This vessel cost the federal government over $1 million to remove, several years ago, so I guess the big question is who's going to pay for all of the cleanup, as Ms. Malcolmson has pointed out, of these thousands of abandoned and wrecked vessels, many of them recreational vessels. The big question I'm thinking about as we review this bill, Madam Chair, is who's going to pay for all this.
We heard from Washington State that it requires all vessels under 200 feet in length to have insurance to cover the cost of removal. Barring that, it defaults to the marina in question. Denmark, I understand, has recently introduced legislation requiring vessels under 20 gross tonnes to have adequate insurance to cover the removal of a wrecked or abandoned vessel. However, here in Canada this bill doesn't seem to cover vessels under 300 tonnes.
The government has announced an abandoned boats program, but that only has $6.85 million allocated to it over five years, or roughly $1.3 million a year, which would barely cover the cost of removing just one ship like the Viki Lyne II.
I guess I'm looking for your comments or suggestions on how we can cover the cost of cleaning up these abandoned and wrecked vessels along our coasts. Perhaps it's amending paragraph 24(1)(b) that relates only to Canadian vessels. In other words, keep paragraph 24(1)(a), which says that any foreign vessel of 300 tonnes or more that is entering or leaving a Canadian port must have insurance, but set a different threshold for Canadian vessels that's much lower than that, so that we can deal with people who have abandoned or wrecked their vessels here on Canadian shores. I'm looking for comment on that threshold.