Breaking News: BC NDP will address Freighter Anchorages if re-elected

BC NDP will address Freighter Anchorages
if re-elected

BC Election Issue: Freighter Anchorages in the Gulf Islands

We were looking for answers in public statements, asked our candidates at the Salt Spring Forum Debate, and emailed questions to all candidates in our electoral district.

Below are the answers we received.
Announcement by the NDP

A re-elected John Horgan government will demand the federal government take immediate action to reduce freighter traffic and anchorages in the Gulf Islands and Saanich inlet, BC NDP candidates Zeb King (Saanich North and the Islands) and Murray Rankin (Oak Bay-Gordon Head) announced Saturday.

“The status quo is not working for the people who live here and care about our waters and our future – we need urgent and substantial action,” said King.

Also present were First Nations elders and federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, who said he will reinforce the need for immediate action when Parliament resumes sitting next week. 

King and Rankin outlined a five-point plan for federal action:

(1) Developing a traffic management plan for the Salish Sea built around best practices from other growing ports around the world.

(2) Removing bottlenecks and improving scheduling at the Port of Vancouver to reduce wait times for freighters.

(3) Improving anchoring efficiency within the Port of Vancouver itself.

(4) Expanding federal oversight and inspection of freighters anchored outside the Port’s current jurisdiction.

(5) Most important, applying fees on freighters to minimize early arrivals and long stays.

If federal action does not happen soon, a re-elected John Horgan government will look at taking actions – within provincial jurisdiction – that protect the seabed in the Salish Sea.

See BC NDP Announcement of October 17, 2020.

Green Party: Against Freighter Anchorages

"Anchorages and shipping continue to be a major source of frustration for residents in the Southern Gulf Islands and Indigenous communities around the Salish Sea", explained Adam Olsen in an earlier ASK Session reported in the Driftwood.

During the Salt Spring Forum debate, Adam revealed his plan to bring local governments and First Nations all together in a body for advocacy to solve the problem of freighter anchorages in the Southern Gulf Islands.

"We really do need this issue to be addressed once and for all, on many levels!" was also announced by Adam Olsen's campaign office.

BC’s political parties: Where do they stand?

See all official answers to questions asked by the Georgia Strait Alliance about environmental issues concerning the Salish Sea.

Freighter Anchorages in Party Platforms: BC NDP

"Protecting marine life and habitats while enhancing coastal economies:

We will develop a new provincial coastal strategy – in partnership with First Nations and federal and local governments – to better protect coastal habitat while growing coastal economies.

A priority will be working with the federal government to address freighter traffic management and anchorage around southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands."

Source: BC NDP Platform, page 42

PTIS is dedicated to preserving the natural quality of the marine environment surrounding Salt Spring Island and the Salish Sea.  The purpose of this Newsletter is not endorsing any specific political party, but helping the public to make informed choices.