Derelict boats, like the Florence Filberg that burned in the Sooke Basin in 2010, have been a concern of municipalities for years. (Sooke News Mirror file)

Feds urged to streamline abandoned boat regulations

A “convoluted process of red tape,” says Sooke Coun. Rick Kasper

A “convoluted process of red tape” is hampering local efforts to deal with wrecks and derelict vessels, says Sooke Coun. Rick Kasper.

Kasper, speaking at a Capital Regional District special committee of the whole meeting with Terry Beech, parliamentary secretary to Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc, said there’s concern among all coastal municipalities with federal regulatory red tape.

A vessel must be abandoned for two years before it is declared a derelict vessel, according to federal regulations, and often takes even longer to remove.

Ten years ago, the owners of a tugboat, the Florence Filberg, moored the vessel in Sooke Harbour and abandoned. It eventually broke loose from its moorings, wedging on a sandbar.

The Coast Guard checked it and determined since the boat had been cleaned up, there was no environmental hazard. Transport Canada said because it was on a sandbar, then there was no additional navigation hazard.

The boat sat there for four years in the middle of the harbour before a fire destroyed it. It was finally removed in 2011 at a cost of more than $100,000 to the municipality.

“Nothing has changed in 10 years as far as the bureaucracy is concerned,” Kasper said. “It takes so long and some of the environmental damage could already be done in the two-year time frame.”

CRD Juan de Fuca Electoral Area director Mike Hicks believes dealing with derelict vessels is a federal government responsibility. “It’s absolutely their problem,” he said.

The federal government requires all vessels to be registered, but little is done to police or monitor it, Kasper said, noting many people who buy a boat in a private deal often don’t know where to register the vessel.

“It’s a huge cumbersome process,” he said.

Kasper suggested more power should be given to local government, who are “front and centre in the community.”

Beech, Liberal MP for Burnaby North-Seymour, told directors his objective for the meeting was to listen.

He also pointed to a new federal Abandoned Boats Program that makes $5.6 million available over five years to support assessment, removal and disposal of high-priority abandoned and wrecked boats.

Under the program, the federal government will pay 100 per cent of the costs for boat-assessment projects and up to 75 per cent for boat removal and disposal projects.

So far this year, seven derelict vessels were reported in the Sooke Basin, including one in East Sooke at Anderson Cove.

CLICK HERE to report a typo.

Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email editor@sookenewsmirror.com.

Just Posted

Claremont launches lunchtime robot club

After months of assembling their designs the Claremont Vex robot club held… Continue reading

Thrilling finish to Royals weekend in Victoria

WHL club hosts Portland for a pair this Friday and Saturday at Save-On Centre

Man flees Bay Centre after daytime sexual assault in downtown Victoria

The suspect physically and sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl shopping with a friend

Chinese New Year takes to the streets of Victoria

Hundreds brave chilly temperatures to usher in the Year of the Dog

Storm snuffs out lights on Saanich’s Ten Mile Point

Environment Canada wind warning calls for a brief “respite” before winds of up 90 kilometres resume

WATCH: Vancouver Island man catches dashcam video of near head-on crash

Video shows oncoming van cross over centre line

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Calgary man dies in Mexico following sudden illness

Troy Black was with his wife, Lindsay, in Puerto Vallarta when he began vomiting blood on Thursday

Virtue and Moir break their own world record

Virtue and Moir break short dance record to sit first in ice dance at Olympics

Trump gets angry about election meddling, but not at Russia

‘Weirdest thing’: Trump expresses anger, but not over Russian election-meddling

New doping charge could hurt Russia’s chance at reinstatement

Russia could lose its chance to be reinstated before the end of the Winter Olympics because of a doping charge against curling bronze medallist Alexander Krushelnitsky.

‘Black Panther’ blows away box office with $192M weekend

In estimates Sunday, Disney predicted a four-day holiday weekend of $218 million domestically and a global debut of $361 million.

Canada wins gold in bobsleigh

Justin Kripps and Alexander Kopacz tied for first in two-man event at 2018 Winter Olympics

Sharpe run puts Vancouver Island Olympian in first

Comox halfpipe skier Cassie Sharpe dazzles in qualifying, finals late this afternoon our time

Most Read