Mr. Speaker, last week, the Union of BC Municipalities endorsed my abandoned vessel legislation at its convention of 1800 delegates. This vote, from the largest organization of local governments in British Columbia, highlights that coastal communities cannot wait any longer for solutions to fix abandoned vessels.
Oil spills and marine debris from thousands of abandoned vessels pollute our waterways and put local jobs in tourism and fishing at risk. Across Canada, coastal communities are sounding the alarm but, after years of neglect, the Liberal government will not commit the resources needed to deal with the backlog of abandoned boats. Its announcements this year for the removal of abandoned vessels are $300,000 to cover the whole country, plus another $260,000 to deal with DFO-owned small craft harbour abandoned vessels. That is a drop in the bucket for the thousands of boats that need removing.
So far, over 50 coastal organizations from across Canada have endorsed my abandoned vessel legislation, Bill C-352. They include the City of Nanaimo; Islands Trust Council; the Town of Ladysmith; the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities; the BC Ferry and Marine Workers' Union, representing 4,000 members; and the Vancouver & District Labour Council, representing 60,000 members. I have the support of marinas and harbour and port authorities from Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, and British Columbia.
This week, we are celebrating the one-year anniversary of the removal of the abandoned vessel Viki Lyne II from Ladysmith Harbour, where it had languished as a blight for four years. It was a big step for my community, after years of effort by former New Democrat MP Jean Crowder, Stz'uminus Chief John Elliott, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and the Ladysmith Maritime Society. I am so glad that, working together, we were able to get federal action from Parliament to tow it away.
In July, I brought my campaign to Nova Scotia, where I spoke with marine allies about what they need to get rid of abandoned vessels on their coastline. In September, concerned residents from Cowichan Bay and beyond came to the town hall that I hosted with the member of Parliament for Cowichan—Malahat—Langford. Residents were eager to talk about solutions to the problem that has been plaguing their coastline for decades. From Tofino, B.C., to Fogo Island, Newfoundland, coastal communities are urging the Liberal government to adopt my legislation to clean up abandoned vessels and protect our waterways and coastlines. Returning to Parliament today with these endorsements, will the government heed the call of coastal communities that the government adopt my legislation and solve, once and for all, the abandoned vessel problem?