CAP-AUX-MEULES, QC, April 26, 2017 /CNW/ - One of the Government of Canada's priorities is to ensure safe and secure Canadian waters. Abandoned, derelict and wrecked vessels are a real problem for certain Canadian municipalities because of the risks that they pose to the marine environment, safe navigation, public health, the quality of life of waterfront residents, and local economies. That is the case for the SS Corfu Island, which ran aground off the Magdalen Islands archipelago in 1963 and is on a beach in Étang-du-Nord.
Today in Cap-aux-Meules, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, together with the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Member of Parliament for Gaspésie-Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Minister of National Revenue, announced that a technical study would be conducted in 2017-2018 on the SS Corfu Island. This exhaustive study will help determine the structural condition of the wreck and identify environmental and socioeconomic issues related to the vessel. Recommendations will also be made to define a long-term solution to the wreck.
The Government of Canada reiterated its commitment to take concrete action on this issue. On November 7, 2016, the Government of Canada announced the Oceans Protection Plan, which includes the implementation of a national strategy to address abandoned, derelict and wrecked vessels. As part of this strategy, new legislation will be introduced to prohibit vessel abandonment and put the responsibility and liability on vessel owners to properly remove and dispose of their vessels.
- The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) regularly inspects the SS Corfu Island and takes appropriate action in response to any point-source discharges of oil from the wreck.
- The CCG will continue to work with local communities and government stakeholders to determine next steps in dealing with this wreck.
- To date, approximately 57.2 cubic metres of contaminated materials and liquid hydrocarbons from the wreck have been recovered and disposed of in accordance with environmental standards in force.
"Our government recognizes the risks abandoned, derelict and wrecked vessels pose to safe navigation, the marine environment, public health and local economies, and is committed to take action to rectify these situations."
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
"Today's announcement addresses the concerns of the Magdalen Islands' maritime community, which has been calling for a permanent solution to the SS Corfu Island for many years. I am happy that our government is taking a practical step towards a solution to this issue."
The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue and MP for Gaspésie – Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine
For more information about the Canadian Coast Guard, visit www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca.
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SOURCE Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Canada - Quebec Division
For further information: Communications Branch, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Quebec Region, firstname.lastname@example.org, 418-648-5474; Laura Gareau, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 613-992-3474, Laura.Gareau@dfo-mpo.gc.ca