Abandoned boats are a growing problem and have economic, social, and environmental impacts on local communities across Canada. They can pollute the marine environment, harm local businesses such as tourism and fisheries, damage infrastructure, interfere with navigation, and pose safety risks to Canadians. The Government of Canada, through its Oceans Protection Plan, is working hard to deter this irresponsible practice.
Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced the most recent initiatives to receive funding for the assessment, removal and disposal of abandoned boats in Canadian waters. Under the Abandoned Boats Program, $1,692,079 is being provided to assess 44 boat removal projects in British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador, and to remove 51 abandoned boats in British Columbia and Nova Scotia.
These announcements follow the coming-into-force of the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act on July 30, 2019. The Act makes it illegal to abandon boats, increases vessel owner liability, and strengthens the Government of Canada’s response in cases where owners do not behave responsibly in disposing of their vessels at the end of their useful life.
In light of the economic impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada will pay 100% of costs for boat removal assessment projects and for boat removal and disposal projects, for a maximum of $50,000 per project instead of 75% as in previous years.
Launched in November 2016, the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan is the largest investment ever made to protect Canada’s coasts and waterways. This national plan is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines and clean water for generations to come. This work is being done in close collaboration with Indigenous peoples, local stakeholders, and coastal communities.
In B.C., the recipients for assessments are:
We Are The Change For Humanity – Assessment of 2 boat removal and disposal projects in Alert Bay, British Columbia ($10,000)
Coastal Restoration Society – Assessment of:
18 boat removal projects in Barkley Sound, British Columbia ($38,050)
12 boat removal projects in Nootka Sound, British Columbia ($47,400)
3 boat removal projects in Bamfield Harbour, British Columbia ($14,500)
Heiltsuk Horizon Maritime Services Ltd. – Assessment of 8 boat removal projects in the Bella Bella Region, British Columbia ($39,007)
In B.C., the recipients for removals are:
Salish Sea Industrial Services Ltd. – Removal and disposal of 24 boats in Victoria, British Columbia ($551,202)
Coastal Restoration Society – Removal and disposal of 11 boats in Tofino, British Columbia ($327,000)
We Are The Change For Humanity – Removal and disposal 2 boats in Alert Bay, British Columbia ($100,000)
“The Government of Canada is committed to safeguarding our oceans and waterways. The federal funding, through the Abandoned Boats Program, offers communities support in addressing the problem of abandoned boats and the associated risks to Canadian waters. Thanks to the progress made through the Oceans Protection Plan, our marine environment is safer and more protected than it has ever been.”
The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport
“Abandoned and wrecked vessels have no place in our oceans and coastal communities. They’re a danger to our natural environment and they take up space in what should be our community hubs. Through the Oceans Protection Plan, our government is funding the removal of 51 abandoned vessels in the Pacific and Maritime regions. That’s on top of the 201 vessels we have removed to date. This is about protecting and preserving our beautiful coastlines so they can be utilized and enjoyed to their potential by Canadians.”
The Honourable Bernadette Jordan
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
- Since the launch of the Oceans Protection Plan in November 2016, over 50 initiatives have been introduced/implemented in the areas of marine safety, research and ecosystem protection that span coast-to-coast-to-coast.
- In 2017, the Government launched two vessel removal programs: Transport Canada’s Abandoned Boats Program and Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Small Craft Harbours Abandoned and Wrecked Vessels Removal Program for federally owned small craft harbours.
- Transport Canada’s Abandoned Boats Program is investing $6.85 million for abandoned boat assessment, removal and disposal, and for research and education initiatives. Since May 31, 2017, the program has launched five calls for proposals for projects to be funded through grants and contributions.
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Abandoned and Wrecked Vessels Removal Program is providing up to $1.325 million over five years to Harbour Authorities and other eligible recipients to remove and dispose of abandoned and wrecked vessels located in federal small craft harbours.
- To date, funding through the Abandoned Boats Program has led to the assessment of 109 boat removal projects, and the removal of 112 boats in Canada. Today’s announcement provides funding for an additional 44 boat assessment projects and 51 boat removals across Canada.
- Complete list of approved projects for this announcement
- Protecting our Coasts – Oceans Protection Plan
- Abandoned Boats Program
- Let’s Talk – Oceans Protection Plan
- Report to Canadians – Oceans Protection Plan
- About the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act