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

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A decade into the 100-year blueprint for restoring the Bowker Creek watershed, Soren Henrich, director of the Friends of Bowker Creek Society, feels positive about the future of conservation and daylighting of the creek. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Ten years in, Greater Victoria’s 100-year Bowker Creek blueprint gets a boost

Victoria council passes several restoration recommendations

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead in ‘targeted incident’ on Sooke Road

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

A resurfacing of the tennis court in Metchosin is being eyed for the community. However, funding opportunities still need to be solidified for the project. (Michelle Cabana/Black Press Media)
Renewed surface eyed for Metchosin tennis court

Funding source must first be solidified in order for project to happen

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

Most Read