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B.C. Greens call for regulation of ship breaking industry

April 18, 2023
   2 min read
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For immediate release

April 18, 2023 

VICTORIA, B.C. – The B.C. Green Caucus is calling on the BC NDP to regulate the ship breaking industry.

“Ship breaking involves dismantling and recycling ships. It is one of the most hazardous and environmentally damaging industries on the planet,” said Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the B.C. Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley.

The province has permitted ship breaking to operate in Baynes Sound, an area that produces half of British Columbia’s shellfish and is federally designated as an Ecologically & Biologically Sensitive Area. Shipbreaking imperils a shellfish industry that has operated for decades and poses a risk to our food security.

“Nearby residents and K’ómoks First Nation have raised serious concerns about the ongoing ship breaking at Union Bay and the potential risks to their safety, the health of their families, and the environment,” said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands.

“Old ships contain asbestos, hazardous materials, and heavy metals. If properly regulated, ship breaking is an important industry. Without adequate provincial oversight, however, this industry poses a serious risk to workers, communities, and marine environments. That there are no specific regulations regarding ship breaking in B.C. is concerning,” Furstenau continued. 

“The province is responsible for permitting ship breaking. Despite numerous infractions, the BC NDP has not properly regulated or enforced the ship breaking industry, including its own cease-and-desist orders against ship breaking companies operating in Union Bay. By failing to act, the government is sending a message that companies can ignore the limited regulations that exist.

“We are calling on the province to regulate ship breaking. The BC NDP must ensure that vessels are dismantled and recycled at a proper industrial site.

“It is the government’s responsibility to protect the public interest. This requires adequate enforcement measures and a robust regulatory framework. It’s time for the province to step up and act to regulate ship breaking in British Columbia.” 

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Media contact
JoJo Beattie
Press Secretary
B.C. Green Caucus
+1 250-882-6187 | jojo.beattie@leg.bc.ca

 

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