Freighter Anchorages: New Developments and Outlook

Freighter Anchorages:
New Initiatives and Outlook

Increased momentum but no decisions yet

Several initiatives have been launched by our MPs in parliament in order to solve the problem of freighter anchorages in the Gulf Islands. Public opposition has reached a critical momentum not seen before. Thank you for your support!

Nevertheless, 2020 has brought the highest freighter activity into our islands ever seen. For example since the beginning of October just outside Ganges, we had on average only 4 freighter free days before the next ship anchored again.

2021 is expected to be a critical year for possible solutions.  We will inform you and will need your support for upcoming campaigns.

Bill C-250: Ban of Anchorages in Gulf Islands

MP Alistair McGregor (Cowichan-Malahat-Langford) introduced Bill-C250 in parliament on October 26th.  "The bill proposes to introduce a new section 23.1 to the act, which would prohibit the anchoring of large vessels in an area surrounding the southern Gulf Islands and the east coast of Vancouver Island", said Alistair McGregor.

The bill is seen as a trail blazer that may not be accepted in this current form, but opens the way for specific solutions and phasing out of anchorages over time.

You can support the bill here.

Call for Port of Vancouver to reduce anchorage demand

In a parliamentary debate on November 19th, MP Paul Manly (Nanaimo-Ladysmith) called for better efficiency and a Vessel Arrival System at the Port of Vancouver in order to solve the anchorage problem.

"The creation of good regulations and policy will drive innovation, as it has in Australia and Europe. There is no legitimate reason why the Port of Vancouver should be so far behind in efficient management of its bulk shipping", said Paul Manly.

Our Alliance's petition, sponsored by Paul Manly, reached 1235 signatures and was delivered on November 30th. Thank you for your support!

Bill C-261: Ban of Thermal Coal Exports

MP Paul Manly (Nanaimo-Ladysmith) introduced Bill C-261 on December 9th, saying: "Our constituents are fed up with the increased use of the Salish Sea as a free parking lot for bulk freighters anchored around the southern Gulf Islands. Many of these bulk freighters are exporting dirty U.S. thermal coal from ports in British Columbia because the west coast U.S. states have banned the export of thermal coal from their ports."

"Burning thermal coal is the dirtiest most carbon-intense way to produce electricity. Canada is shutting down its thermal coal electrical generation, and it is hypocritical to be exporting thermal coal to Asia to burn for electricity there."

Outlook 2021:
Pressing for Change at Multiple Levels

Federal initiatives will continue until solutions are achieved. Our MP Elizabeth May explains more about her approach in her recent Driftwood Article.

Another opportunity to work towards eliminating freighter anchorages will be coming up soon with an expected public consultation for the planned National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA) around Salt Spring Island.

Premier John Horgan made an election promise to demand immediate action on freighter anchorage. Nathan Cullen is the new Minister responsible for the Coastal Strategy as outlined in his mandate letter.

As part of our No-Freighter-Anchorages Alliance, we will keep working on solutions and keep pressing government for action on all of these levels.

We will keep you updated on new developments in the new year. Thank you for your support - please tell friends and neighbours sign up here. Merry Christmas and Keep Safe!


New Report about Anchorages

Released by the Centre for Marine Affairs, a Salt Spring Island Initiative.

The comprehensive study explores anchorage data and how ship congestion can be avoided.

* Anchorage is unproductive time and costs money
* Emissions by ships at anchor affect the entire Salish Sea
* Anchorage traffic affects Killer Whales and is avoidable
* Efficient growth at port should not require more anchorages
Thank you for support to keep the Gulf Islands protected and free from heavily industrialized use!