For years, communities in and around the Salish Sea have had to deal with the presence of large freighters using our waters for extended periods of time while they wait their turn in the Port of Vancouver. Today, I am pleased and honoured to introduce a private member's bill to address this issue by amending the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.
The bill proposes to introduce a new section, 23.1, to the act, which would prohibit the anchoring of large vessels in an area surrounding the southern Gulf Islands and the east coast of Vancouver Island. Any vessel contravening this prohibition would be committing an offence and would be liable to a fine of up to $100,000.
The coastal communities in this area are frustrated by years of inaction from the federal government. These anchorages were established on traditional territories without the free, prior and informed consent of local first nations. If the federal government values these same waters enough to establish a national marine conservation area, then they also deserve protection from being used as an overflow industrial parking lot. This bill would do just that.
This map, posted on https://clearseas.org/en/blog/anchors-away-understanding-the-issues-about-ships-at-anchor/, shows Salish Sea-based and other nearby anchorages.