Opinion: Derelict boat solution deserves a closer look

Abandoned, derelict boats must be addressed, but don't rush measures

The issue of derelict boats wreaking environmental, navigational and aesthetic havoc in local waters is not a new one. It has been plaguing Oak Bay’s bays and beaches for years.

Oak Bay is by no means alone in this frustration, however, as Victoria, Saanich and others also fight to address the issue.

Significantly complicating the issue is the myriad jurisdictions involved, a factor that did not go unmentioned during Oak Bay’s committee of the whole discussion Monday night.

Derelict vessels fall within the jurisdiction of both the provincial and federal governments and in many cases local governments end up dealing with them, often incurring the cost when boats end up on the shore.

In the wake of the costly removal of the 40-tonne concrete-hulled vessel this winter, a Saanich councillor suggested pushing for a federal program to deal with derelict and abandoned boats.

Suggestions floated at Monday’s meeting included foreshore leases, something the district currently has with Willows Beach and the Oak Bay Marina. This would move the concept into new territory, however, and council rightly opted to give it a more thorough review.

While council won’t pursue foreshore leases just yet, members agreed to further explore the issue of derelict, abandoned and live-aboard vessels during the strategic planning process. Pushing the matter at the provincial and federal levels also makes sense, and perhaps a unified approach with other jurisdictions via the Union of BC Municipalities, as Coun. Michelle Kirby suggests – will give the issue more weight.

We must address the issue of derelict and abandoned vessels, but we need to do so in a way that makes sense now, and in the future.

 

Just Posted

Lost Victoria: Story of the Crystal Palace

Historian Stuart Stark launches book about iconic Oak Bay structure that was lost to flames

Home of Good Hope feeds Namibia’s young for a full decade

Oak Bay woman continues work expanding soup kitchen in Africa to so much more

SD61 dress code still a debate

Trustee encourages parents to speak up at Dec. 18 meeting, represent a progressive voice

Proposed public art installation sparks debate in Victoria

$250,000 sculpture compliments an interactive sound element of First Nations drumming and singing

Omnibus zoning bylaw sent for revisions to prevent blanket upzoning in downtown Victoria

More than 10 downtown properties identified by Downtown Residents Association

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Family suspends search for missing Alberta couple, plane near Revelstoke

Due to bad weather, families of missing Albertan couple say they will resume in the spring

Former Victoria MLA filling integral business role downtown

Jeff Bray takes on interim executive director position with the DVBA

Canadian grocers make $3M per year from penny-rounding: UBC study

Ottawa announced plans in 2012 to phase out the copper coin

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

B.C. anti-hate campaigner finds Google search on his efforts redirects to porn

Text from online news article about Cran Campbell being used to link to suspect websites

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

As anticipated, the movie fell shy of the opening weekend for J.J. Abrams’ 2015 franchise reboot

2 couples tie the knot in Australia’s 1st same-sex weddings

West Australian couple Anne Sedgwick, Lyn Hawkins have been together for 40 years

Most Read