A container ship in dock, having it’s cargo unloaded. (Associated Press File)

Green Party calls Salish Sea ‘free parking lot for world’s largest container ships’

MP Elizabeth May rails against Port of Vancouver, Transport Canada and impact on local environment

The Greens have accused the Port of Vancouver of “mismanagement,” saying the waters around the southern Gulf Islands have been turned into “a free parking lot for the world’s largest container ships.”

That’s according to a recent written statement, where the Greens call on Minister of Transport Marc Garneau to look at the issue.

ALSO READ: Scuba scientists help save endangered marine life off Vancouver Island

“The presence of these freighters anchoring in the Salish Sea is incredibly disruptive to my constituents and the local environment,” said Green Party leader and M.P. for Saanich-Gulf Islands Elizabeth May. “Transport Canada’s decision to extend the Interim Protocol for the Use of Southern B.C. Anchorages is simply not acceptable.”

Paul Manly, M.P. for Nanaimo-Ladysmith echoes May’s concerns, saying that not only are local residents suffering from noise and light pollution, there’s also dust from maintenance work, sewage being dumped into the water and damage to the ocean floor caused by dragging anchors.

“Residents of Thetis Island and Ladysmith are also being affected and they’re calling for an immediate moratorium on these anchorages,” he said.

According to Transport Canada’s website there is no formal process to regulate the practices of ships anchored outside ports.

“Residents have not been properly consulted by Transport Canada nor have they been updated on the status of these ships,” said May. “Surely it would have been common courtesy for Transport Canada to ensure that these early measures occurred? The Salish Sea is a sensitive ecosystem, home to endangered species like the southern resident killer whale whose habitat is being constantly invaded and threatened by the presence of these vessels.

ALSO READ: New photos help identify mystery creature found on Peninsula beach

“I therefore ask Transport Canada to have the freighters using southern B.C. anchorages removed by the end of June, when the protocol was supposed to end, and find another solution to traffic jams in the Port of Vancouver. Residents and wildlife should not have to suffer for the mistakes of Transport Canada.”

The Port of Vancouver responded with a written statement.

“Growing trade demands have led to increasing demand for anchorages, often in excess of Port of Vancouver capacity. When all Port of Vancouver anchorages are in use, ships anchor outside of port jurisdiction, including around the Gulf Islands.”

They go on to say that Gulf Island anchorages fall with the jurisdiction of Transport Canada and they are only assisting them. They say they have set time limits for anchorage use, added three extra anchorages in English Bay and avoid assigning ships to Gulf Islands anchoarages whenever possible.

ALSO READ: Deep Cove Mermaid raises eco-issues swimming Mexico, backed by Mexican Navy

Transport Canada said they launched the Anchorages Initiative in 2017 and an interim protocol was enacted in February 2018. They say they are presently engaged in a period of careful consultation with stakeholders.

In a written statement, Transport Canada wrote, “It is important to note that in Canada, as in many other countries, the right to anchor a vessel is part of the common law of navigation. A ship is free to anchor temporarily and for a reasonable period of time in any appropriate location.”



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Victim of downtown Courtenay assault dies from injuries

RCMP confirm file is now a homicide investigation

North Island College’s annual 3-Hour Fiction Contest returns

Two competitions; one for adults, one for U-18 writers

Comox Valley’s drinking water within lead guidelines, say staff

Residents with old homes may still want testing if concerned about pipes, solder

Denman ferry cable to be replaced with plastic cable – for now

The first flattened steel strand cable is expected to be installed late summer 2020

Cumberland holds off transfer of ‘alleyway’ property to homeowner

Village cites need to protect alleyways, while staff cite encroachment issues

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Comox Fire Rescue donates defibrillator to St. George’s United Church

Comox fighters have donated an automatic external defibrillator (AED) to St. George’s… Continue reading

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

Nanaimo man caught with more than 200,000 child porn images to be sentenced

Crown says Aaron Macrae recorded video of children on buses and at his workplace

Vancouver Island hunters may have harvested deer in area known for chronic wasting disease

Conservation officers make urgent request to public for any information

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Most Read