November 30th, 2017

NDP: Liberals Abandon Coastal Communities After Historic Appeal

OTTAWA – NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson’s appeal on her abandoned vessels legislation C-352, a first in Canada’s history, was defeated by secret ballot in the House of Commons this morning. This appeal came after the Liberals used their majority at the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs to block C-352.

“I’m disappointed the Trudeau Liberals stifled coastal community voices yet again, and voted to sink my legislation on abandoned vessels," said Malcolmson. “Although we lost the appeal today, we made history by elevating the voices of coastal communities, and we pushed the Trudeau Liberals as hard as we could.”

The bill had support from over 50 coastal organizations across Canada, including local governments such as the City of Nanaimo, the City of Victoria, and the Town of Ladysmith; associations like the Union of BC Municipalities, the Vancouver and District Labour Council, and the BC Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union, as well as marinas, harbours and port authorities ranging from Tofino, BC to Fogo Island, Newfoundland and Labrador.

“My bill filled all the gaps in the Trudeau government's Bill C-64, so I will use the 15 years of coastal communities advice in my legislation to instead push the Trudeau government to amend C-64, to fix vessel registration, pilot a vessel turn-in program, create good green jobs by supporting local marine salvage businesses and vessel recycling, and end the jurisdictional run-around by making the Coast Guard responsible for directing the removal of abandoned vessels,” added Malcolmson.

The NDP will keep pushing the government to heed this united call for action on abandoned vessels and for action consistent with coastal communities' needs.