Letter: BIM should increase bylaw enforcement for Mannion Bay derelicts

Dear Editor,

The photo in this week’s Undercurrent is ugly, graphic proof and a reminder of the inevitable outcome of many of the unwanted “problem boats” (long stay anchorages and liveaboards) in Mannion Bay.

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These are boats that have far exceeded their welcome, two of which Mother Nature has dealt with by way of their sinking.

One of the other two has been abandoned and could well sink, while the fourth has a long history of problems and is presently being used by a live-aboard. For one reason or another, the owners have chosen not to salvage and dispose of their derelicts, which is unfortunate and very irresponsible.

Our delight that Bowen Island Municipality is preparing a proposal to Transport Canada’s Abandoned Derelict Funding Removal Program to remove and destroy the boats is very much tempered by the fact that all too often taxpayers are forced to deal with the derelicts when they are of no more use to the owners.

The Friends of Mannion Bay have worked in partnership with BIM, Transport Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard for many years to resolve the boat problem in Mannion Bay and will continue to do so until we succeed.

We are presently encouraging BIM to increase the enforcement of their Bylaw 418 and License of Occupation while at the same time along with the municipality, anxiously await the Royal Assent of federal Bill C-64. The latter will give jurisdictions more teeth and finances to deal with problem boats much quicker.

To deal with them before they sink and cause harm to the marine environment while substantially increasing the salvage costs for taxpayers.

Some of the problem boat owners have clearly demonstrated they have neither the means nor intention of abiding by the rules and regulations, insuring their boats or dealing with them when disaster strikes.

Need we say more?

Once their present boats have been removed, we have encouraged BIM not to allow them to be replaced as enough is enough!

— Bruce Russell, Friends of Mannion Bay spokesperson


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