February 4, 2016 10:16 pm
Updated: August 4, 2016 9:15 pm

Fund for derelict boats floated by Saanich councillor

WATCH: Saanich city councillor Judy Brownoff believes she has a solution to help deal with all those abandoned and rusting boats that keep washing up or have been dumped on B.C.'s shores. Kylie Stanton explains.

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For several weeks, two boats have been sitting on Cadboro Bay beach in Saanich.

It’s nothing new for Saanich – or many other coastal communities in B.C., where derelict vessels can idle for months on end.

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READ MORE: Ladysmith residents want derelict vessels out of their harbour

Now, a Saanich councillor says it’s high time for a coordinated strategy by all levels of government to deal with the issue.

“Let’s stop saying I don’t have money, it’s not my jurisdiction. Let’s roll up our sleeves, all levels of government, and find a way to deal with it,” says Judy Brownoff, who says Saanich has picked up over $50,000 and 200 hours of staff time cleaning up the mess from the two boats.

“Something has to be done.”

She wants to create a fund devoted to dealing with the vessels, which could be raised by adding fees or surcharges to boat owners.

“I guarantee most boat owners would not want to see these boats lining our coastline,” says Brownoff.

Any plan would require the approval of senior levels of government. A 2012 Transport Canada report said the majority of vessels in this country are more than 30 years old. But last year, a private member’s bill by former NDP MP Jean Crowder to deal with derelict boats was defeated.

READ MORE: Plan to deal with derelict boats along B.C. coast shot down in Ottawa

While the federal government did not respond to requests for comment today, the provincial government did – though they didn’t commit to any course of action.

“I would want to think about the idea of fund and implications before committing one way or the other,” said Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

It means that, for now, the situation on B.C. shorelines won’t improve.

“It’s something that really needs to be attended to,” argues Larry Glowasky, president of the British Columbia Yacht Brokers Association.

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