Boat legislation must be clear

Dear editor,

Your article Battling the derelict boat issue (March 29 Record) was interesting. The suggestion that those who can’t afford the increasingly exorbitant cost of moorage should  not be allowed to own boats, was the suggestion that only the rich should be allowed to own boats. It was the suggestion that those who live in remote areas which  don’t have marinas, where not owning a boat is not an option, should not be allowed to own boats.

Lately, I have been meeting  a lot of young people, including a lot of young women, formerly homeless, who have discovered that owning a boat is the only thing between them and homelessness. A friend attended meetings discussing a ban on liveaboards, and found that the majority of those promoting the idea were in the real estate business.

Is forcing low income people, especially youth,  into the ranks of the homeless, on behalf  of the interests or the real estate industry a good government policy, especially when it amounts to drastically increasing the vulnerability of youth, especially the vulnerability of young women?

Are homeowners better off, if those who can’t afford to buy themselves, or their landlords, a million-dollar home, are forced off the water and into their backyards, in greater desperation?

We had a Supreme Court of BC ruling recently, which stated that the right to pitch a tent was part of the charter right to  “life, liberty and security of the person.” Surely that could be applied to  a floating shelter. Why waste money on the courts, to arrive at the same conclusion?

Sure, we have to deal  with derelicts, but any legislation must  spell out clearly, that any boat which is someone’s home, regardless of state of maintenance, is exempt, to avoid power tripping bureaucrats misinterpreting the intent of  law, for their own personal power trips.

I often see expensive artists’ renditions of wrecked boats on a beach, which are considered art, and which are placed on walls to beautify a room, proof that “eyesore” is a subjective term.

Brent Swain

Royston

 

 

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