Conservatives float bill to deal with derelict vessels

NANAIMO – A similar bill by NDP MP was voted down earlier this year.

While Nanaimo-Cowichan MP Jean Crowder’s private members’ bill dealing with derelict vessels was shot down in May, a federal Conservative MP has proposed a similar bill.

John Weston, West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country MP, proposed a private members’ bill last month that aims to address abandoned vessels in B.C.’s coastal waters.

According to a press release, the Prohibition of Abandoned Vessels bill (Bill C-695) “creates the possibility that a person who abandons a vessel may be subject to jail time and fines of up to $100,000,” and provides a definition of abandonment.

Nanaimo-Ladysmith Conservative candidate Mark MacDonald said that Weston’s proposal addresses some of the issues that Crowder’s didn’t.

“The issue is Jean Crowder’s bill was defeated because it basically expropriated private property and made it the responsibility of the taxpayer and so what Weston’s bill does is it brings it back to the owner and no, you can’t ditch your boat and expect everybody else to pay for it.

“They’ll fine the owner and then there may be monetary and criminal charges suggested in the bill,” said MacDonald.

Weston was the only Conservative member who voted in favour of Crowder’s bill.

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