselsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 26th, 2017 / 10:05 a.m.
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Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise again in the House to present petitions signed by citizens of my riding of Nanaimo—Ladysmith

The petitioners are calling on the federal government to act on the pressing problem of abandoned vessels. They call on the government to prevent the oil spill risks, the navigation risks, and the impact on local jobs and the economy.

Tonight I head to a convention of the Union of BC Municipalities. At this convention, 1,800 delegates have a recommendation before them to endorse my private member's bill, Bill C-352. We hope this Parliament will take their advice.

Abandoned VesselsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 20th, 2017 / 3:25 p.m.
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Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, to solve the longstanding problem of abandoned vessels on three of Canada's coasts, I proposed legislation, Bill C-352,, calling on the federal government to legislate a solution to this longstanding problem. Petitioners from Gabriola Island, Vancouver, Cowichan Bay, Duncan, Nanaimo, Ladysmith and Chemainus all urge the government to work together with the provinces and local coastal communities to identify the Coast Guard as the point of first responsibility in responding to abandoned vessels so they will not create oil spills and threaten maritime jobs and economies. They also call for innovative solutions around recycling and product stewardship that would create salvage markets for these problem vessels.

Abandoned VesselsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 19th, 2017 / 10:05 a.m.
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Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I stand once again with many signatories in coastal communities who call for the federal government to legislate a solution to the long-standing problem of abandoned vessels on all three of Canada's coasts. Bill C-352 is my legislation that we are calling on Parliament to adopt, in the absence of the government proposing its own legislative remedy. It would designate the Coast Guard as one-stop shopping and the first responsible agency. It would work with local governments and provinces to create incentives for people turning in their abandoned vessels, therefore preventing the pollution and oil spill risks; and it would also work with local salvage companies to work on the products' stewardship and fibreglass recycling, which might be one of the nuts we can crack around getting a solution.

If the government were to accede to this motion, it would be in very good company. We have resolutions of support from local governments from Vancouver Island in the west to the island of Newfoundland in the east. Next week, the Union of BC Municipalities executive is recommending to its convention of local governments that they also endorse my legislation to solve the abandoned vessel problem.

Abandoned VesselsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

June 14th, 2017 / 4 p.m.
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Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise once again to bring voices from coastal B.C. to Parliament in support of a solution to the long-standing problem of abandoned vessels. They risk oil spills, put at risk local jobs, and risk our environment across the country.

Let us end the runaround and make the Coast Guard responsible for first action on abandoned vessels. Let us fix vessel registration to get the costs off taxpayers. Let us build a coast-wide strategy, co-operating with provinces and local governments. Let us act before vessels sink. Let us create good green jobs by supporting recycling and local salvage companies.

The petition is signed by people from Gabriola Island, Victoria, Nanaimo, and all of the directors of the Regional District of Nanaimo signing as individuals. I am honoured to have the support of many local governments for my legislation, Bill C-352. We know $1 million a year, as announced by the government this month, is inadequate to deal with the thousands of abandoned vessels left on all three of Canada's coasts.

Fisheries and OceansPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

June 7th, 2017 / 3:25 p.m.
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Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I stand once again in the House to call for a legislated solution to the long-standing economic and environmental problem of abandoned vessels. I am urging the federal government, along with petitioners in my riding, to end the runaround and make the Coast Guard responsible for the first action on abandoned vessels, fixing vessel registration to get the costs off taxpayers, acting before vessels sink and spill oil by piloting an abandoned vessel turn-in program, and creating good green jobs by supporting local marine salvage and recycling.

I am grateful to local government leaders for supporting my legislation, Bill C-352, and I stand with them in recognizing that the $1 million per year announced last week by the government is not enough to deal with the thousands of abandoned vessels that litter Canada's three coasts.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

June 2nd, 2017 / 12:10 p.m.
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Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of residents of Nanaimo—Ladysmith, I rise to present two petitions today.

To end the runaround on abandoned vessels, to fix vessel registration and get the costs off taxpayers, to build a coast-wide strategy in co-operation with local governments, to act before vessels spill oil and contaminate our coasts, and to create good, green jobs, I present this petition. I am grateful local government leaders are supporting my Bill C-352 and have been pushing for a decade and a half for solutions to the problem of abandoned vessels.

We all recognize that the $1 million a year announced this week by the government is deeply inadequate, just a drop in the bucket. We are going to continue to push hard together for a long-term solution to abandoned vessels.

Extension of Sitting HoursGovernment Orders

May 30th, 2017 / 6:50 p.m.
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Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Madam Speaker, the member opposite is accusing us on the opposition side of not working hard, which is rich, given that the average number of new bills a new government brings to the House in its first year is 45, yet the Liberal government brought in 14. That is 14 in its first year of work.

Tonight we are debating the government's motion to extend hours to work until midnight, which we are all happy to do. However, the problem tonight is that the fact of the motion being on the floor has actually cancelled my ability to have a long-scheduled debate on the long-standing issue of abandoned vessels.

This is an environmental crisis on the west coast and on the east coast. We have had local governments calling, for over 15 years, for federal leadership. The government keeps saying that it is going to take that leadership, but it has been about 14 months now that they have been saying that the legislation is coming in the coming weeks. I have quotes from almost every minister on the file saying that they are working on it. I have asked the government to consider supporting my bill, Bill C-352, instead.

Does the member opposite not see the irony in the government's motion tonight, which is actually decreasing transparency?

Canada Shipping Act, 2001Routine Proceedings

April 13th, 2017 / 12:15 p.m.
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Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-352, An Act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and to provide for the development of a national strategy (abandonment of vessels).

Mr. Speaker, for decades now, all three of Canada's coasts have been experiencing repeated calls from coastal communities about the repeated occurrence of the issue of abandoned vessels. These risk oil spills . They risk jobs in our communities, jobs in aquaculture and the commercial fishery. A no man's land of jurisdiction, a hole in responsibility, has been identified.

My predecessor, Jean Crowder, brought similar legislation to the House. Last February, more than a year ago, I tabled Bill C-219. Today I rise to update that legislation in response to repeated calls from local government and the failure of the Liberal government to meet its six-month deadline imposed by this Parliament to table solutions before the House.

Together, let us end the runaround and name the Canadian Coast Guard as the agency responsible to act on abandoned vessels. Let us fix vessel registration and get the costs off taxpayers. Let us build a coast-wide strategy in co-operation with provinces and municipalities. Let us act before vessels sink and spill oil by piloting a vessel turn-in program. Let us create good green jobs by supporting local marine salvage companies and recycling.

This legislation is built on the good work of many local government associations, the Union of B.C. Municipalities in particular. Just this Sunday its local chapter for Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast unanimously endorsed this legislation in an emergency resolution. I am grateful for the support, I look forward to the debate, and I look forward to receiving the support of the House for this long-standing marine pollution problem.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)