This freighter anchored off Chemainus and others throughout the Cowichan Valley region have attracted considerable attention for the long periods of time they remain parked before moving in to the Port of Vancouver. (Photo by Don Bodger)

This freighter anchored off Chemainus and others throughout the Cowichan Valley region have attracted considerable attention for the long periods of time they remain parked before moving in to the Port of Vancouver. (Photo by Don Bodger)

MP to host expert panel for virtual town hall on freighter anchorages issue

Residents can participate through MacGregor’s website or Facebook page Dec. 3

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor is hosting a virtual public town hall, Protect Our Coast: End Freighter Anchorages, next Thursday, Dec. 3 from 6-7:30 p.m.

The virtual town hall will be held through Zoom software – and citizens can find instructions on how to participate through MacGregor’s website. It will also be streamed live on MacGregor’s Facebook page.

Related story: MacGregor introduces bill to address freighter anchorages

The event will highlight the importance of MacGregor’s Private Member’s Bill C-250 designed to prohibit the anchoring of freighter vessels using coastal waters along the Salish Sea. There has been considerable support since MacGregor introduced the bill among local stakeholders such as First Nations, local government and community activist groups, but also some challenges from individuals and companies defending the economic significance of the freighters’ presence.

Related story: Group taking action on increased freighter anchorages around Thetis Island

Cowichan Tribes recently joined the fight to prohibit freighters from anchoring in coastal waters. Chief William Seymour said the southern Gulf Islands are the heart of Cowichan Tribes’ marine territory where members harvest food and resources daily to sustain themselves.

“Tanker traffic and anchorages in these inside waters and narrow passages between islands pose an unacceptable risk to the ecological integrity that sustains our food resources, which are critical to the long-term livelihoods and well-being of our members,” he indicated.

Related story: Cowichan Tribes against anchorage of freighter vessels in local waters

“Canada introduced the Interim Protocol for the Use of BC Anchorages in early 2018. The federal Crown implemented this Interim Protocol in our marine territory without securing Cowichan Tribes’ free, prior and informed consent and consultation on the protocol’s impacts to our aboriginal and indigenous rights has been shallow, intermittent and rushed.”

“There have been many years of frustration in trying to address this issue with Transport Canada and Transport Minister Marc Garneau.” noted MacGregor. “Despite these efforts, the number of freighters, and the length of their stay at anchor off the southern coast of Vancouver Island, have both increased. In the absence of leadership from the federal government, I have decided that it is time to put forward a bill to try and resolve this issue through legislative means.”

The expert panel participating in the town hall will include representatives from the South Coast Ship Watch Alliance, Penelakut Tribe, local government and SeaChange Marine Conservation Society.

MacGregor’s Bill C-250 seeks to prohibit freighters from anchoring based on coordinates recognized by the federal government as worth protecting as a part of its process in establishing a National Marine Conservation Area.

“If the federal government values these waters enough to establish a National Marine Conservation Area, then they also deserve protection from being used as an overflow industrial parking lot,” MacGregor added. “I’m excited to meet with my constituents to hear what they have to say on this issue and ensure their voices are heard in Ottawa.”

Constituents are encouraged to share feedback and questions for the town hall panelists.

Questions can also be emailed in advance to Alistair.macgregor.c1d@parl.gc.ca. All emailed questions must be sent by 1 p.m. Dec. 2.

EVENT DETAILS

Online: Protect Our Coast: End Freighter Anchorages

Date: Dec. 3, 2020

Time: 6-7:30 p.m.

Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84709790135

RSVP: https://alistairmacgregor.ndp.ca/events

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alistair4ndp/

Business and IndustrialFederal Politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Cowichan Tribes Chief William Seymour says freighters should not be anchoring off Cowichan shores. (File photo)

Cowichan Tribes Chief William Seymour says freighters should not be anchoring off Cowichan shores. (File photo)

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor is hosting an expert panel for a virtual town hall on the freighter situation Dec. 3. (File photo)

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor is hosting an expert panel for a virtual town hall on the freighter situation Dec. 3. (File photo)

Just Posted

(NEWS FILE PHOTO)
ACRD, City of Port Alberni receive $4 million for COVID-19

Municipalities have until end of 2021 to allocate funding

The site of the former Arrowview Hotel, on Second Avenue and Athol Street, as of Jan. 14, 2020. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Port Alberni pressures Arrowview Hotel owner for final cleanup

Demolition finished in June 2020 but site still full of construction material

West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni received some good news about an expansion to its emergency department on Jan. 15, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
B.C. health ministry commits $6.25M to hospital expansion in Port Alberni

Plans for larger emergency department have been on hold since 2015

A Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation guardian took this photo of dozens of vehicles parked along a forest service road in the Kennedy watershed. (Submitted photo)
Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District looks at enforcement of illegal camping

ACRD currently does not have an existing bylaw service to tackle the issue

Randy Brown, owner of Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue, has five trailers and a motorhome at the back of his property that he is renting to people who had been previously homeless. He wants to put 15 trailers on his property, hooked up to city sewer and water and BC Hydro. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Building owner digs in heels, refuses to remove illegal trailers from property

Port Alberni council gives owner two-week reprieve on remediation orders

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree-planting life on Vancouver Island featured in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

Most Read