OUR VIEW: Central Saanich is rocking the boat

For the sake of the environment, Central Saanich is taking positive steps to address issues of derelict vessels in Brentwood Bay.

For the sake of the environment, Central Saanich is taking positive steps to address issues of derelict vessels in Brentwood Bay.

The municipality is even planning on paying an estimated $18,000 to remove two damaged and half-sunk boats out of the water within their jurisdiction.

That amount of money is, however, only a drop in the bucket of what it’s going to take to remove abandoned or damaged vessels — and represents a pittance of the potential environmental damage caused when a boat sinks or is broken up on the shore in a storm.

Central Saanich, it seems, has had enough and wishes to ensure the boats moored off its shores are well-kept, safe and limited in numbers. By using their own tax dollars to do it, however, they run the risk of becoming the only ones actually doing anything about the problem.

Paying for boat removal or clean up has arguably been the main obstacle in dealing with the issue for years.

There are three government bodies involved in this issue: local governments that are faced with the direct impact; provincial governments that control environmental regulations and; the federal government that holds jurisdiction over most navigable waterways.

The question has been: who pays when vessels have to be removed and the environment cleaned up? Ideally the owners of such vessels would be held to account but sometimes they cannot be found or are unable to pay. That leaves clean-up to government and its taxpayers.

As a result, the issue crosses many jurisdictions and tends to be bounced back and forth until public pressure forces one level of government to actually do something.

Yet the actions of a single level of government can have unforeseen consequences on the matter. Take the City of Victoria’s eviction of boats from the Gorge Waterway. Some are already turning up in Brentwood Bay, according to watchdogs, and who knows where else. This is simply foisting a local program onto someone else.

As a coastal area, dealing with the problem should not be done in isolation. The region would be better served to form a single voice to lobby Victoria and Ottawa to present a unified position on how the problem can be dealt with.

Just Posted

Tomato planting controversy inspires Victoria author’s book on transforming cities

Woman behind the Collinson street mural pens third book

Stem cell donor with rare genetic makeup needed to save Saanich man after cancer returns

Jeremy Chow is half Canton Chinese, half British and needs a donor with a similar ethnic background

Victoria Humane Society needs volunteers after flood of puppies and kittens

Pregnant cats, dogs and their litters are in need of foster care

Police identify man found dead in Saanich, seek his backpack and shoes

Investigators seek shoes, backpack that Andrew Michael Sidor was seen wearing

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Police seek tips in 2015 death of Island teen Brown

Four years has passed since the body of Penelakut Island woman was discovered

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Most Read