The CVRD is asking the federal government to take a closer look at the impacts of freighter anchorages in the southern Gulf Island area. (File photo)

CVRD wants feds to take closer look at freighter anchorages

Board concerned about pollution and lack of oversight

The Cowichan Valley Regional District wants the federal government to take a close look the use of commercial vessel anchorages that are located in waters near the district

In a letter to Transportation Minister Marc Garneau, Ian Morrison, chairman of the CVRD, said the board understands the need to provide foreign vessels engaged in international commerce with safe harbour while they await loading at the Port of Vancouver.

But he said that over the past decade, this vessel traffic has increased significantly, as has the amount of time these vessels dwell at anchorage.


“Our constituents are concerned with the amount of noise, light and environmental pollution generated by these vessels, as well as the lack of federal oversight and regulatory regime in place to monitor them,” Morrison said.

“The board is also concerned that appropriate consultation with local First Nations, respective of their rights and title, has not been adequately addressed with regards to anchorages and large-vessel traffic within their traditional territories.”

There are 33 commercial vessel anchorages located throughout the southern Gulf Islands, including six in operation in Cowichan Bay and six near Ladysmith and Saltair harbours.

The CVRD’s board unanimously voted at its meeting on July 24 to send a letter to Garneau after a presentation by Peter Holmes, president of the Cowichan Bay Ship Watch Society, who wants to see the anchorages in Cowichan Bay eliminated.


Holmes told the board that the society strongly opposes the irresponsible lack of concern by both the provincial and federal governments in regards to the potential for environmental damage and pollution from bulk freighters that are parking free in local waters.

Staff wrote the letter, and the board approved it at its meeting on Aug. 14.

In the letter to Garneau, Morrison said the CVRD shares the position of the Islands Trust Council in its belief that, despite Transport Canada’s Ocean Protection Plan and the Interim Protocol for the Use of Southern B.C. Anchorages, more needs to be done to ensure local waters are protected and the citizens of the CVRD are not adversely impacted by commercial activities that have no local economic or social benefit.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

What you said: Pay for use water a controversial topic

Public works crews have been busy for the last four years installing water meters

Pair of 11-year-old Cowichan highland dancers heading to Virginia for competition

Amelia Marsh and Maya Sundstrom are excited about the possibilities

Chris Wilkinson column: Where are you on the Happiness U-Curve?

With age and maturity, the focus turns away from social competition and toward social connection.

Music trivia tournament in Duncan a hit on World Alzheimer’s Day

More than $13,000 raised by people naming that tune

Drivesmart column: Wet weather driving dos and don’ts

Wet pavement alone can increase stopping distances by more than 10 per cent.

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Most Read