Minister replies to Andrew Weaver re derelict boat

Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head, has forwarded to us a letter he received today (Feb. 5) from Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, regarding the derelict boat beached at Gyro Beach:

Dear Dr. Weaver:
Thank you for your letter of January 13, 2016, regarding the beached derelict vessel Pacific Sun King located in the upper inter-tidal zone of Cadboro Bay.

As you may be aware, dealing with problem vessels and structures on Crownforeshore is a complex, time-consuming and costly job that can involve multiple agencies and levels of government depending on the circumstances. In this case, the Canadian Coast Guard has spent a considerable amount of time attending to this vessel to ensure pollutants have been removed. The Coast Guard is confident that they have mitigated any pollution concerns and have suggested that Transport Canada’s Receiver of Wreck program take over as this is now under their jurisdiction.

Communications between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Ministry of Environment Emergency Response Officers, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and representatives from the Municipality of Saanich took place in mid-December to explore options for removing the vessel from the beach. Collaborative work is ongoing to find a solution and to determine the precise timing for the removal of this vessel.

In fall 2014, the ministry worked with federal agencies to complete a public information document and staff technical guide that clarifies roles and responsibilities when dealing with problem vessels. Provincial and federal agencies are continuing to coordinate efforts to deal with problem vessels and structures on Crown foreshore on a priority basis, those that pose an immediate threat to navigation safety or the environment are top priority.

The province is committed to continue to work with federal agencies, and others, to seek ways to improve the management of problem vessels.

Steve Thomson

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