This freighter anchored off Chemainus and others throughout the Cowichan Valley region have attracted considerable attention for the long periods of time they remain parked before moving in to the Port of Vancouver. (Photo by Don Bodger)

This freighter anchored off Chemainus and others throughout the Cowichan Valley region have attracted considerable attention for the long periods of time they remain parked before moving in to the Port of Vancouver. (Photo by Don Bodger)

MP to host expert panel for virtual town hall on freighter anchorages issue

Residents can participate through MacGregor’s website or Facebook page Dec. 3

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor is hosting a virtual public town hall, Protect Our Coast: End Freighter Anchorages, next Thursday, Dec. 3 from 6-7:30 p.m.

The virtual town hall will be held through Zoom software – and citizens can find instructions on how to participate through MacGregor’s website. It will also be streamed live on MacGregor’s Facebook page.

Related story: MacGregor introduces bill to address freighter anchorages

The event will highlight the importance of MacGregor’s Private Member’s Bill C-250 designed to prohibit the anchoring of freighter vessels using coastal waters along the Salish Sea. There has been considerable support since MacGregor introduced the bill among local stakeholders such as First Nations, local government and community activist groups, but also some challenges from individuals and companies defending the economic significance of the freighters’ presence.

Related story: Group taking action on increased freighter anchorages around Thetis Island

Cowichan Tribes recently joined the fight to prohibit freighters from anchoring in coastal waters. Chief William Seymour said the southern Gulf Islands are the heart of Cowichan Tribes’ marine territory where members harvest food and resources daily to sustain themselves.

“Tanker traffic and anchorages in these inside waters and narrow passages between islands pose an unacceptable risk to the ecological integrity that sustains our food resources, which are critical to the long-term livelihoods and well-being of our members,” he indicated.

Related story: Cowichan Tribes against anchorage of freighter vessels in local waters

“Canada introduced the Interim Protocol for the Use of BC Anchorages in early 2018. The federal Crown implemented this Interim Protocol in our marine territory without securing Cowichan Tribes’ free, prior and informed consent and consultation on the protocol’s impacts to our aboriginal and indigenous rights has been shallow, intermittent and rushed.”

“There have been many years of frustration in trying to address this issue with Transport Canada and Transport Minister Marc Garneau.” noted MacGregor. “Despite these efforts, the number of freighters, and the length of their stay at anchor off the southern coast of Vancouver Island, have both increased. In the absence of leadership from the federal government, I have decided that it is time to put forward a bill to try and resolve this issue through legislative means.”

The expert panel participating in the town hall will include representatives from the South Coast Ship Watch Alliance, Penelakut Tribe, local government and SeaChange Marine Conservation Society.

MacGregor’s Bill C-250 seeks to prohibit freighters from anchoring based on coordinates recognized by the federal government as worth protecting as a part of its process in establishing a National Marine Conservation Area.

“If the federal government values these waters enough to establish a National Marine Conservation Area, then they also deserve protection from being used as an overflow industrial parking lot,” MacGregor added. “I’m excited to meet with my constituents to hear what they have to say on this issue and ensure their voices are heard in Ottawa.”

Constituents are encouraged to share feedback and questions for the town hall panelists.

Questions can also be emailed in advance to Alistair.macgregor.c1d@parl.gc.ca. All emailed questions must be sent by 1 p.m. Dec. 2.

EVENT DETAILS

Online: Protect Our Coast: End Freighter Anchorages

Date: Dec. 3, 2020

Time: 6-7:30 p.m.

Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84709790135

RSVP: https://alistairmacgregor.ndp.ca/events

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alistair4ndp/

Business and IndustrialFederal Politics

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

 

Cowichan Tribes Chief William Seymour says freighters should not be anchoring off Cowichan shores. (File photo)

Cowichan Tribes Chief William Seymour says freighters should not be anchoring off Cowichan shores. (File photo)

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor is hosting an expert panel for a virtual town hall on the freighter situation Dec. 3. (File photo)

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor is hosting an expert panel for a virtual town hall on the freighter situation Dec. 3. (File photo)

Just Posted

A tenant starter kit will help newly housed people transition from a survival mindset to a secure, safe place where they can start planning ahead. (Photo courtesy of Our Place)
Tenant starter kits help support people moving into long-term homes in Victoria

For the formerly homeless, it takes more than just the new address to transition

Sidney town crier Kenny Podmore delivers a proclamation honouring the late Prince Philip outside of city hall on April 17, the day of the Duke’s funeral. (Photo courtesy of the Town of Sidney)
Sidney, North Saanich honour the late Prince Philip with proclamation on Saturday

Sidney’s town crier delivered a proclamation for the Duke of Edinburgh outside of city hall

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 exposure at Ecole Victor-Brodeur in Esquimalt on April 12, 13 and 14. (Screenshot via Google Streetview)
COVID-19 exposure confirmed at K-12 French school in Esquimalt, Island Health reports

People at Ecole Victor-Brodeur may have been exposed April 12-14

The BC SPCA’s Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre is asking for donation support as it prepares for its busiest season of the year. (Photo courtesy of BC SPCA)
Wild ARC looking for donations to care for yearly influx of vulnerable animals

Spring and summer are the southern Vancouver Island centre’s busiest time of the year

North Saanich Fire Department is looking for individuals interested in becoming volunteer firefighters who want to give back to the community and learn new skills while gaining personal confidence. (Submitted/District of North Saanich)
North Saanich actively recruiting volunteer firefighters

Department is searching for new recruits from now until the end of May

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: Lookout Lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

Valen a student of Coldstream Elementary writes advice for adults amid a pandemic.
‘We can get rid of COVID together’: B.C. kids share heartwarming advice

Elementary students share their wisdom to adults in unprecedented times

Most Read