Mr. Speaker, derelict vessels are a danger to our coastal communities whether they provide a safety hazard or the risk of environmental contamination.
Derelict vessels range from small pedal boats that slip free and become a hazard to navigation to large ships that may pose a risk to the environment from stored fuel on board.
Our current laws are a mish-mash of responsibility and do not obligate the ministers of transport and the environment, or DFO, to take action unless there is an imminent danger. That means it can take years to have a vessel removed.
The Islands Trust is campaigning to strengthen the laws on abandoned and derelict vessels. It worked with the Union of B.C. Municipalities to get a resolution passed at the UBCM September convention that read in part:
--petition the provincial and federal governments to develop a coordinated approach to the timely and adequate removal of all types of derelict and abandoned vessels, barges and docks in all situations--
I applaud the Islands Trust for its work on this issue and commit to working with it to finding a solution.