moved for leave to introduce Bill C-638, An Act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (wreck).
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Victoria for seconding this bill.
In many coastal communities, derelict and abandoned vessels have a negative impact on their harbours, and some pose a threat to the local environment.
While major environmental dangers from derelict and abandoned vessels are dealt with swiftly by the Canadian Coast Guard, many are simply left to rot away and leach chemicals into the surrounding environment.
If an abandoned and derelict vessel is not a major environmental concern and is not posing an obstacle to navigation, there is usually no action taken.
The Minister of Transport can become involved in the following situations.
Transport Canada can currently take the lead in instances where a vessel is the cause of an obstruction to navigation. However, vessels in the intertidal zone are rarely an obstruction to navigation.
Transport Canada has also been supportive of salvage claims made to the receiver of wrecks when questionable vessels appear ashore or in waters adjacent to communities. However, salvage claims are rarely made against derelict vessels.
Finally, Transport Canada can take the lead in making an assessment as to whether a vessel may pose a threat of pollution. However, an abandoned or derelict vessel that is deemed non-polluting is not dealt with.
Both I, in Nanaimo—Cowichan, and the member for Victoria, often hear complaints about derelict vessels that are not dealt with. Hence, I have introduced this bill, an act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (wreck).
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)