December 7, 2022

MacGregor reintroduces Salish Sea freighter anchorage bill

NDP MP Alistair MacGregor has reintroduced his bill from the previous Parliament to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 to ban the anchorage of cargo vessels using coastal waters along the southern strait from Georgia.

The bill has broad support from local stakeholders, including First Nations, local governments and community activist groups, and is endorsed by Nanaimo-Ladysmith MPP Lisa Marie Barron.

In recent years, community groups and First Nations have made repeated calls to Transport Canada to protect ancient beds of clams, shrimp, oysters and endangered species, such as the southern resident killer whale, the environmental impact of anchored transport vessels.

The waters of the southern Strait of Georgia have been recognized as worthy of protection by the federal government as part of its process to establish a national marine conservation area.

Referencing the coordinates used by Parks Canada, MacGregor’s private member’s bill C-305 to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (anchorage ban) seeks to prohibit large cargo ships from anchoring in waters designated as future NMCAs.

“Two years ago I introduced Bill C-250 to address the problem of cargo anchorages in the Salish Sea,” MacGregor said. “Unfortunately, coastal residents, local First Nations and conservation groups continue to advocate with Transport Canada and the Vancouver Port Authority to find solutions to this problem. The federal government is dragging its feet on this file and the coastal communities of Vancouver Island deserve a voice in Ottawa.

“It’s a shame that I find myself repeating this. If the federal government values ​​these waters enough to establish a national marine conservation area, they also deserve to be protected from being used as an industrial overflow parking lot for the Port of Vancouver.