New Democrat MPs are calling on the Government to keep their commitments to the province of Nova Scotia and ensure that the wreck of the MV Canadian Miner be removed as quickly as possible.
"With the September hurricane season quickly approaching, there is no time to waste for the removal of MV Canadian Miner," said MP Olivia Chow, NDP Transport Critic. “The Conservative government must stop delaying the clean up process and give immediate approval to the Bennington Group work plan to take the wreckage away from Scatarie Island."
The provincial NDP government gave approval to the Bennington group plan within 24 hours. If the federal Conservatives do not delay any further work could begin as early as next week.
"The ship remains a threat to local lobster fishing and a risk to the ecosystem and needs to be removed as quickly as possible," said Peter Stoffer, MP for Sackville - Eastern Shore. “The Federal government can’t keep washing its hands of their responsibility. It’s time for action.”
Last year Transport Canada gave approval to the Hellas, a Greek tug boat to tow MV Canadian Miner to Turkey. The tow line snapped on September 20, 2011, and the ship ended up stranded near Scatarie Island, an area east of Cape Breton.
The Conservative government has refused to take a leadership role in the clean-up effort and has been extremely slow in granting approval for work to establish an environmental base line of the wreckage area. The clean-up process has been mired in red tape and as a result, the plan to have the work completed before the September hurricane season has been seriously delayed.
"The Conservatives government created the MV Miner mess, then it refused to take responsibility, and now it is delaying the removal process. It is just unacceptable" said Chow.