Mayor Ryan Windsor says $1.3 million in federal funding to help clean derelict vessels out of B.C.’s harbours is a drop in the bucket — but it’s a start.
Windsor, the mayor of the District of Central Saanich, was reacting to the announcement earlier this month by federal Transportation Minister Marc Garneau. Garneau was in Ladysmith March 11, announcing the money, dedicated to education on, and removal of, abandoned vessels.
Windsor said the District has removed abandoned vessels from Brentwood Bay already and each time,it comes with a cost. He said the District has to work with a variety of government agencies to get that work done. As well, the District is applying to get a licence of occupation for the Bay, that would give the municipality jurisdiction over vessel removal and mooring in Brentwood Bay.
Central Saanich is being challenged by a local boaters’ group for that license. Windsor said this week he will be meeting with them, to see if there’s any common ground and if they can join forces.
“The reality is … this is about the environment and in some respects we both agree,” Windsor said. “We want to have an effect, no matter who’s at the table.”
Still, funding vessel removal and demolition is a big question for Central Saanich and other municipalities or agencies charged with harbour management. Windsor said he’s not sure whether Central Saanich will have access to any of that new funding but they are working within the Capital Regional District, which is expected to receive some of that money.
“It’s good to see that the conversation is out there.”