What will it take to get action on derelicts?

The spectre of derelict boats has once again raised its head in Cowichan Bay. The Bay is unfortunately a popular destination for these less-than-seaworthy vessels.

This time it’s a comparatively small boat, but there is a lot of concern that it’s leaking oil.

That’s the problem.

These ships are parked in the bay, often with owners who are far away, and left to disintegrate, polluting our waters.

It should not be up to a local businessman to, out of the goodness of his heart and his concern for the water, do something about it. Why has it fallen to a local man to put a boom around the sinking craft to try to stop the spread of pollutants?

Where are the authorities who are actually supposed to be in charge? Their response to such occurrences has been shown to be clearly inadequate by the history of sinking derelicts in the Bay.

From the long, slow process of getting rid of the derelict Dominion I, to the sinking of the SS Beaver in May of this year, action on dealing with these vessels has been mired in red tape and nobody wanting to be the one actually responsible.

So we have the Coast Guard, the Ministry of Environment, the federal Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans, Transport Canada as well as the Cowichan Valley Regional District passing the problem around like a hot potato.

Who’s in charge changes depending on bylaws, where the ship is, if the ship is leaking oil or fuel and a list of other subject-tos. What the public wants is to know who to call to get the darned things out of their Bay.

Jean Crowder, Member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Cowichan, has introduced a private

members bill that would see the Coast Guard become the go-to on derelict vessels, so people at least won’t get mired in numerous government phone trees when they want to make a complaint.

Indeed, the Coast Guard are the ones looking at the situation with the boat currently listing drunkenly in the Bay.

The bill is a step in the right direction at least, but has so far not made it past initial steps, in spite of many coastal communities echoing Cowichan Bay’s frustration and anger.

How many more have to sink before there’s some action?

Submit your letter to the editor online

We want to hear from you!

Submitting a letter to the editor is now easier than ever – you can do it online by going to the Cowichan Valley Citizen website, www.cowichanvalleycitizen.com, and clicking on the Opinion tab. Then click Send us a letter.

Write 300 words or less on the topic of your choice, include your full name (first and last), and a town you hail from.

Include a phone number (which is not printed) so that we can verify your authorship.

Just Posted

Business notes: New owners celebrate at Arbutus Ridge Golf Course

The award-winning Arbutus Ridge Golf Course in Cobble Hill has a new… Continue reading

Cowichan Green Community eyes funding for value added food processing

The folks at Cowichan Green Community are licking their chops after the… Continue reading

Cowichan lacrosse grads square off in Jr. B playoffs

Delta takes series after win in Duncan

Roller derby returns to Cowichan Exhibition’s Mellor Hall

Food trucks, beer garden, roller disco all on tap for July 27

VIDEO: Compton and Cooper share first place in Duncan Has Talent while Heard takes third

A difficult decision was made easier by splitting the first and second place prize money between two

Pamela Anderson adds star power to B.C. Green Party town hall

Celebrity attended Nanaimo meeting with representatives from U.S.-based environmental group

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Chinook retention begins on North Island, but amid new size limit

DFO calls measures ‘difficult but necessary’ following rockslide on Fraser River

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Injured humpback returns to waters near Comox a year later

Photographer spotted Ocular near Comox again and noticed the whale has been healing

Most Read