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

Victoria teen killed by falling tree, remembered as hero

Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling towards him and his friends

Hefty Peninsula Co-op donation brightens Mount Newton Centre Society’s 40th anniversary

Peninsula residents can borrow items from the centre’s medical ‘loan cupboard’ for up to three months

Tiny Yorkshire terrier Poppie survives days on remote island

ROAM rescue crews, family searched for dog, missing in Saanich for days

Researchers say ‘text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millenials’ skulls

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

VIDEO: Performers awe crowds at 2019 Indigenous Cultural Festival

Dancers and singers from First Nations across B.C. gather in Victoria

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

B.C. judge defies lawyers and adds six months to man’s sex assault sentence

‘I find the joint submission is contrary to the public interest and I’m rejecting it’

Man presumed dead after boat capsizes in Columbia River

Search and rescue efforts recovered a life jacket

Crews fight wildfire along Sea-to-Sky Highway

A cause has not been determined, although a downed power line is suspected

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

Most Read