Abandoned or Derelict Vessels Programs


Whereas the November 2012 Transport Canada Study recommends the establishment of an inter-jurisdictional working group that would address and provide recommendations on issues related to abandoned and derelict vessels, including potential sources of funding to remove abandoned and derelict vessels; And whereas the incidents of vessels left abandoned or derelict by owners through neglect or lack of financial resources to dispose of the vessel cause municipalities serious concerns for public safety and the potential harm to the environment and have significant financial impact to taxpayers for removal and cleanup: Therefore be it resolved that UBCM and FCM urge the federal and provincial governments to proceed with recommendations of the 2012 Transport Canada Study to establish an Abandoned and Derelict Vessel Program funded through reasonable fees sourced from vessel purchases, registration, insurance and moorage, and that such funds be available for disposition costs; And be it further resolved that the federal and provincial governments further establish an End of Life Vessel Disposal Program that is sustainable and protects the environment, including appropriate facilities and coordination with local landfills and private sector for proper disposal methods.

Provincial Response

Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations Federal authorities are the lead agency regarding structures or vessels that obstruct maritime navigation, or pose a threat to spawning beds or the environment. When a vessel runs aground or sinks on provincial Crown land, federal authorities remain the lead agency. Often, provincial and federal agencies work together to deal with abandoned vessels on a priority basis, with those that pose an immediate threat to navigation safety or the environment at the top of the list. The Province supports efforts toward a streamlined regulatory approach. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations developed a guidance paper, entitled Dealing With Problem Vessels and Structures in B.C. Waters, to clarify the roles of federal, provincial and local authorities in addressing derelict vessels. The paper was developed with input from Transport Canada, the Union of B.C. Municipalities and Islands Trust. The Province is currently participating in a Joint Working Group for the Removal of Derelict Vessels with Transport Canada to focus on the development of a long-term approach for vessels of concern.

Convention Decision