Central Saanich brings derelict boat issue to new Federal Transport Minister – Victoria News

Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor says the federal government needs to do more on the issue of derelict and derelict boats in Brentwood Bay and elsewhere.

“It hasn’t gone away and the problem has gotten worse,” he said in an interview with Black Press Media.

The federal government has taken some steps to address the problem. “Where I would give them credit is that there are things happening behind the scenes, but they have to quickly build on that. We were all able to progress. I don’t think we would have made so much progress if our local resources hadn’t been there.

Windsor made the comments after council unanimously approved a councilor’s notice of motion. Gord Newton to send a letter to the new Federal Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Coast Guard Joyce Murray alerting her to the problem. Specifically, the letter will inform the Minister of the recent sinking of at least one vessel tracked by the Saanich Inlet Protection Society.

The company had previously identified and reported six vessels to federal authorities under the Wrecked, Abandoned and Dangerous Vessels Act passed in 2019 and designed to deal with dilapidated boats. The group initially welcomed the passage of the law, but has since questioned the effectiveness of the legislation.

Newton’s motion came after a joint meeting of council and the board of directors overseeing the Central Saanich Police Department revealed a complex jurisdictional arrangement regarding the enforcement.

“I hope all the agencies involved can do better with some of these boats in Saanich Inlet and Brentwood Bay specifically to avoid any further potential damage,” he said, calling for a more proactive approach. .

“(First Nations) have a role to play, the federal government, the Coast Guard, the local government and the province,” he said. “It’s going to take a combined effort.”

In addition to significant environmental issues, the presence of these boats threatens local First Nations food supplies, he said, adding that the problem is not limited to Brentwood Bay. “The (Saanich) Inlet is a pretty unique place for all of us on the peninsula and it’s a very unique waterway with a very narrow, shallow opening and a deep interior. It only rinses once or twice a year.

While Newton expects Murray, who took over earlier this fall, to take some time to get up to speed, he would like to see more action by the end of the summer (2022) . “I’m relatively realistic about how these agencies will work, but I think more can be done and it would be great to see more action (sooner) than that.”

The passed motion also calls on local MP Elizabeth May and local MP Adam Olsen to support the review and reassessment of vessels at risk of sinking or causing environmental damage and the assessment conducted by the Canadian Coast Guard.

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