February 1, 2016 3:39 pm

Feds, locals to work together to deal with abandoned cargo vessel near Montreal

Beauharnois mayor Claude Haineault stands next to the Kathryn Spirit Wednesday, January 27, 2016 in Beauharnois, Que. Concerns are that the derelict cargo ship anchored off the town's shore could sink, spilling toxic material into Montreal's drinking water supply.


BEAUHARNOIS, Que. – Montreal-area officials have been assured by Ottawa that an initial inspection of an abandoned bulk carrier shows it doesn’t pose a risk of capsizing or causing an environmental disaster.

The Kathryn Spirit was brought to Beauharnois in 2011 by a private firm hoping to dismantle it in the Saint Lawrence River and sell it for scrap.

That project didn’t materialize and the ship was sold to Mexican interests who’ve since declared bankruptcy and abandoned it.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, who heads the 82-municipality Montreal Metropolitan Community, told reporters he expects to discuss the matter in Ottawa this week with Transport Minister Marc Garneau and Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo.

Beauharnois Mayor Claude Haineault said he’s hopeful the developments mean the vessel will finally be removed from the town.

A working group comprised of federal and local officials will convene in two weeks.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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